Related to the last one, yes, but Ithought I’d break it out into its own post anyway.
The claim that the US has by far the most mass public shootings in the world drives much of the gun-control debate. Many argue that America’s high rate of gun possession explains the high rate of mass shootings.
“The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” President Barack Obama warned us. To justify this claim and many other similar quotes, Obama’s administration cited a then-unpublished paper by criminologist Adam Lankford.
Lankford’s claim received coverage in hundreds of news stories all over the world. It still gets regular coverage. Purporting to cover all mass public shootings around the world from 1966 to 2012, Lankford claimed that the United States had 31 percent of public mass shooters despite having less than 5 percent of the population.
But this isn’t nearly correct. The whole episode should provide a cautionary tale of academic malpractice and how evidence is often cherry-picked and not questioned when it fits preconceived ideas.
Lankford’s study reported that over the 47 years there were 90 public mass shooters in the United States and 202 in the rest of world. Lankford hasn’t released his list of shootings or even the number of cases by country or year. We and others, both in academia and the media, have asked Lankford for his list, only to be declined. He has also declined to provide lists of the news sources and languages he used to compile his list of cases.
These omissions are important because Lankford’s entire conclusion would fall apart if he undercounted foreign cases due to lack of news coverage and language barriers.
Lankford cites a 2012 New York Police Department report which he claims is “nearly comprehensive in its coverage of recent decades.” He also says he supplemented the data and followed “the same data collection methodology employed by the NYPD.” But the NYPD report warns that its own researchers “limited [their] Internet searches to English-language sites, creating a strong sampling bias against international incidents,” and thus under-count foreign mass shootings.
Does Lankford’s paper also have that problem?
Of course it does, as Lott and Weisser go on to explain. Via the below-cited Tom Knighton, who adds:
Additionally, the fact that Lankford won’t release his list of mass shootings seems to indicate that he knows his study is crap but doesn’t want anyone to figure it out.
It’s unlikely that this study will get a whole lot of play. It goes against the anti-gun narrative to such a profound degree that it’s guaranteed to cause some serious cognitive dissonance. Anti-gunners will reject it outright, not because of bad methodology or anything, but simply because they don’t like the outcome. They prefer the poorer study that confirms their beliefs. Confirmation bias to an extreme.
But the truth is, we’re not some mass murder mecca.
That truth, along with a whole lot of others, is inconvenient to the gun-grabber agenda. So as Knighton says, it won’t get much play. That being so, I repeat: come and take them, you rotten rat-bastards. Stop whining, stop play-acting, stop lecturing, and make your fucking move. Let’s just see what it gets you.
Given how many armed Americans there are who are deadly serious about their God-granted 2A rights, and given what those people know Leftists to be, it’s a wonder there aren’t a lot more shootings in America than there are, really. A testament to the cool, calm forbearance of American gun owners, that is. Or their sense of charity and tolerance for the terminally stupid, maybe.