Mass Shooting Deception at the Washington Post


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What? There were at least 11 mass shootings in America over Memorial Day weekend? That is what Annabelle Timsit wrote in a Washington Post article. That is news to me, and probably to you as well.

Why had we not heard of all these mass shootings? One simple reason: They did not happen.

Timsit’s article is greatly inflating the number of mass shootings by including things that do not fit in the category. This is nothing new for the Washington Post. I addressed such deception from the newspaper in my December of 2015 article “Don’t Believe the Hype About Gun Shootings in the US.” I also provided in that article the much more restrictive definition of a mass shooting that has historically been used. I wrote:
Mark Follman, the national affairs editor at Mother Jones, writes in a Thursday New York Times op-ed that so far this year there have been four mass shootings, not the 355 claimed in the Washington Post or similar numbers asserted elsewhere in the media. The inflated numbers many media report, Follman explains, are created by broadening the definition of mass shooting far beyond the historical categorization focused on the indiscriminate-killing-motivated murder of four or more people in a public venue that Follman and his Mother Jones colleagues employ.
In contrast to this standard definition of mass shooting as involving the indiscriminate-killing-motivated murder of four or more people in a public venue, Timsit uses a vastly broadened definition she writes is provided by the Gun Violence Archive. That alternative definition requires that four or more people, other than the shooter, are either killed or just shot.

Reading through Timsit’s article you see that there were as few as seven deaths from among the at least 11 mass shootings she wrote occurred over Memorial Day weekend. However, to have just two real mass shootings would require at least one more death overall, in addition to the shootings meeting the other requirements in the standard definition. Several of these “mass shootings” didn’t even result in one death, much less the required four. Indeed, none of the purported mass shootings over Memorial Day weekend for which Timsit provides details appear to satisfy the long-understood requirements to qualify as a mass shooting.

In 2022, as in 2015, don’t believe the Washington Post’s mass shooting hype.

* Originally published at the Ron Paul Institute

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