The Biden administration, led by the president himself, believes that America is confronted with a “gun violence” epidemic – one that necessitates a crackdown on, if not confiscation of, legal firearms.
But the conservative website BearingArms.com noted on Friday how anti-gun activists make that case based on a skewed definition of public shootings.
They cited President Joe Biden’s own FBI as one source that undermines the narrative popular among liberals.
In the report at issue, the FBI outlined the number of “active shooter” incidents that occurred in 2020.
The FBI defined such shootings as fitting one or more of the following criteria: Occurring in a public place, at more than one location, not the result of another criminal act, ending in a mass killing, demonstrated “apparent spontaneity” by the shooter, instances where the shooter “appeared to methodically search for potential victims,” or “appeared focused on injury to people, not buildings or objects.”
The FBI pointed out that 40 such incidents happened last year, which was up one-third from 2019, but resulted in a lowered number of deaths (down 63 percent) and wounded (down 19 percent) from the year prior.
“Although 2020 witnessed the highest rate of active shooter incidents for the period of 2000 to 2020, casualties were significantly lower,” the FBI concluded.
COVID-19, the authors speculate, kept people out of gathering sites such as restaurants or theaters, and reduced the opportunity for mass casualty incidents. Still, the FBI pointed out, “2020 did see several national and prominent public protests drawing large crowds of people, essentially presenting a target-rich environment.”
BearingArms.com called attention to the report because of the contrast in the FBI’s stats and those of anti0gun activists who usually have the ear of the national media.
The FBI has used the same definition for “active shooters” since 2014, and in that time the number of such incidents between 2016 and last year ranged from 20 to 31, before peaking at 40 in 2020.
BearingArms.com reported that the frequently cited Gun Violence Archive reported between 337 and 417 such incidents over the same time.
Whereas the FBI excludes occasions of shooters acting in self-defense, as part of gang or drug violence, in domestic disputes or barricade/hostage situations, catching others in a crossfire from another criminal act, or an action that did not appear to put other people in peril, gin-control enthusiasts include all of them.
The upshot, BearingArms.com, noted, is that “most people still don’t differentiate that the FBI’s definition and Gun Violence Archive’s definitions are that different.”
Gon-control activists “include as many shootings as humanly possible so as to inflate the number of mass shootings,” the website notes. “They know that mass shootings are scary to the American public. If people are scared enough, they’ll back gun control. So, they try to scare them.”
“However, as we can see,” the piece continued, “the FBI definition – one that covers the kinds of shootings people think of when they hear the term “mass shooting” – winnows those down to a mere handful every year. That’s bad for gun control advocates because it means the problem isn’t really as big as they’ve made it out to be.”
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