File this under “things you won’t hear proclaimed loudly in Rhode Island.” It appears that the United States is not the world leader in mass shootings:
[Criminologist Adam] 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.
When a researcher won’t provide the underlying data for his or her conclusions, that should be a major red flag. The new Crime Prevention Research Center report puts the U.S. as having the 61st most mass shootings, not the first, behind (among others, obviously) Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Russia.
But don’t expect reasonable doubts about Lankford’s assertions to gain much play. His “findings” support a certain ideological position too cleanly.