Another Politically Convenient “Finding” That Might Not Be True


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.

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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.

  • guest

    Presenting these websites and “reports” with a straight face to your readers is a real gift. Have you considered running for office?

    I can’t find the link to the actual report buried in the pro-gun propaganda. Can you help us out?

    • Merle The Monster
      • guest

        LOL, I don’t think that’s the article Justin’s referring to! Fake News…Benghazi!!

        • Merle The Monster

          I don’t think much of the articles Katz uses. Take this one as he relys on John Lott. I like the admission by the Lott that he invented a person to argue on his behalf. I’m not the only one pointing to his bizarre behavior.
          “As conservative journalist Michelle Malkin emphasized at the time, “Lott’s invention of Mary Rosh to praise his own research and blast other scholars is beyond creepy. And it shows his extensive willingness to deceive to protect and promote his work.”

          Maybe Lotts findings support a certain ideological position too cleanly for Katz so he can overlook its author’s credibility.

          • Justin Katz

            So where’s the evidence that the claims made in this article are incorrect? I’m open to the possibility that they are, but pointing to a 15-year-old controversy about one of the articles two authors is just an excuse to ignore the possibility that the findings are correct. Is your desire to see your fellow Americans in such a poor light that strong?

          • Mike678

            It seems reason and the ability to make a coherent argument is beyond the RIF trolls.

          • Merle The Monster

            There seems to be no lack of criminologists who author studies and books about gun ownership in the US and no lack of criticism for each other’s work. The title of your ‘essay’ shows that your assertion that you are open to evidence that contradicts your ideology is a lie.
            What difference does an international rating make ? We live in the US and have to contend with the consequences of guns here on our soil Anyway your side has won the arguments about the rights of gun ownership at the Supreme Court and soon there will be a permanent conserative 5-4 majority to preserve it.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Why do we always claim “blame”. Consider the “Plastic Island” in the Pacific. Investigation of labels indicates that 70% is from China, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines. I don’t have figures for the other 30%. Who knew?