CNN’s Jim Acosta has thrown out a grotesque statement about America having an average of 310 mass shootings per year in the last 5 years.
On December 14, Acosta mentioned that the United States has witnessed, as a whole, over 1,500 mass shootings since the dreadful Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
He continued to boaster his claim with information given by a tracking website sponsored by gun controllers, called the Gun Violence Archive. This particular tracking site veers from the FBI’s definition of mass shootings as more than four fatalities in one incident so as to include shootings in which no fatalities take place.
However, Acosta was soon hit with a reality check and had to be explained why his explanation was extremely misleading.
This is a lie. If a politician said this, Jim Acosta would interrupt the press conference to live-fact-check him with readily available FBI statistics.
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) December 14, 2017
Reported by breitbart:
Since Sandy Hook there have been at least 1,552 mass shootings, with at least 1,767 people killed and 6,227 wounded. https://t.co/RZeFDHhYmR
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 14, 2017
Other members of the left have been spewing similar numbers for years. At times, their claims have gotten so outlandish that members of their own circles have called them out for it.
For example, in December 2015 Breitbart News reported that Mother Jones’ editor Mark Follman called out leftists for claiming “355 mass shootings” in that calendar year alone. Follman published a column in the The New York Times, which said:
At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have compiled an in-depth open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four “mass shootings” this year, including the one in San Bernardino, and at least 73 such attacks since 1982.
Note–using the actual FBI definition of mass shootings, Follman could only find four mass shootings for the entire year, yet leftists were claiming 355.
Think about it this way–It is easy to swell the number of car accidents recorded for a given year if butterflies hitting the windshield are counted as an accident. Moreover, it is easy to swell the number of falls recorded every year if stumbling without actually falling is counting as a fall nonetheless.
In the same way, it is easy to swell the number of mass shootings if the definition of mass shooting is changed so as to include street crimes in which no one is killed or by including the life of the attacker in the reported number of deaths resulting from an alleged shooting. The Gun Violence Archive does both these things and Acosta’s tweet ultimately rests on that approach to claim “1552 mass shootings” during the past five years.