This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 2, 2108:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time in seizing as an opportunity the shooting in the offices of the Capital Gazette on Thursday not only to burnish her anti-gun image but to pick a number out of the air to support it. She tweeted: “Horrifying. This is our nation’s 195th mass shooting — this year.”
This confirms her far-left stance as reported by The New American on Friday: “Her platform was other-worldly: Medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, and abolition of ICE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition she made clear her contempt for the Second Amendment by promising to push for more gun control.”
Where she got the number 195 was not revealed. But it doesn’t matter, anyway: Since there is no standard definition of “mass shooting,” any number will do to reinforce her position. When the Washington Post said in late 2015 that there were 355 mass shootings for that year, the figure was so far removed from reality that Mother Jones editor Mark Follman took the time to investigate the number, and refute it: “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.”
CNN has taken the lead in inflating the numbers. Following the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida, the network claimed that there was one school shooting “on average” every week.
Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety tweeted on that same day that there had been 18 school shootings so far this year. But Breitbart looked into the matter and concluded “that Everytown had reached the number ‘18’ by counting suicides … and eight non-suicide firearm-related incidents in which there were no injuries or fatalities.”
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) defines “mass public shooting” as a multiple-homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms in at least one public location, including schools. According to that definition, CRS reports that there were 66 mass shootings from 1999 to 2013, with just seven of them happening in schools or college campuses.
And then there’s the Gun Violence Archive, which claims on its website that, so far this year, there have been 154 mass shootings. A closer look at this outfit reveals an inherent bias even as its website claims it has none: It just counts every incident involving a gun and then lets researchers draw their own conclusions. Founded in late 2012 by Michael Klein, a wealthy attorney, it claims to “provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States.”
Klein is also the founder of Sunlight Foundation, which was launched in 2006 with $3.5 million of his own money. Since then, Klein has enlisted the financial assistance of a number of Deep State deep pockets, including George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg, it will be remembered, also helps fund Everytown for Gun Safety.
Even if the Gun Violence Archive has honest intentions about reporting all of the facts on gun violence in the United States, it has a serious problem in supporting its claim of 154 mass shootings for 2018 alone. It claims that “GVA uses a purely statistical threshold to define mass shootings based ONLY on the numeric value of 4 or more shot or killed, not including the shooter.” But a download of its statistical conclusions reveals just 11 shootings so far this year where four or more individuals were killed by gunfire.
But this really doesn’t matter, at least to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who seems content to have pulled the “195” out of the air. She is counting on that number — unsourced but likely accepted as true by her adoring fans — to confirm her position that guns are responsible for such shootings, while leaving the blame on the shooter entirely out of the conversation.
As AWR Hawkins noted at Breitbart: “When suicides, accidental discharges, and firearm-related incidents with no injuries or fatalities are counted as ‘school shootings,’ alongside heinous attacks like those on Parkland or Great Mills, we have reached the point where the phrase ‘school shootings’ no longer communicates anything.”
The terminology “mass shootings” also no longer has meaning when coming from the upstart radical who is using her phony number to reinforce her public anti-gun position as she prepares to take the seat of 10-term New York Democrat Joe Crowley in January.