Talk:Mass shootings in the United States

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Weird definition[edit]

So the article mentions the U.S has the most mass shootings in the world, over 2000.

But previously, it mentions that a mass shooting is defined as four people being shot or something. Pretty much no other developed nation uses this definition, as accidents happen all the time with no malicious intent. Most of the time, people aren't even killed. Just injured.

Sorry for not grabbing source, I'm short on time and don't have any. (talk) 02:01, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

Does this claim include all the gang shootings in Mexico, or have those been defined away out of existence? How many parties in Mexico have been shot up? There was one not long ago in Playa de Carmen by Cancun in a bar, the Blue Stork or something named like that. (PeacePeace (talk) 21:15, 5 August 2019 (UTC))

"Type of firearm(s) used" column[edit]

In the table of mass shootings since 1949 with ten or more fatalities, in the "Type of firearms(s) used" column one of the types listed is "semi-automatic pistol". I think that should be changed to "pistol". A pistol is a semi-automatic handgun -- as opposed to a revolver, which is a handgun that is not semi-automatic -- so by definition, all pistols are semi-automatic. This is in contrast to rifles, some of which are semi-automatic and some of which (e.g. bolt-action, single-shot, or fully-automatic rifles) are not. In other words, it makes sense that the table has a type of "semi-automatic rifle", and another type of "rifle", but we should change the type of "semi-automatic pistol" to "pistol". Mudwater (Talk) 13:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

I think your comment is generally true... but. "Pistol" will 99% of the time refer to a semi automatic handgun. But there are single shot and the very rare bolt action pistols. I think the real question should be are we doing a better job communicating to readers if the article says "pistol" vs semi-auto pistol. In general usage semi-auto pistol will be redundant but not all readers may realize that. It doesn't harm to include the extra descriptor. Springee (talk) 15:45, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. This is a case where the extra specificity is useful and there is really no downside to it. Rusty Lugnuts (talk) 18:22, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Defining Mass Shootings in a an objective way. 100 victims required? What is a mass of people?[edit]

It seems obvious that defining mass shooting as 3 or 4 victims is absurd propaganda. Suppose it were reported that a mass of people attended a political rally, then it came out that 3 or 4 people were there! I would like to see an article tracing the history of mass shootings by civilians in USA where the definition of mass is 20 or more people shot. Even then, if you reported 20 persons attending a football game as a mass of people, you should get snickers. Perhaps the only such mass shooting in USA was that of Stephen Paddock in Los Vegas. (PeacePeace (talk) 21:11, 5 August 2019 (UTC))

The FBI defines mass murder as 4 or more victims, hence a mass shooting is 4 or more fatalities (not including the shooter). Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 21:19, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Context is important. The weight of attendance at a poltical rally or football game is far different than when discussing deaths by homicide. Rusty Lugnuts (talk) 18:19, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

If 100 dead are required than there has never been a Mass Shooting in United States history, if 100 dead/injured are required than there have only been 2 in US History, the "Las Vegas shooting" and the "Orlando nightclub shooting". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:4a:400:114f:b851:d564:c317:f49b (talk) 00:02, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Please edit the floating [1] at the bottom of the page[edit]

I think this might be a source, but it should probably have a heading. Trilotat (talk) 02:53, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

White males vs whites[edit]

I think this sentence is wrong: "According to most analyses and studies however, the proportion of mass shooters in the United States who are white and male is not considerably greater than the proportion of white males in the general population of the US." The source states that the proportion of mass shooters in the United States who are white is not considerably greater than the proportion of white people in the general population of the US. There are many more males of all races and ethnicities among mass shooters than in the general population, where they are only about 50%. BrightRaven (talk) 10:01, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't recall all the sources off the top of my head but here is what I've taken away from various sources over time. First, mass shooters are predominately male, far in excess of the make percentage of the population. In terms of ethnicity, the percentage that are Caucasian is in proportion to the portion of Caucasians in the general population. This means most mass shooters are Caucasians. However what is perhaps more significant is that Caucasians are under represented in most other violent crime/homicide statistics. This raises the question why do the factors that cause Caucasians to be under represented in other crime statistics not apply here. It would be a meaningful addition to the article if we could find a source that discussed this last bit. Springee (talk) 11:22, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@Gaia Octavia Agrippa: You restored a wording that states that "the proportion of mass shooters in the United States who are white and male is not considerably greater than the proportion of white males in the general population of the US." The source states the exact opposite about the gender distribution of mass shooters: "On the other hand, [the data] do back up the notion that these killers are nearly always men. In the Mother Jones database, 97 percent of the listed killers are men; in the one from USA Today, that number is 94 percent. This is not a phenomenon that’s unique to mass shootings—most killers of all types are men. It’s a huge, overall effect: According to the BJS statistics, men committed 90 percent of all homicides between 1980 and 2008, as well as 92 percent of those involving guns. While it may be true that men are even more overrepresented among mass shooters and mass killers than they are among “normal” killers, blaming those differences—slivers of the data, really, between 90, 92, and 94 percent—it seems wrong to blame mass killings in particular on toxic masculinity. That’s because male rage can be deadly at any time or any place, and at every level of analysis." BrightRaven (talk) 08:19, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Maybe we could add something like: "the proportion of mass shooters who are male is not considerably greater than the proportion of males among killers of all types.", which would be true. BrightRaven (talk) 08:27, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

This reverted edit does not contain "political sniping commentary"[edit]

It contains reality.

soibangla (talk) 02:10, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, this is undue and exactly the sort of political sniping edit that was being discussed as problematic here [[1]]. A few recent quotes selected for political purposes don't add to the better understanding of this topic. The material you added was UNDUE. Springee (talk) 02:23, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
(1) Springee should not be canvassing (the editor linked to this content dispute among likely-sympathetic editors). (2) I think it can be fleshed out a bit more to be more historical (e.g. "since the Columbine shooting, it has been posited that video games contribute to mass shootings. Prominent person A said B at time C... After shooting D, it was argued that E... In 2019, some Republicans insisted XYZ... There is no evidence that video games contribute to mass shootings". Snooganssnoogans (talk) 02:55, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
1. I'm not canvasing. I'm noting a discussion that specifically was targetting the sort of edits in question here. 2. This sort of "GOP" targeting discussion, is pure POV pushing BS. If the intent were to talk about the various times people have looked at, ie the research, the links between mass shootings then I think a case could be made. It could be part of the causes of mass shootings discussion. As was added, no, it's in the same terrible bucket as the edit rejected here [[2]]. Springee (talk) 03:17, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Misleading citations: "The United States has had more mass shootings than any other country"[edit]

"The United States has had more mass shootings than any other country" has multiple citations, making it appear to be a rock solid assertion. If you look closer at these citations, they are all varying news media referencing the same study by Adam Lankford at University of Alabama. There should just be one citation, sourcing this one study. Recently this study has been brought into question, and Lankford will not share his data for it to be verified, but a separate study by the Crime Prevention Research Study disputes his results. Given how politically sensitive this topic is, I can't comment on the motivations of either Lankford or John Lott and if they really did academically rigorous research, but we will never know about Lankford if he refuses to share his dataset.

I haven't edited an article before, and I didn't want to go through and delete a bunch of citations someone else looked up, but I thought I'd mention this here because the current article appears biased in the treatment of the quoted statement.

Table not sorting[edit]

The table in section 6, "Deadliest mass shootings since 1949", does not sort when clicking on any of the column headers. Clicking on any header results only in the first column (which lists the ordinal of each entry) separating each grouped ordinal (i.e. 11, 14, 19 and 23)out to each line. Subsequent clicks do nothing. I've tested this in Firefox, Chrome and Opera, both with and without extensions/addons. Rusty Lugnuts (talk) 18:11, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Fixed Mad Dog Fargo (talk) 06:31, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Mark O. Barton[edit]

Should Mark O. Barton’s killing spree be listed here? He murdered 12 people, but only 9 of them w/a gun. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 21:47, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Removal of the Gun Violence Archive stat from frequency section[edit]

There have been a bit of back and forth on the inclusion of a stat based on the Gun Violence Archive. I removed the material here [[3]] for the following reasons.

We actually reference the same source in the lead to offer a different number over a different time.
It conflicts with reference 7 (Washington Post) reference.
It's out of place in a discussion of frequency where the rest of the topic is about yearly increases/decreases.
It seems odd to include information that appears to be self dating without a frequent manual update.

span. I would propose synchronizing the GVA time frame with the WashPo's time frame and contrast the two different results. I think it's very informative that the number of mass shootings depends greatly on your definition. The reference that we currently have that says X shootings since 2013 should be closed ended since a reader isn't likely to know when the information was added. So I'm in favor of inclusion in general but not the specific was it was added in the edit I reverted. Springee (talk) 01:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

I'd restored it because the editor had stated "unreliable/biased information" while removing it, which is not true. I agree that it would be good to contrast the different count numbers, but we'll have to be careful not to WP:OR it. I can't find where "2,128 mass shootings since 2013" has come from because its not from the ref cited for it. The Guardian has 1,875 deaths between Jan 1, 2013 and Feb 15, 2018 which would provide a defined range, and one per day comes from CBS.
The 2,128 figure was added by User:Ottoshade: Ottoshade, where did the number come from? Gaia Octavia Agrippa Talk 12:54, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree that "unreliable/biased" is probably not true. If true it certainly justifies removing it but that would require proof and then we would want to remove both references. I still think we should keep the text I removed out but I would support adding the references you are mentioning so long as they explain what the source/method is. It's good to show how different definitions result in different reported stats.
Do you think it makes sense to include it in a frequency discussion? I think it could if done as a comparison of methods paragraph in the frequency paragraph it would be good. As added it reads as just a random factoid. Springee (talk) 13:22, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Number comes from sum of for 2014-2018, the front page for 2019, and for 2013, Ottoshade (talk) 07:37, 13 August 2019 (UTC)