A supposed scientific study that liberal politicians and the mainstream media quotes to back up the claim nearly a third of the mass public shooters in the world have been in the United States has been proven to be false.
Since Adam Lankford released his study in 2015, virtually every mainstream media source, including Fox News, has cited his claim that mass shooters in America make up 31% of the total in the world.
Until now, Professor Lankford has refused to cite the data in order to back up his claim. Despite hundreds of interviews and intense media attention, the criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama continued his refusal until the Crime Prevention Research Center called him out on fake findings with information of their own.
Since then, The Washington Post and others suddenly quit quoting the professor.
Earlier in the year, Lankford finally released his sources, and he probably regrets that decision. John R. Mott Jr. and Carlisle E Moody have followed up by publishing a paper for Econ Journal Watch detailing the false claims Lankford makes in his study.
Without the due diligence of researchers like Lott and Carlisle, the truth might have stayed buried among all the numbers. Thanks to the two we now know why the professor was reluctant to back up his facts, – they aren’t factual.
Lott and Carlisle’s report for Econ Journal compared U.S. and non-U.S. mass shootings by using the official definitions Lankford claims he used – those identified by the FBI and NYPD.
On examining data 1998 to 2012, Lott and Carlisle found that although the U.S. has 4.5 percent of the world’s population, it represents less than three percent of worldwide mass shooting incidents or mass shooting deaths and less than one percent of mass shooters.
So how did Lankford come up with the misleading number that has driven the false narrative for the left and the mainstream media for almost five years?
Lott’s and Carlisle explain in their article, “What explains this incredible difference? While Lankford claims he is using the conventional definitions of public mass shootings from the FBI and NYPD, it turns out that Lankford’s 31 percent claim is an artifact of his having stripped out much from conventional definitions of ‘public mass shooter,’ notably excluding almost all incidents of terrorism outside the U.S. and most of the cases where more than one shooter is involved.”
Here is a more detailed look at this fatally flawed study:
- Lankford claims he limited his study of mass public shootings to those only perpetrated by a single mass shooter. He never mentioned that in his paper or the hundreds of interviews since then.
- There are many omissions in Lankford’s data. He includes one shooting in Russia with two shooters but excludes 40 other foreign mass public shootings that fit the FBI definition with 2 shooters. Using the NYPD data set, the U.S. just made up 1.45% of all mass public shooters. Quite a difference from the 31% used by the media since 2015.
- A look at the information he finally released, shows Lankford didn’t even come close to the FBI and NYPD he has claims to use.
Lott and Carlisle say that the professor still hasn’t made all his data available. They add, “It is obvious why Lankford refused to let anyone see his list of mass public shootings for years and why he wouldn’t even let us see it until after we had published our piece. Even with his novel definition of mass public shootings, he doesn’t follow it consistently, and it has many errors in it.”
In an address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, then President Barack Obama said, “You don’t see murder on this scale, with this kind of frequency in any other advanced nation on earth.”
One week earlier CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Time, NPR, USA Today, and Newsweek all repeated the same claim in one form or another – “The U.S. leads the world in mass shootings.”
Like Obama, they all got that headline from the same unvetted study by proven liar Adam Lankford.
Of course, Democrat had no interest in ensuring a study they used to further their narrative was based on sound information. But what of the press? They have no desire to correct their stories or to make an effort to fix the narrative that American leads the world in mass shootings.
And they cry foul when President Trump calls it “Fake News.”