For many people in the United States—and those observing around the world—it seems mass shootings are increasing. But are they really?
Fox News Research division provided the answer on their Twitter feed Thursday—the day after a gunman murdered 12 people in a Thousand Oaks, California bar.
Fox News only looked at mass shootings where 10 or more fatalities occurred for their statistics (the FBI defines a mass shooting as an event where there are 3 or more victims.)
They began in 1998, the year before the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado and ended in June 2012. In that 14 year span, five mass shootings occurred that claimed 10 or more lives.
Next, they looked at the period from the shooting at Aurora, Colorado in a movie theater in July 2012 until September 2017. In those five years, four mass shootings with 10 or more fatalities occurred.
In the last 403 days, a little over one year, six mass shootings occurred.
- Las Vegas concert shooting (58)
- Sutherland Springs church shooting (26)
- Parkland school shooting (17)
- Santa Fe school shooting (10)
- Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting (11)
- Thousand Oaks bar shooting (12)
U.S. Mass Shootings - 10+ fatalities •Apr 1998 (Columbine) to Jun 2012: 𝐅𝐢𝐯𝐞 •July 2012 (Aurora) to Sep 2017: 𝐅𝐨𝐮… https://t.co/8Bc9RTiSOr— Fox News Research (@Fox News Research) 1541684001.0
The tweet sparked debate.
@FoxNewsResearch @DustinGiebel Why the arbitrary cutoff at 10+?— Sousi (@Sousi) 1541684310.0
@sousibrown @FoxNewsResearch @DustinGiebel Because the numbers will go way up if they use the official number desig… https://t.co/0Py3mcFoLZ— Bougie Muffin (@Bougie Muffin) 1541684624.0
@refinedmess @FoxNewsResearch @DustinGiebel On the other hand, they're doing a good job of pointing out that the ra… https://t.co/qlfpzAlUST— Sousi (@Sousi) 1541684722.0
@sousibrown @FoxNewsResearch @DustinGiebel They’re also doing a good job at showing that the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994–2004 worked.— Bougie Muffin (@Bougie Muffin) 1541684859.0
@refinedmess @FoxNewsResearch @DustinGiebel It's unclear to me that the above data directly correlates to this. T… https://t.co/R3iJa72xjZ— Sousi (@Sousi) 1541684986.0
@sousibrown @refinedmess @FoxNewsResearch @DustinGiebel I think that is precisely the correlation intended.— Demoyne Jones (@Demoyne Jones) 1541685770.0
And people, of course, found the numbers disturbing.
@FoxNewsResearch Well that’s absolutely depressing— Dusty (@Dusty) 1541684054.0
@FoxNewsResearch @TC_Stark Ugh, this is embarrassing.— Craig Anderson (@Craig Anderson) 1541711720.0
@FoxNewsResearch Sad....this place is SICK .... I wouldnt be surprised if other countries put an American Ban— Mind Of A Man (@Mind Of A Man) 1541703856.0
People also brought up the idea of the "good guy with a gun."
After mass shootings, the National Rifle Association (NRA) posits that if only a good guy with a gun had been there, things would be different.
President Donald Trump repeated the same rhetoric after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and suggested arming teachers. Trump brought it up again after the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue when he suggested they should have had an armed guard at their place of worship.
@FoxNewsResearch And one was stopped by a good man with a gun.— Ray Stanley (@Ray Stanley) 1541684425.0
@jjooee @FoxNewsResearch Or common sense tells us if we have designated driver, why not designated protector ?— Ray Stanley (@Ray Stanley) 1541687616.0
@ghostriderhdrs @jjooee @FoxNewsResearch A designated protector... So, like, a good guy with a gun assigned to prot… https://t.co/dCY8mrG1Di— The Jesus of Suburbia (@The Jesus of Suburbia) 1541705719.0
@kendallskates @ghostriderhdrs @jjooee @FoxNewsResearch I know what he meant, friend, but it was such a ridiculous… https://t.co/v8lKTAm7FU— The Jesus of Suburbia (@The Jesus of Suburbia) 1541709638.0
@kendallskates @ghostriderhdrs @jjooee @FoxNewsResearch The alternative's even funnier. The DP sitting in a lifegua… https://t.co/Qi6Ynwerh2— The Jesus of Suburbia (@The Jesus of Suburbia) 1541711672.0
@zutterzwang @kendallskates @ghostriderhdrs @jjooee @FoxNewsResearch You’re my favorite person ever. Because also,… https://t.co/31zxlKTeXN— Rose Stephens (@Rose Stephens) 1541712107.0
@ClearlyLock @kendallskates @ghostriderhdrs @jjooee @FoxNewsResearch "Listen, Jen, I know you're a teacher & Katie,… https://t.co/tEvsLkxScV— The Jesus of Suburbia (@The Jesus of Suburbia) 1541712340.0
On Wednesday night a gunman opened fire in a nightclub in Thousand Oaks, California. 12 people were murdered, including a Sheriff's deputy who entered the scene to try to stop the gunman.
𝐒𝐠𝐭. 𝐑𝐨𝐧 𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐮𝐬 •54 years old •From Moorpark, CA •Ventura County Sheriff •29-year veteran of the force •Set to retir… https://t.co/vqmXFnXNuF— Fox News Research (@Fox News Research) 1541685437.0