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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Griper Blade: The Marketers of Fear

Big pile of firearms
Maybe it got lost in the annual post-Holiday news outage, but Yahoo! News reported on the second day of the new year that a study by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University shows a definite uptick in the occurrence of mass shootings in the United States. According to the report, investigators counted only those sorts of crimes that immediately come to mind when you hear the term "mass shooting." These are a separate sort of crime, distinguished by more than the death tolls.

"Researchers considered only active shootings in public settings where the primary motive appeared to be mass murder and at least one of the victims was unrelated to the suspect. Shootings during crimes such as bank robberies, drug deals, and gang violence were excluded," Yahoo reported -- i.e., crimes where the sole purpose was to kill people. Incidences rose from five a year in 2000-2008 to sixteen a year in the period of 2009-2012.

Of course, this undercuts the gunners' claims that the opposite is true. And even those claims are cherrypicked. They cite the work of Northeastern University Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy James Alan Fox. Fox does not weed out the "bank robberies, drug deals, and gang violence" that ALERRT did. He does, however, recommend gun control policies -- a fact the gun apologists conveniently skip over...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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