Last September, the FBI released a study proclaiming that mass shootings were on the rise in America. The hard data gave gun control advocates a Chris Matthews-esque tingle and the political ammunition they needed to double down on their freedom-stomping efforts. The study was widely criticized in the conservative media, but it was a platform to pontificate for outlets like the New York Times. With studies like this one, Americans would finally understand that guns needed to go.
Or maybe not.
This week, the Wall Street Journal took a hard look at the study, which was written by Texas State University professors J. Pete Blair and M. Hunter Martindale. In their examination, they found that there was very little evidence to support the study’s conclusions. Author Jason L. Riley says that the 16 percent increase in mass shootings identified by the study did not quite correlate with the actual numbers.
Why examine this now, so many months later? Well, it could be because Martindale and Blair have begun to distance themselves from the report. Last week, they quietly published an apology in ACJS Today, a small academic journal. “Because official data did not contain the information we needed,” they wrote, “we had to develop our own.”
Instead of taking responsibility for their phantom findings, the authors saddled the media with the bulk of the blame. The papers “got it wrong,” the authors insisted, and misrepresented the findings in their mainstream stories. But according to Riley and other critics of the study, the authors should acknowledge significant holes in their own story.
Chief among those problems is the time frame. They chose to start their analysis in the year 2000, even though that was a notoriously shallow year for mass shootings. That gave them a story that wouldn’t have been possible had they started with an earlier year.
Another problem? Riley points out that the researchers seemed to engage in a bit of conscious selectivity when deciding which bits of data to include in their study. By failing to include mass shootings that occurred towards the beginning of the time frame, they were able to create the illusion of a trend.
Beware of Politically-Potent Studies
The revelation that the FBI study can be almost wholly ignored should serve as a warning to any Second Amendment advocates who rely on facts and figures to support their cause. You can’t win a statistics war with an entity willing to fudge science. Especially when there are powerful, rich players who want to eliminate guns using any means necessary. The game is rigged.
Thankfully, no such strategy should be necessary. Our right to bear arms comes not from a liberal university but from the United States Constitution. And until these anti-gun lunatics garner enough support to abolish the Second Amendment, that right should stand in the face of tainted sociology.
Don’t ever forget who they are. They are liars. They are cheats. They have not one thimbleful of honor amongst them. Don’t play their game, don’t play by their rules, and don’t acknowledge their liberal studies. They don’t want an honest debate, they want a nation that cowers before the federal government.