Got it? Gang vio­lence doesn’t count; nor does domestic vio­lence, even when a whole family is slaugh­tered. And of course, such a tally excludes extremely public mass attacks like the Boston Marathon bomb­ings or intensely pri­vate ram­pages like Saturday’s Brooklyn stab­bings, since the sus­pects didn’t use guns.

That ran­kles North­eastern Uni­ver­sity crim­i­nol­o­gist James Alan Fox, who in the last couple of years has dis­sented from spe­cially tai­lored tal­lies (such as ‘Mother Jones’) that insist mass shoot­ings and spree killings are on the rise.

Some­times the cri­teria are arbi­trary, some­times they’re hard to apply, and it tends to be a little sub­jec­tive,” Fox told The Times last week. “How do you clas­sify what work­place shoot­ings count and what don’t count?”

He says that his num­bers (which count only shoot­ings) show no big fluc­tu­a­tion: There are usu­ally about 20 mass shoot­ings a year that kill four or more people, many of which make no long-​​term splash with politi­cians or the media.

And for Fox, a casu­alty is a casualty.

As far as people killed, does it matter if there’s two shooters, one shooter, it’s in a public place, a semi-​​public place, a pri­vate place, or in a home?” Fox asked. “Does it matter where there was some mil­i­tary motive?”

Read the article at Los Angeles Times →