Mass shootings aren’t growing more common & evidence contradicts killer stereotypes

Mass shootings aren’t growing more common and evidence contradicts stereotypes about the killers

EXCERPT: Violent video games cause mass homicides? [...] Long-term studies of youth consistently find that violent games are not a risk factor for youth violence anywhere from one to eight years later. And no less than the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 2011 that scientific studies had failed to link violent games to serious aggression in kids.

[...] Mass shooters are male white supremacists? ... Overall, though, the ethnic composition of the group of all mass shooters in the U.S. is roughly equivalent to the American population. Hateful people tend to be attracted to hateful ideologies. Some shootings, such as the 2016 shooting of police officers in Dallas, were reportedly motivated by anti-white hatred. Other shooters, such as the 2015 San Bernardino husband and wife perpetrator team, have espoused other hateful ideas such as radical Islam. Most mass homicide perpetrators don’t proclaim any allegiance to a particular ideology at all. Of course, mass homicides in other nations – such as several deadly knife attacks in Japan – don’t involve U.S. race issues. As far as gender, it’s true that most mass homicide perpetrators are male. A minority of shooters are female, and they may target their own families.

Mental illness definitely is or is not to blame? Whether mental illness is or is not related to mass shootings – or criminal violence more broadly – is a nuanced question. Frankly, proponents on both sides often get this wrong by portraying the issue as clear-cut.

[...] Mass homicides are becoming more frequent? Mass homicides get a lot of news coverage which keeps our focus on the frequency of their occurrence. Just how frequent is sometimes muddled by shifting definitions of mass homicide, and confusion with other terms such as active shooter. But using standard definitions, most data suggest that the prevalence of mass shootings has stayed fairly consistent over the past few decades. [...] rates of other violent crimes have declined precipitously in the U.S. over the past 25 years. Why mass homicides have stayed stagnant while other homicides have plummeted in frequency is a question worth asking. Nonetheless, it does not appear that the U.S. is awash in an epidemic of such crimes, at least comparing to previous decades going back to the 1970s. (MORE - details)

Some Climate Change Cherry Picking

INTRO: There is an industry of misinformation fueling climate change denial. It is often fairly sophisticated, and because it is dealing with a highly complex technical area, it’s easy to create an argument that sounds compelling. This results (as if often evidenced right here in the comments) in people who are confident that they are good skeptics and climate fearmongering is all nonsense. Of course they have to simultaneously believe in a rather absurd conspiracy theory regarding the scientific community, but they make that work somehow too. Here are a couple of recent examples, both of which involve some subtle cherry picking... (MORE)

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