Welcome to the Mass Shooting Tracker. The former site was featured by CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist and more. We have taken ownership of the site since it was abandoned and hope to carry on the work, using sponsors to pay for the hosting and development.
The previous site focused on all acts of gun violence, much of which people never hear about because it has become so commonplace in our society. It isn’t newsworthy anymore. The kill rate, or shock value, is what makes it newsworthy.
Mass murder is the act of murdering a number of people, typically simultaneously or over a relatively short period of time and in close geographic proximity. The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more people during an event with no “cooling-off period” between the murders. This should not be what defines a mass shooting. Luckily, many people survive, but may be left with either physical or psychological trauma, or both.
Here at the new Mass Shooting Tracker, we will count the number of people shot rather than the number people killed because death is not the sum total of victims, and being shot makes you the victim of a mass shooting.
If a gunman shoots 18 people but only kills one, does that not count as a mass shooting? Have you heard of Travis Steed? Under many current definitions, this would not be considered a mass shooting. That is ridiculous.
It would be impossible to track every shot in the U.S., unfortunately, so we will limit the definition of a mass shooting to more than 3 people shot in a single spree. Why?
Surviving a mass shooting does not make you any less of a victim, but it does eliminate you from statistics the politicians and the NRA will use to bolster their arguments. Why should the hard work of medical practitioners and advancements in science that allow people to survive exclude these acts of violence from being counted as mass shootings? They shouldn’t, but it minimizes the statistics that could be used for gun reform.
Putting this information out there, for all to see, is the only way to make people realize the size of the real issue. The media and the NRA will have you believe that the more these events are televised, the more they occur. True statistics say otherwise.
We should not be minimizing the victims of gun violence and downplaying mass shootings for political gain or profit. Being shot makes you no less of a victim than someone killed by a gun.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you define “mass shooting”?
More than 3 people shot in a single act of violence is what we consider a mass shooting. This also includes the perpetrator. We may not want to view this person as human, but they are. Motive is not a factor in our definition.
Isn’t that the same as “mass murder”?
No, the current FBI definition of mass murder, from their recent study of active shooter events, is three or more killed: “the federal definition of ’mass killing’ — defined as ’three or more’ killed“ (source, PDF, pg 7)
The FBI does not define mass shooting. As stated before, being “shot” does not count as heavily in their statistics. Many factors can determine whether you die as the result of the wound, so being shot is a more apt datatset to keep than deaths.
Aren’t you biased?
Is not everyone biased in some way? We do not shy away from the fact that we believe gun reform should be enforced. Debating that, and the ways to do so, are for another forum. This site is just the facts ma’am. We try our best to collect the data and you can make up your mind for yourself. Every shooting will have at least one news article for you to check.
I heard you included a BB gun shooting in your count.
The old mass shooting site did include these early on in their data collection. We do not.
I found a mistake in your data. That means all your data is invalid, right?
No, but please do report it! That’s how crowd sourced data works.
Why should people trust crowd-sourced data?
“Until Congress starts funding gun violence research, others will have to fill the void. At this point (December 2015) Congress has effectively blocked the CDC from researching the underlying causes of gun violence.” (from prior owners of this site). Also, every bit of information will have links to back them up.
How can I get involved?
Use the Subscribe button and we will inform you when we have the ability for others to assist coded and set up. We are also hoping to add an app so that people can more quickly report these and warn others around them.