Mass Shooting Data Stipulations

Last Updated on Monday, September 6, 2021 @ 7:54 PM by Editor

The following are mass shooting data stipulations, presented in no particular order:

Mass Shooting Definition

There are several definitions for what constitutes a mass shooting. Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CP) consistently use the Mother Jones definition of a mass shooting. which, according to their A Guide to Mass Shootings in America which is basically a shooting incident occurring in a public place with a firearm, where the motive appeared to be indiscriminate killing, and where a lone shooter took the lives of at least three people (not including the shooter). To better understand our rationale for consistently adhering to the Mother Jones definition consider reading Why the Mother Jones Definition of a Mass Shooting?

Acts of Violence

There are numerous widespread varying definitions for acts of violence, particularly for mass shootings. Therefore, with some exceptions, most acts of violence referenced by Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CP), including, but not necessarily limited to the following, should be referred to as simply incidents:

—Bombings.
—Biological or chemical agent attacks.
—Knife wielding attackers.
—Mass shootings. (Also known as mass killings and mass murder.)
—Terrorism.

However, there’s no arguing that mass shooting is a buzzword, so we more often than not use it instead of incident.

Injury Counts for Incidents

The total number of people injured during incidents can vary widely depending on what media or other sources you use. For instance, some sources cite the total injured only from gunfire while others cite all injures like those caused by people fleeing the perpetrator(s) or otherwise injured during the ensuing chaos, like a stampede. Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CP) consistently uses the total number of people injured, either directly or indirectly by the perpetrator(s). The rational for doing that is because people injured fleeing a perpetrator(s) or otherwise hurt during an incident wouldn’t have suffered those injuries absent the perpetrator(s). In other words, the perpetrator indirectly caused those injuries. It should be noted that the number of people killed during incidents is very consistently reported as being the same.

Perpetrators are Generally Unnamed

Perpetrators are generally unnamed in this book, lest they receive glory. In quoted material where perpetrator names are used, we’ve substituted the name with [perpetrator]. The only exception is when works are cited because not using actual names there might make finding source material difficult or impossible.

Perpetrators Always Referred to as Perpetrators

When referencing actions of subjects prior to the incident they perpetrated we still refer to them as perpetrators to avoid confusion.

Understanding Being Armed

We advocate for the arming of civilians and other personnel in an attempt to stem mass shootings. While that sounds great to most of us, it must be understood that simply being armed is far from enough. An armed individual must have the ability to proficiently use a gun, and, more importantly, the willingness to use it. It’s one thing to be armed and feel good about that, but it’s wholly another to be able to point that loaded gun at the kill zone of another human being and squeeze the trigger.

Varied Same Topic Descriptions

In some instances, different language has been used to describe what is generally the same topic. This has been done in the hope that if a reader wasn’t “moved” by one description they might be by another.