White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Monday there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States this year alone.
What did KJP say?
Not only did Jean-Pierre claim there has been more than one mass shooting per day, but she blamed Republicans for gun violence.
"Today is Monday, May 8. That mean it is the 128th day of 2023. And yesterday, according to leading accounts, we witnessed the 201st mass shooting in this country this year," she claimed.
"That means we are averaging more than one a day. More than 200 mass shootings in 128 days. Credible estimates show that more than 14,000 people have died this year from gun violence," she added. "This is a crisis. It is a crisis that the Republicans in Congress are refusing to address. We are talking about the number-one killer of kids in America, and Republicans in Congress are saying there is nothing that we can do about it."
05/08/23: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierrewww.youtube.com
What is the problem?
Unfortunately, Jean-Pierre did not elaborate on what "leading sources" she used to derive her figure, nor did she define what constitutes a "mass shooting."
Around the same time Jean-Pierre made the shocking claim, the Associated Press published a story reporting a much lower number of mass killings this year.
From the AP:
Over the first four months and six days of this year, 115 people have died in 22 mass killings — an average of one mass killing a week. That includes the bloodshed Saturday at a Dallas-area mall where eight people were fatally shot.
Every death is tragic. Still, nuance is necessary, because the White House is using the most recent atrocity to advance its agenda on firearms.
For example, the AP explained that the perpetrator in some of those 22 incidents used weapons other than firearms, and the contexts of the mass atrocities are different, "from family and neighborhood disputes to school and workplace shootings to explosions of gunfire in public spaces," the AP reported. Even murder-suicides compose a fraction of the numbers.
The way that Jean-Pierre presented her figure, its validity notwithstanding, suggested that every mass killing happens the same way with the same motive: one deranged perpetrator randomly mowing down innocent people. But, as the AP reported, that simply isn't true.
While it remains unclear where Jean-Pierre got the number, Mathew Littman, executive director of pro-gun reform organization 97Percent, went on CNN early Monday and claimed that there have been more than 200 mass shootings in 2023. That calculation includes incidents in which no one died.
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