Researcher Sees Massive Decline in ‘Mass Gun Violence’ This Year – Bearing Arms

Researcher Sees Massive Decline in ‘Mass Gun Violence’ This Year – Bearing Arms

Gun control groups will undoubtedly try to spin this as the result of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Joe Biden establishing a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, or maybe even the ATF’s abuse of its rulemaking authority, but criminologist James Alan Fox has a different theory for why incidents of “mass gun violence” are plummeting so far this year: the law of gravity.

“I call it Newton’s Law of Crime Statistics: What goes up, must come down. Just like the homicide rate more generally, spikes in mass shootings tend to be followed by corrective declines,” Fox told The Center Square in an email.


“There really is no epidemic of mass shootings; the epidemic in the level of fear that is way out of proportion with the risk,” he said.


He argues that when the media reports hundreds of cases of mass gun violence a year whenever they report on incidents with many fatalities, they give a misleading impression because most mass shootings don’t involve more than one death.


David Keene former president of the National Rifle Association, agrees the press misleads the public when it reports on mass killings as if such events often committed with an AR 15-style rifle are typical.


“Long guns, including so called assault weapons have never been the real problem; the mentally disturbed and criminals are the problem, but the media demonizes the gun rather than those who misuse it,” Keene told The Center Square.

According to Fox, incidents of “mass gun violence”, defined by the Gun Violence Archive as any incident in which more than four people were shot, have declined by nearly 50 percent compared to the same time period in 2023. 

I agree with Fox that the media sensationalizes high-profile shooting incidents, as well as Keene’s assessment that the media inevitably focuses on the gun (and our gun laws) rather than concerning itself too much with the perpetrator’s history. Fox is right as well when he talks about the historic ebb and flow of crime rates, but it’s important to remember that, according to the cult of gun control’s fundamental tenet of faith, more guns equates to more crime. 

We’ve seen more than 1 million gun sales each month for more than four years now, so if the prohibitionists were on point we’d expect that violent crime would be exponentially worse than what it was back in 2020. Instead, crime analyst Jeff Asher says that in many U.S. cities the number of shootings has fallen to below pre-pandemic levels… with a couple of notable exceptions. 

Two cities — Seattle and DC — stand out for having not experienced declining gun violence yet. Both cities appeared to be seeing a dip in late 2022 before that trend reversed. There are other places — such as Memphis — that would undoubtedly fit with this group if that city published gun violence data, but there aren’t a ton of such cities with available data showing a sustained rise in gun violence.

D.C. is one of the most gun-controlled cities in the country, but it’s also seen a sustained increase in homicides over the past six years. Seattle, meanwhile, doesn’t have a lot of local gun control ordinances, but the Democrats who control the state legislature have adopted a number of new restrictions on lawful gun owners over the past decade, which have done nothing at all to curb the city’s homicide rate. As recently as 2020 the city recorded fewer than 100 murders, but this year the city is on pace to see twice as many homicides. 

If gun control activists can’t plausibly take credit for the drop in shootings, then what is responsible for the plunge? In most cities, it’s simply a return to normal (or what passes for normality these days) in policing and the criminal justice system. Courts are clearing backlogs of cases and many jurisdictions are now moving away from the “defund the police” mentality that took hold in 2020 and are increasing police budgets and staffing, which in turn is leading to more consequences for violent offenders. 

Despite what anti-gunners claim, the influx of armed citizens over the past few years hasn’t led to an explosion of violent crime or shootings. In Baltimore, for instance, there were fewer than 300 homicides in 2023; the first time that’s happened since 2015, and with thousands of new concealed carry holders thanks to the Bruen decision. It’s impossible to know what kind of impact those armed citizens have had on the mentality of criminals in Charm City, but those concealed carry holders certainly aren’t making the city a more dangerous place. 

In city after city the statistics are telling the same story; you don’t need gun control laws to protect the public, and in fact those laws are no guarantee that crime will drop at all. Targeting violent offenders while leaving lawful gun owners alone remains the best strategy to fight crime, but that will never be acceptable to the petty tyrants who would strip us of our Second Amendment rights with the false promise of public safety.

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