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HORIST: The facts on mass shootings

HORIST: The facts on mass shootings

The exact number of so-called “mass shootings” is difficult to precisely determine because there is no empirical definition.  The closest we have to an accounting is the number advanced by Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a research organization that tracks gun violence.

According to GVA, there have been 248 mass shootings in the United States in 2019 – or an average of 1.2 mass shootings every day.  They resulted in 979 people being hit and 245 of them dying.

Wow!  I bet those are much higher numbers than you imagined.  The GVA defines a mass shooting as an event where “four or more people, excluding the perpetrators, are shot in one location at roughly the same time.”

But before we examine the facts behind those numbers, we should understand the current narrative.

The left-wing press would have you believe that most mass shootings are the result of white supremacy.  They profile the shooters as young white males motivated by racial hatred.  They cite El Paso as a prime example.

They also imply that the so-called “assault rifle” is the weapon of choice – although there is no such unique definition of a weapon.  It is a colloquial term.  Most guns are either automatic or semi-automatic.  Automatic weapons are illegal.  The infamous AR-15 is essentially the same as a hunting rifle – you need to pull the trigger to release each round.  This misimpression was advanced by CNN’s Erin Burnett when she shouted down former Senator Rick Santorum — insisting that the assault rifle is the weapon of choice in most mass shootings.

For sure, El Paso was the work of a racist – a white supremacist – who feared the influx of Hispanics.  One can also accept the reports from the FBI that white supremacy violence is on the uptick.  In fact, it is said to have jumped 200 percent in the past few years.  That number is not so scary if you consider the low number of violent acts by white supremacists vis a vis the much larger number of violent acts not related to white supremacy.  Heinous as they are, attacks by white supremacists are not pandemic as the left contends – while ignoring violence on the left.d

That is not to suggest that white supremacy violence is NOT a problem – and a growing one.  Or that we should not be concerned and not respond with full force.  We need to recognize that political violence has a larger impact on society – fair or not – than what we might call common violence.

Since the Dayton shooting there have been five additional mass shootings in America according to the GVA.  Ponder that for a moment.  Five mass shootings that have been totally ignored by the mainstream media.

Just for the record, they are:

August 4, Chicago, 7 wounded in a drive-by shooting

August 4, Chicago, 1 dead, 7 wounded

August 4, Grenada, Mississippi, 4 wounded (assailant unknown)

August 4, Memphis, Tennessee, 1 dead, 3 wounded

August 5, Brooklyn, New York, 4 wounded at candlelight vigil

Granted, none of these are as horrific as El Paso and Dayton, but they are also not irrelevant.  Also, the two incidents in Chicago, do not reflect the non-mass shootings over the weekend that wounded more than fifty people and killed seven.

What is also noteworthy is that they are not the exclusive work of “young white males.”  In fact, they would be a minority among the known shooters.  A high proportion occurred in minority neighborhoods in Democrat-run communities – which may explain why these mass shootings do not get much attention from Democrat politicians and their media allies.  Furthermore, the vast majority of the shootings were NOT committed with the so-called assault rifle.

It would most certainly not be appropriate to put many of these mass shootings on par with El Paso and Dayton – both in the numbers killed and the political motivations.  El Paso was the result of a radicalized white supremacist and Dayton the work of a left-wing Antifa warrior – although that fact has been largely ignored by the east coast progressive media.

We do not diminish the meaning of El Paso and Dayton by openly addressing the bigger picture of mass shootings AND non-mass shootings.  But we do a great disservice by ignoring them.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. James McDonald

    The entire 2nd amendment argument is wrapped about the idea that “Society will provide protection. People are not responsible for their own defense. Therefore, there is no need for anyone to have a weapon.” They align the possession of a weapon with intent to do harm. After all, there is no other purpose for a weapon.

    This argument falls apart when you consider the fact that Self Defense was a God Given right (to use the common English term) and that the confiscation of weapons by the British in their initial occupation of the colonies was seen as a way to control the colonies.

    The AR-15 is the Flashpoint here. The Hollywood Mantra of men carrying assault weapons has pushed the big lie that “these Evil Guns” are responsible for all of the crime in the world. FBI statistics do not support this as the use of 12 of these weapons being used in crimes in 2019 (So far) out of the 15 MILLION in circulation shows a far better behavior record then any of the Democratic Party.

    We seek to point at the weapon as “the root cause of the evil”. We don’t want to accept that there are evil people who use weapons in this world. As Col. Dave Grossman said long ago “There are Sheep and there are Wolves. And there are sheepdogs”. If you want to be a sheep, and there are wolves around, Pray for a sheepdog.

    Grr. Long day. and it isn’t even noon yet.

  2. Steven Grenz

    248/365=.68 not 1.2 i.e. less than 1 shooting per day in 2019.

    • Knock Knock

      It’s only August, Steve.

  3. Cliff

    Donald is for we the people so I’m sort of OK with his Red Gun law. The reason I would never vote to accept it is because Donald is not always going to be our President and if after he is gone, some left thinking anti America politician were to gain access to the oval office, that person could use the Red Gun Law to do away with the second amendment and take all of our guns away. Then the left thinkers could easily manipulate, control and rule us as the British were attempting to do in 1776.

  4. LDC

    The FBI needs to start doing there job. They have many ways to look at these people. The media figures it out after the shooting in less then an hour. Come on FBI or are you too busy looking for Russian collution.

    • RON


  5. Larry Horist

    Those are 2019 figures and it is only August.

  6. Kurt Walker

    I have no useful purpose for an AR-15. But this attack on this particular weapon is only to establish a precedent. For destructive purposes a sawed off semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun, loaded with 00 buckshot or slugs provides much greater coverage per round. However if the politicians can get one (1) weapon banned it’s a short step to the death of the 2nd amendment.