We Can't Believe These Agencies

Too often, the U.S. government skews statistics
on gun use to push false narratives.

Photo: agsandrew/iStock

By Susanne Edward. Nov 29, 2023

While Americans are frequently confronted with stories centered on guns being used to take lives, few are aware that many more humans are likely saved by firearms every year. A key reason for this lack of understanding is unreliable federal crime data—data that has too often been skewed by anti-gun politics.

As currently defined by the FBI, active-shooter incidents involve individuals who kill or attempt to kill people in a populated, public place, even if only one shot is fired or the intended target is not struck. Shootings that are related to other criminal activities, such as robberies or drug-turf wars, are not included in the FBI's "Active Shooter Incident" reports.

But, according to economist John Lott, there was an abundance of cases missing or misidentified by the FBI, and while the FBI acknowledged errors, the Bureau failed to update the reports for accuracy purposes. Lott is the president and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), and also worked in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) up until January 2021 as senior advisor for research and statistics evaluating the FBI's reports.

"The FBI continues to report that armed citizens stopped only 14 of the 302 active shooter incidents that it identified for the period 2014-2022. The correct rate is almost eight times higher. And if we limit the discussion to places where permit holders were allowed to carry, the rate is eleven times higher," wrote Lott [...] .....


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