Mass Shooting Map Follow-Up

As expected in the current political climate, my January map of mass shootings in 2017 had mixed reactions. The intention of the map was to objectively show the extent of mass shootings (defined as 4 or more victims in the same place and time, not including the shooter) in 2017 and specifically to point out how few of them are covered in the national news. Two questions that came up about it were how many of these incidents were acts of self defense and how many involved police. I think they’re fair questions – if many of these were acts of self-defense, it would have different implications than if they were aggressive acts. Police involvement in shootings is also a hot-button issue, so it’s worth looking into that as well.

Self Defense

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the source of the data, there were a total of 61,513 gun incidents (reported and verified) in the country last year. Of those, 2,040 involved shots fired in self defense (GVA defines defensive use as “The reported use of force with a firearm to protect and/or defend one’s self or family. Only verified incidents are reported.”). Of the 346 mass shootings, only 3 involved defensive use:

  • Nov 5, 2017 – Sutherland Springs, TX – An armed neighbor fired at gunman, causing him to flee – [DETAILS] [SOURCE]
  • Nov 11, 2017 – Fayetteville, NC – Defensive shots fired by a security guard – [DETAILS] [SOURCE]
  • Oct 23, 2017 – Clearlake Oaks, CA – Gunman was shot and arrested by nearby CA Highway Patrol officer – [DETAILS] [SOURCE]

Police as Victims

Of the 61,513 gun incidents in 2017, 317 involved an officer being shot with a total of 44 being killed on duty by firearms according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Of the 346 mass shootings, 9 involved a police officer on duty as a victim:

Comments 1

  • Good reporting. Let me ask one question….how many officers were “UNKNOWINGLY” targeted and shot/killed. Not including those who were on official business going into an incident?

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