Adam Lankford is the go-to researcher most referenced when the anti-gunners spout off about how the United States leads the world when it comes to mass shootings. Of course, that “claim” is automatically followed by the notion that our Second Amendment is to blame.
Journalists are supposed to be trained to be skeptics. “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out” is one of the guiding journalism-instructor mottos.
So, what happened when Lankford published a study in the “Violence and Victims” journal? Liberal media outlets took his conclusions as gospel. But in the aftermath, a few independent thinkers have had the sense to question Lankford’s research methods. Guess what? He won’t even answer basic questions about how he conducted his study. If that’s not enough to cast doubt on his data, it should be.
But John Lott, at the Crime Prevention Research Center, has taken the critique a bit further. His team tried to duplicate Lankford’s research and found—surprise!—that Lankford considerably underestimated the number of mass shootings abroad. Lankford said there were about 90 over a 46-year period; Lott’s crew found thousands, leading them to believe that Lankford didn’t use foreign languages to search for data and that no translator cross-checked the information.
That kind of puts things in a truer perspective, when one is scratching his head wondering about the nonsensical notion that mass shootings only happen in the United States—or whatever other bogus claims the gun control folks throw at you.
Check out an overview of Lott’s rebuttal. As he says, if peers or journalists had bothered to do even the most basic vetting of Lankford’s absurd assertions, the rumor might never have gotten started. But, of course, that didn’t fit their agenda, and so we’re left to dispel the myth that has been repeated so often that many unsuspecting souls take it for truth.