When I first encountered the “No Notoriety” and ” Don’t Name Them” movements online, whose claim is that mass shooters seek “fame” in order to “inspire” or create “contagion effects,” I thought, gee, it is antithetical to democratic discourse to disguise, obscure, or deny insight into ” facts” in “democratic” media–directly against the very core of reporting, which asks the reporter to identify the sacred 6″Ws” of journalism when telling a story:
Who. What. When. Where. Why. And because journalists humor is often quite dry, we are instructed in J-school to include the word How, in “the Six W’s of Journalism,” probably just to confuse our editors. BUt anyone who is tasked with telling a story–such as PR persons and SEO marketers– and all investigators also use this method, though the name may differ.
My clever readers might have noticed that “Who” is the most important detail in that lineup–the very first question that gets asked or answered. So, I thought “what malignant bad actors, democratic posers, or fascist/Stalinist elements are behind such a dialogue?” And “how could any American believe that hiding facts from the public be in the interests of democratic discourse?” Much less the very first, most important detail of ANY and EVERY narrative.
I posited that maybe it was some interest group or political PAC type of public relations scumbag, targeting easy targets like the sad and angry parents of children who had died in mass shootings, and them, putting them under the sway of some evil public relations firm for easy clickbait or something. But who could have such a huge budget for that kind of “influence operation”–what kind of soulless, sociopathic, anti-democratic monsters would target the parents of dead children with an “influence operation?”
I began to hatch an admittedly cockamamie “theory” that it was far right religious fanatics, or maybe “the Russian’s” or “the Chinese”–even possibly “ISIS” or “ISIL” or any of those ever changing evil geniuses in the middle east who were seeking to undermine American freedom and democracy, by influencing journalists to forego their training in ethics, and reportage in the public interests to obscure important “facts,” like the names of mass shooters!
Then, I thought “maybe it’s just some mad scientists, and others whose claims were based on biased data, and junk science,” who were trying to make a name for themselves in academia by writing papers filled with bad evidence, and false claims, maybe because they needed attention, or some grant money or something; and then I decided to research the topic in earnest. I began my hypotheses thus:
- what kind of anti-democratic, anti-free press, shady operators would try to influence both academics, and the free press, to conceal/obscure/ hide important facts, against the public’s “right to know?”
- do mass shooters actually seek notoriety?
- In the history of journalism, what other types of governments/societies/cultures advocated for hiding facts from the public?
These three questions above guide my work below, which is just beginning. But I am happy to report that of the most surprising findings, answering the question “what kind of anti-democratic, shady operators….” the answer can be found in this story below about a guy from the FBI, working an “influence operation” aka a “mind control” PSYOP, on a few rubes in the American Southwest in 2014:
FBI to media: Don’t name mass shooters
Well, there you go for an answer to the question “what kind of shady, anti-democratic, fascist/Stalinist, scumbag,”, etc. would try to erase the most important detail of all journalism, ever, in stories about mass shootings. I mean–if you have nothing to hide, right guys?
But that wasn’t how the official story began by a long shot. No–that story arguably began much earlier, and in other era’s–a topic too big for this blog post.
Arguably, we see the beginnings of it in the school shootings of Kip Kinkle–who has remained silent, and definitely HAS NOT sought notoriety of any kind until recently, where he made a full apology for his heinous crime. THe narrative then was that he was insane.
And we see this theatrical influence operation aspect emerge in the case of the Columbine massacre–that same Columbine event where the son of an FBI agent* participated in filming a mock-up of the shooting itself, a year or two before the actual shooting happened; and that exact FBI agent participating in that exact investigation, much as we see with the curious positioning of the Manfredonia crime dynasty to the Newtown Ct, “Sandy Hook” shooting too.In the latter case, Manfredonia family members were present at the crime scene, and later, one of their own became a mass killer too.
Then, if anything began to be conatgious, aka “create social contagion and copycat” events, it was this exact fraudulent narrative. Let’s take a look at one analyses of the junk science that is used to cover the tracks of these dirty gang stalkers in various US military/intelligence/policing web of “mass shooting creators;” as the following study notes:
How a Botched Study Fooled the World About the U.S. Share of Mass Public Shootings: U.S. Rate is Lower than Global Average
34 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018
Crime Prevention Research Center
Date Written: August 25, 2018
A paper on mass public shootings by Adam Lankford (2016) has received massive national and international media attention, getting coverage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, plus hundreds of other news outlets spanning at least 35 different countries. Lankford’s claim was that over the 47 years from 1966 to 2012, an enormous amount of the world’s mass public shooters — 31% — occurred in the United States. Lankford attributed this to America’s gun ownership.
Lankford claims to have “complete” data on such shooters in 171 countries. However, because he has neither identified the cases nor their location nor even a complete description on how he put the cases together, it is impossible to replicate his findings.
It is particularly important that Lankford share his data because of the extreme difficulty in finding mass shooting cases in remote parts of the world going back to 1966. Lack of media coverage could easily lead to under-counting of foreign mass shootings, which would falsely lead to the conclusion that the U.S. has such a large share.
Lankford’s study reported that from 1966 to 2012, there were 90 public mass shooters in the United States and 202 in the rest of world. We find that Lankford’s data represent a gross undercount of foreign attacks. Our list contains 1,448 attacks and at least 3,081 shooters outside the United States over just the last 15 years of the period that Lankford examined. We find at least fifteen times more mass public shooters than Lankford in less than a third the number of years.
Even when we use coding choices that are most charitable to Lankford, his 31 percent estimate of the US’s share of world mass public shooters is cut by over 95 percent. By our count, the US makes up less than 1.43% of the mass public shooters, 2.11% of their murders, and 2.88% of their attacks. All these are much less than the US’s 4.6% share of the world population. Attacks in the US are not only less frequent than in other countries, they are also much less deadly on average.
Given the massive U.S. and international media attention Lankford’s work has received, and given the considerable impact his research has had on the debate, it is critical that this issue be resolved. His unwillingness to provide even the most basic information to other researchers raises real concerns about Lankford’s motives.
Keywords: mass public shootings, cross-country data, mass murder, terrorism,
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Lott, John R., How a Botched Study Fooled the World About the U.S. Share of Mass Public Shootings: U.S. Rate is Lower than Global Average (August 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3238736
When I realized that it was the FBI creating the false narrative, all bets were off that America is anything other than a secret police state, ruled by an opaque group of religious zealots who work from within intellegence and security apparatus.
Then I looked a little deeper, and guess what?
Yup: some people in America truly do want to have an eastern block styled press, rather than a free press. So SAY THEIR NAMES! And follow the leads where they take you, which WILL BE directly to these agencies, who are indeed part of an actual “plot,” as they say in any writing class.
….post in progress, check back later