I keep seeing a claim on social media claiming something to the effect of:

[First world country] has had [small number] mass shootings since [18whatever]
The US has had 7 since Monday.

I'm assuming that they're counting shootings differently for each country to get such a biased outcome, but I can't see where the number 7 came from.

  • I don't know about Canada, but it looks like there were 10 in the US in the week before 13th June, and 14 in the week before 12th, defined as "4+ victims injured or killed excluding the perpetrator, one location" - gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting - to get it down as low as 7, I imagine they must be counting only "deadly" shootings where multiple people were shot and injured and also at least one non-perpetrator was killed? Do any of these comments have more specific wording? Jun 13 '16 at 7:44
  • 9
    We've had similar questions in the past and they didn't work because people started arguing about the meaning of "mass shooting". Please find a specific claim that includes data so this can be answered definitely instead of speculated on.
    – Sklivvz
    Jun 13 '16 at 7:47
  • 1
    Essentially it all depends on what you mean by 'mass shooting'. This article gives a good explanation of why numbers vary and what the differences are: cbc.ca/news/world/mass-shootings-us-numbers-1.3349917 Jun 13 '16 at 13:16
  • 1
    We could also just treat the definition problem as a red herring and present all the data. People love to find reasons to argue about definitions, cause they know how to do that.
    – user30557
    Jun 13 '16 at 15:22
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    The claim is widespread and, by normal definitions, notable. The raw data should be accessible and definitions should not be a barrier to interpretation. For example, 4 or "more people shot" seems reasonable but if the raw data is there than readers can adjust the total to their own definition. A good answer would explain the definition and the raw data leaving no ambiguity.
    – matt_black
    Jun 13 '16 at 15:43

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