Statistics do not and cannot lie. People can lie about them, and people can use them to distort an opinion. Numbers are of no effect until put to use by people, like guns. People use and misuse statistics on guns and crime every day. Several years ago, the publication Mother Jones began working on compiling and writing about “Mass Shootings.”
To its credit, Mother Jones links its statistical information as a download to its articles. Former President Obama and liberal surrogates constantly told us that we were at a 30 year low on crime in this country. That made me wonder why this country seemed so violent. We know we have had a rise in mass shootings over those 30 years. Did we know, however, about the rise in mass shooting by minority mass shooters?
This past year we had a rise in shootings of police officers. We show a rise in murders the past two years, and the murder rate may be lower overall nationally, but it has risen at its fastest rate since the 1970s. In our major cities, violent crime is spiraling.
In Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago, there is a war on civilization.
Murders skyrocketed. The murders in Chicago make up for more than half of the estimated 13.5% rise this past year in the U.S murder rate. The year 2016 saw innumerable riots. It ended and 2017 began with the horrific, racially motivated torture of a white, disabled man by four young Chicago miscreants.
Just as the Obama administration once claimed unemployment in such a discontented land was only 4.7%, something also doesn’t seem to match its narrative that the U.S. is safer now than it has been in decades. Then, the New Year rang in with another new mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport by a purported convert to radical Islam.
As early as June of 2016, I began to examine the data on mass shootings when a former law student of mine wrote a post blaming most mass shootings on white males. That is a deceptive and useless way to read the data. However, in the search for trends, a surprising and troubling truth emerged. Here is what I found in the data, which covers 1982 to present. (Again, this is not my data, but the data of liberal Mother Jones publication)
From 1982 through 2008, there were 47 mass shootings as defined by the publication. These “Mass Shootings” don’t include drug crimes and classic criminal activity. In the 1982-2008 mass shootings, 372 people died and 365 were wounded. All the shooters except one were male. Of the 47 mass shootings in that period, 70% were by white, male shooters. The white male population in that period was roughly 40% of the country. That same period saw only seven mass shootings by black shooters, or 14.8% of all the mass shootings. Of the mass shootings by blacks alone, all were done by black males, who made up roughly no more than 7% of the US population in that period. Only two Latinos were mass shooters in that 1982-2008 time period.
Overall, the total minority percentage of mass shooters from 1982 through 2008 was 26.6%, in line with the population.
In the 27 years including 1982 through 2008, we saw an average of 1.74 mass shootings per year, with an average death toll of 8 people per occurrence. While the data do not record religion, it appears that none of the mass shootings in the first 27 years was attributable to Muslims practicing Islam. The total Muslim population in the US in that period was well under 1%.
What happened to these mass shooting numbers after January of 2009?
From 2009 forward until the close of 2016, there were 36 mass shootings. In those 8 years we averaged 4.5 shootings per year. That is an increase of mass shootings of nearly 158% per year. White males, a population now of 31-32%, accounted for 39% of the mass shootings. That is a percentage decrease of over 44% from the prior period where white male shooters disproportionately dominated the ranks of these mass killers.
With the large increase in mass shootings, who is doing much of the shooting since the beginning of 2009?
Black males account for 19.4% of mass shootings from 2009-2016, or a 31% increase between the two periods. Minority shooters represent 61% of the shooters since 2009, not including the last two shootings. That’s an increase of nearly 130% over the prior period. Muslims represent five of the shooters and four of the incidents. With a population of 1% in the country, they represent 11% of the shooters.
Put statistically, mass shooters since 2009 compared to their race are:
Blacks males, 6-7% population, 19.4% of the shootings
Latino males, 8-9% of the population, 11% of the mass shootings
White males, 31-32% of the population, 39% of the mass shootings
Asian males, 2-3% of the population, 8% of the mass shootings
Put more starkly, the 7% black male population has engaged in mass shootings at a rate of 277% greater than its US population, or 2.75 times its population.
Muslims have engaged in mass shootings at a rate of 183 times its US male population. Non-Muslim white males, on the other hand, engage in Mass Shootings at about 1.25 times their US male population.
In fact, white males, once the primary offenders in these shootings at 70% of the total shootings are now in the minority. Mass shootings since 2009 are 61% the work of minorities, according to the data collected by Mother Jones.
Do you find these statistics alarming? Consider this; these numbers do not include the last two mass shootings, one of which was in 2016. Acran Cetin, the Cascades Mall shooter in Washington State was a naturalized citizen who immigrated here as a child. Mother Jones does not list his race. At the time of this writing, the shooting in Florida was purportedly by a man named Estaban Santiago, whose race likewise cannot yet be verified.
In 2017, as the Obama Presidency closes, we are well on our way to a year of more mass shootings.
Lest critics think I have sliced the data unfairly, I sliced it again. Rather than just pulling out the “Obama” presidency, I pulled out the Bush presidency to see if the numbers were changing gradually. I was surprised to find nearly no measurable change of significance.
In the Bush years of 2001-2008, the numbers nearly mirror the entire 1982-2008 period. That is, 66.67% of the mass shootings were by white males. There was only one female. The overall rate of shootings increased from 1.74 per year to 1.875 per year. The minority shooters included two blacks, no Hispanics, an Asian and a Native American Indian. Those minority numbers are nearly perfectly in tune with the population percentages of the respective groups, accept that Hispanics were not represented at all.
Everything seems to have changed in January 2009.
I can’t answer definitively why this remarkable statistical shift has taken place. Correlation does not equal causation. Some will say that I am trying to blame people of color, who they will say are disproportionately victims of a racist society. Some will say foolishly that it is the guns themselves. Some will say nearly anything out of anger or ignorance. I don’t say anything other than that the numbers tell a story.
Something has happened in this country and it happened quickly. We have to be brave enough to investigate the stark changes in criminal behavior without hiding from the facts. It is 100% true that overall our crime rate has dropped over the last 40 years.
Yes, in neighborhoods where many of us choose to live, life is safer than it has been in decades against violent crime generally. Still, indiscriminate killings in the form of mass shootings are up, and those involved in them have changed dramatically. We ought to find out why. In addition, the violence in pockets of this country has increased, not decreased. Chicago is just one example.
A full frontal assault on police has gone mainstream. Black athletes sit during the national anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the radical New Black Panther Party. Assassins now target and kill our police. In a full-on riot in Charlotte, 12 police officers were injured in one night in what the media euphemistically called a “protest.” We are seeing both the breakdown of the civil society and the radicalization of segments of American society.
It is, in my opinion, unmistakable that the tone set by former President Obama toward police was more hostile than any president in history. He coddled radical leaders, used race-hustlers like Al Sharpton as emissaries, and promoted the idea that enforcing the law against people of color is motivated by racism.
The country is a tinderbox of racial grudges. Riots break out even when black police shoot or apprehend armed felons engaged in felonious activity. The answers to this remarkable problem are more complex than pinning it on one man. One man, however, who controlled and recklessly misused the world’s greatest bully pulpit clearly had some effect. When he encouraged people to bully police and Americans to divide themselves along racial lines, he sparked animus and anger. That has been the Obama syndrome.
Is Mr. Obama to blame for all this? I reiterate my opinion I used to describe the Dallas police shootings.
Those who pulled the trigger are responsible. Those who encourage the violence are irresponsible, and those who celebrate the violence are despicable. We ought to prosecute the first group, educate the second group, and publicly shame the third group.
Likewise, we should embrace the civil society, and show respect for the rule of law and our fellow man, of any color or creed. While we do that, we should investigate, without political correctness, what has caused the dynamic shift in this country’s mass violence.
NOTE: The piece was written in July of 2016, then updated 5 times before its ultimate February 2017 publication. The line, “the country is a tinderbox of racial grudges” was in the first draft. Little have I ever written has been more true and prescient than that line.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.
Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.
At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.
Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.