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Government Continues to Downplay, Distort Data on Defensive Gun Use


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In 2021, John R. Lott, Jr., the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released a paper on the “serious errors” he found in Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports purporting to track “active shooter incidents” (ASIs). The FBI’s annual or biannual reports – which aim “to provide federal, state and local law enforcement with data so they can better understand how to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these incidents” – contained, according to Dr. Lott, critical errors. In one instance, the failure to include “many major missed cases” meant that once those cases were accounted for, what the FBI had presented as a drastic increase in ASIs between 2000 and 2013 was actually a “slight, statistically insignificant upward trend over the 38 years from 1977 through 2014,” and one that was, moreover, attributable to high numbers in a single year (2012).

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