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differences of opinion continue to stir the anti-firearm crowd - especially when each party uses different data streams...


Regular Member
Aug 22, 2013
here nc
Here’s a breakdown of the FBI’s data for “active” shootings over the past five years:
2016: 20​
2017: 31​
2018: 30​
2019: 30​
2020: 40​

Here’s the number of “mass” shootings for the same timeframe from the Gun Violence Archive [GVA]:
2016: 382​
2017: 346​
2018: 337​
2019: 417​
2020: No data posted​

According to their new report titled: “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2020,” the FBI defines active shootings as:
Shootings in public places​
Shootings occurring at more than one location​
Shootings where the shooter’s actions were not the result of another criminal act​
Shootings resulting in a mass killing​
Shootings indicating apparent spontaneity by the shooter​
Shootings where the shooter appeared to methodically search for potential victims​
Shootings that appeared focused on injury to people, not buildings or objects​

Shootings were excluded from the FBI’s list if they were the result of:
Gang violence​
Drug violence​
Contained residential or domestic disputes​
Controlled barricade/hostage situations​
Crossfire as a byproduct of another ongoing criminal act​
An action that appeared not to have put other people in peril​

By comparison, the Gun Violence Archive, or GVA, excludes nothing, even if the shooting is gang or drug related – the two main causes of most violence in the country today.

GVA believes that equal importance is given to the counting of those injured as well as killed in a mass shooting incident,” their website states.

Of the active shootings that occurred last year, the FBI found that “none of the total 40 incidents occurred in educational environments, health care facilities, or houses of worship.”

FBI report Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2020 cite:


Regular Member
Jul 1, 2008
Newport News, Virginia, USA
While I don't necessarily agree with the GVAs definition of a "Mass Shooting" event, why does the FBI list fatalities as a requirement for an "Active Shooter" event? What are these events if no one is killed? Just target practice?

How does the FBI classify victims of "Crossfire as a byproduct of another ongoing criminal act"? Just collateral damage? They list two of these ongoing criminal acts separately; Gang & Drug violence. And if the event isn't due to "another ongoing criminal act"? Are they "hunting accidents"?

As for the relative significance of fatalities v non-fatalities, we shouldn't assume that non-fatalities are all just minor wounds. Some of these events have left victims seriously impaired requiring life-long care, not to mention financially ruined. And no, they shouldn't be able to sue the gun manufacturer.