You’ve probably heard the good news by now, that since 1996, Australia hasn’t had a single mass shooting incident.
Zero. Zip. Nada.
This claim is being touted everywhere you look. In Australia, it’s been reproduced on ABC news, 9News, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Sky News, oh and yes, Mamamia, just to name a few.
The figure has also made international headlines and CNN, LA Times, Slate, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal have all uncritically reproduced the figure.
Which is super awkward for all involved.
Because it’s a Big. Fat. Lie.
Yes, I’m sorry to bust your bubble Australia, but the claim that we have had zero mass shootings since Port Arthur is complete furphy.
Let me explain.
The most widely agreed upon definition of a ‘mass shooting’ is one where four or more people (not including the shooter) are shot and/ or killed in a single incident at the same general time and location. This can occur in a public or private place.
Oh how quickly we seem to have forgotten these people:
The Hunt family. Image: Les Smith
To recap: in 2014, Geoff Hunt used a gun to murder his wife, Kim, and three children, Mia, Fletcher and Phoebe, before turning the weapon on himself.
That’s four people. Not including the shooter. Killed in a single shooting incident. At the same general time and location.