“We don’t call them mass knifings when they happen in the UK, a country more than happy to have the kinds of law the @nytimes editorial page apparently approves of. Suddenly it’s a murder spree…But when a gun is involved it’s called a mass shooting.” —@DLoesch #TuesdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/fsY3wu0xo2
— NRATV (@NRATV) May 22, 2018
National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesperson Dana Loesch said something entirely and demonstratively false about guns, knives and the media on Monday.
Directly addressing the camera on NRATV’s Relentless program, Loesch started off by chiding the New York Times for its reliance on statistics that don’t quite seem right to members of the NRA.
After vaguely criticizing research that suggests America’s gun ownership rate–the highest in the world–bears some sort of positive and correlative relationship to the number of mass shootings in the country, Loesch attacked the phrase “mass shooting” itself. She said:
[W]ell, what they call mass shootings, which often aren’t mass shootings at all…And they further claim that among all countries with far fewer guns, there have been less of these mass shootings. “Mass shooting” is such a funny description anyways because we don’t call them “mass knifings” when they happen in the U.K.
Here, Loesch is incorrect. Large-scale knife attacks actually are referred to as “mass knifings” when they happen in the U.K. or anywhere else.
An archival search of conservative-leaning Drudge Report archives shows at least one use of the term “mass knifing” in reference to a knife attack in London in 2016. A Google search for search terms “mass knifing” and “London” pulls up at least two articles referring to the same attack using the phrase Dana Loesch doesn’t seem to believe exists.
Beyond the U.K., however, the phrase “mass knifing” is used fairly regularly. The Los Angeles Times used the phrase to described a 2014 attack in China. In 2015, London’s liberally-inclined The Guardian used the phrase to refer to the legal outcome for the perpetrator of that 2014 attack. The U.K.’s Daily Express used the phrase to describe a knife attack on schoolchildren in China in 2016.
Left-leaning Heavy.com used the phrase to describe various attacks in 2017. Another left-leaning paper, The Independent (also from the U.K.) used the phrase in 2015 as well. Progressive media outfit The Huffington Post used the phrase to describe an attack on schoolchildren in Pennsylvania in 2014. Even CNN used the phrase to describe the aforementioned attack in China in 2015.
Loesch continued, “Suddenly it’s a murder spree or a mass casualty incident. But when a gun is involved, it’s called a mass shooting, and that’s so the focus remains on the firearm.”
[image via screengrab/NRATV]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.