moments after the attacker who killed six people identified as transgender at a private school in Nashville, an unfounded narrative emerged: that there had been a staggering rise in transgender, or non-binary, mass shooters in recent years.
Some pundits and political influencers on social media have gone further, suggesting that pro-rights movements are radicalizing from trans activists to terrorists.
According to gender and criminology experts, the data tells a different story. Mass shootings of victims committed by someone who identifies as trans or non-binary are rare, and indeed these groups are far more likely to be victims of violence. Here’s a closer look at the facts.
CLAIM: Four recent shootings show there has been an “incredible surge” in transgender or non-binary mass shooters in recent years, making the group “by far the largest group engaged as a percentage of the population.”
Donald Trump Jr. widely tweeted the tale, claiming the alleged “incredible rise” and later saying a clear trend was emerging. The idea was reinforced by hundreds of other social media users. Trump Jr. did not respond to a request for comment.
THE FACTS: While it can be difficult to isolate specific data on transgender and non-binary mass shootings, the available information shows that the overwhelming majority of mass shooting attackers are Cis males.
In making the claim, social media users cite four examples from the past five years where the attacker was identified as trans or non-binary in a shooting: November Killing five in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado; A 2019 Filming at a school near Denver by two gunmen, one a trans man, who killed a student and injured eight; a 2018 Shooting at a warehouse in Maryland that left four dead, including the shooter; and the Shooting in Nashville on Monday.
The number of mass shootings committed by people who identified as trans or non-binary — and their relationship to mass shootings committed by other groups — is difficult to quantify. How the plot is defined and how gender identity is recorded depends on the database used – for example, transgender men can only be statistically counted as men. However, experts agree that the most reputable information still shows a clear pattern that cisgender men are the most likely to commit such an act of mass violence.
Use of Archives of Gun Violenceand a definition for mass shootings that means “at least four gunshot wounds,” there have been 3,561 mass shootings since early 2016.
Laura Dugan, a professor of human safety and sociology at Ohio State University, said that of the four commonly cited examples of the 3,561 shootings, 0.11% were committed by someone who is not cis — a very low number compared to the Total number of mass shootings.
“We can’t statistically claim a trend,” she said.
Dugan also pointed this out There are some doubts about the non-binary identity claimed by the gunman from Colorado Springs.
James Alan Fox, a statistician and professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University, is helping to maintain the Associated Press-USA TODAY-Northeast Database on US Mass Murders, which does not contain complete data on the sex of the perpetrators. The claims on social media this week amount to extreme cherry picking on the data, he said.
“There’s a lot of mass shootings, hundreds of mass shootings, and to pick four of them and say that’s a trend, that’s wrong,” Fox said. “You cannot conclude that this is significant. It is not significant in any statistical sense.”
Olivera Jokić, the director of the gender studies program at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, referred to a National Judicial Institutes Database tracking mass shootings in the US – defined as shootings that resulted in the death of four or more people – from 1966 to 2019. The research found that of the 172 people who committed public mass shootings recorded in the database, 97.7% were men. The data do not distinguish between transgender and cisgender offenders.
“The political rhetoric that uses ‘statistical information’ about the gender identification of mass shooters is wrong,” she said, “and appears to serve to distract from existing discussions of mass shootings as a public health problem.”
The claims come amid a spate of legislation across the country aimed at transgender people. Conservative lawmakers are introducing dozens of proposals state houses to restrict transgender athletes, gender-affirming care And drag shows. Last week, two laws passed in Iowa restricting the restrooms that transgender students can use and banning gender-affirming medical care. Other Legislative proposals in at least eight states could prevent transgender people from changing their driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
With that in mind, studies also show that transgender people are more than four times more likely to be victims of violent crime than cisgender people, according to a report by the Williams Institute, an LGBTQ think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“This is exploiting the tragedy for political ends,” Fox said. “One should not come to the conclusion that if they are trans or non-binary they are more likely to commit a crime like this.” ___
This is part of AP’s efforts to address widespread misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact checking at AP.
Source : news.yahoo.com