Durbin Calls For Fuller News Coverage Of Mass Shootings Across All Communities

Durbin notes that mass shootings are often subjectively defined and covered in media reports; also shares story of seven-year-old shot in Chicago, Illinois, this weekend

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about the public health crisis of gun violence in Illinois and across the nation. During his speech, Durbin shared the story of seven-year-old Jaslyn Adams, who was shot and killed in the back seat of a car while at a McDonald’s drive through on Sunday afternoon.  She was one of 27 people shot in Chicago this weekend; five lost their lives. 

“These are just some of more than 100 Americans who [are] killed every single day by guns in this nation. This, unfortunately, is not an isolated set of events. This is not just a rare, tragic weekend. This is America 2021,” Durbin said.

Citing a Chicago Tribune column that pointed out selective coverage of mass shootings by the media, Durbin called for news coverage of mass shootings to use data from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines mass shootings using objective numerical criteria and tracks shootings in almost real-time with citations, so we can better understand the full scope of this crisis that is killing so many Americans.

“All too often mass shootings in communities of color are left out of the coverage. This is wrong. It is unfair. It is nothing short of an outrage. It needs to change,” Durbin said. “I believe that news coverage of mass shootings in America should use the definition and statistics provided by the Gun Violence Archive. They define a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot and either killed or injured, not including the shooter.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

According to the Gun Violence Archive’s definition, there have been at least 153 mass shootings so far this year after 109 days.  Nine of this year’s mass shootings so far have taken place in Chicago, with four people fatally shot in those shootings and 50 injured.