Criminology Professor to CNN's Tapper: Mass Shootings Aren't an 'Epidemic'

June 16, 2014 | 1:07 PM EDT

[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]

On the 12 June 2014 edition of CNN's The Lead, James Allen Fox used actual crime data to splash cold water on a liberal talking point claiming that mass shootings on the rise: "It's a horrific event when four, five, twelve people are gunned down...But let's not think that this is an epidemic." Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, also pointed out that the now-expired "assault weapons" had little impact on the number of mass shootings.

Anchor Jake Tapper wondered "what does society need to do" to prevent such events from happening. His guest actually contended that it would be overkill to implement draconian measures in response to such massacres:

JAMES ALAN FOX, CRIMINOLOGY PROFESSOR, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: Well, if you want to stop them, there's things we can do, but I don't think we will do them...are we going to eliminate private ownership of handguns? I doubt it. Are we going to round up and arrest everyone who looks a little bit bizarre...or wears black clothing, or has a scary Facebook page? I doubt it.

You see, we treasure our personal freedoms in America, and unfortunately, occasional mass shootings – as horrific as they are – is one of the prices that we pay for the freedoms that we enjoy. I don't want to minimize the pain and suffering of the victims and their families and those communities. They're horrific. But it's not an epidemic. Let's not go in a knee-jerk way, and change the society for something that happens very rarely.