More Media Bias on TV Police Shows: Lots of Criminals Using Machine Guns in Different Places

Apr 19, 2024 | Media Bias

As the Crime Prevention Research Center has often pointed out, television crime shows seem to think criminals constantly use machine guns to commit crime. Unfortunately, CBS’ SWAT is no different (Season 7, Episode 3, March 1, 2024). This episode shows several machine guns being fired in multiple locations.

In real life, criminals generally use machine guns so rarely that a 2016 survey of prison inmates only broke down the numbers for uses in crime of handguns (11.2%), rifles (0.8%), and shotguns (1.1%). There are few rifles, and the survey did not mention fully automatic weapons. A similar finding is available from the FBI UCR report, where 2.6% of all murders involve rifles of any type, and 0.3% of all murders involve unspecified “other guns.” There is a reason for that. Since 1934, there was only one possible known use of a civilian using a machine gun in a murder. And even before 1934, they were very rare.

Examples of similar television shows can be found here.

CBS’ SWAT (Season 7, Episode 3, March 1, 2024)