Every time there is a shooting we are told that “we must act right now” to end this. Most recently we are told by radicals on the Left that “Republicans want children to die because they care more about guns”. You really can’t reason with these people.
Yes, something must be done to prevent future school shootings, which is why a few weeks ago I published an article on what we can do to make schools safer, such as allowing teachers to carry, hiring armed guards and making sure that doors are locked and that there’s only one way into the building. All of these would make schools safer and yet the leftwing radicals don’t even want to try these. Why? Because they are only concerned about disarming Americans. If they were truly concerned about the safety of children, instead of just using them for a political agenda, there shouldn’t be an issue with trying the above suggestions.
I want to go through some of the most popular myths involving guns and crime in America. No amount of facts are going to change the minds of the radicals, but I believe that there is a large portion of America who doesn’t have a problem with “common sense” gun control laws, but are willing to have a reasonable discussion.
For the Left to accomplish their goal, they need to convince people that this problem is out of control, because that’s the only way that they are going to succeed. They can’t pass laws that require Americans to just turn in their guns, because they know that a third of this country is never going to go along with it. So they need another tactic to convince you to give up your Constitutional right to own a firearm and that that right “Shall not be infringed”. And yes, despite the talking points, the second amendment is absolute.
So let’s go over some of the most common claims.
“27 school shootings have taken place so far this year”.
This claim originates with Education Week which tracks the number of school shootings each year. The only problem is that to get to this number, they exaggerate a lot of the incidences.
One example of this is when a 7 year old student was grazed by a bullet when a gun in a backpack accidentally discharged. Now I want to make it clear that I’m not defending 7 year old’s bringing guns to school, but should this really count as a school shooting?
Another example is when a student was shot by another student during a fight, in a school parking lot on a day when the school wasn’t in session. For some reason this still counts as a school shooting?
Several of these “school shootings” were when a student intentionally targeted one other student and did not target anyone else in the school. 10 of them weren’t even in schools. And a few took place after school hours.
Yes, any school shootings are tragic. Yes, steps should be taken to try to prevent this (like allow teachers to carry, hiring armed guards, and locking doors), but is this problem out of control? No.
School shootings and mass shootings outside of schools are extremely rare, despite the talking points. “No matter how they are defined, however, mass shootings are exceedingly rare events. Research by Duwe finds that the average, annual rate of U.S. mass shootings is less than one per 100 million people. Only 0.2% of all murders in the United States occur as part of mass shootings.” According to the CDC you have greater odds (1 in 500,000) of being stuck by lightening than you do in dying from a mass shooting.
Why are mass shootings increasing as much as they are?
This claim isn’t true either. School shootings and mass shootings are actually down significantly since 1992/1993.
So far the most dangerous year for mass shootings has been 2022. Oh, sorry that was a mistype. It was actually in 1929. Why do we feel like mass shootings are out of control? Because of the media.
In 2019, according to numbers released by the FBI, violent crime decreased from the highs of the 1990s by more than 50%.
Australia’s gun buyback program worked so why can’t we do it here?
Putting aside the cost of buying back 400 million firearms, we have this thing called a Constitution that states that my right to bear arms “shall not be infringed”. You can’t just pass a law to force people to give up their firearms just because you don’t like them.
But putting all of that aside, did Australia’s mandatory buyback program actually work?
The evidence is very weak. “A 2021 meta-analysis of the available evidence, conducted by the RAND Corporation, found that it’s very tricky to pin down the contribution of Australia’s policies to a reduction in gun violence due in part to the preexisting declining trend — that when it comes to overall homicides in particular, there’s not especially great evidence that Australia’s buyback had a significant effect.” “Not especially great evidence”, according to VOX.
If you go to the study, RAND notes that “Prior to the NFA, there was an existing, decreasing trend for both suicide and homicide rates”. So homicides and suicides were dropping even before the mandatory gun buyback program was in effect. They also state that “a policy intended to reduce firearm-related outcomes should be questioned if a similar trend is observed in non-firearm outcomes, because the policy was not intended to influence that outcome”.
RAND notes that “Most other studies have examined the NFA in its entirety and have examined changes in the trend of outcomes and whether the NFA caused a change in the trend. From these studies, it is difficult to estimate a causal effect of the law. This is because, from a design perspective, there is no adequate comparison group to serve as a proxy counterfactual; that is, what would have happened had Australia not adopted the NFA” and claims that “evidence is weak” if the mandatory buyback program had any effect on homicides.
Multiple other studies were done and they found the program had very little to no effect on homicides.
What actions could we take that would have an impact?
For this, putting the Constitutionality of these aside, I want to look just at what the study from RAND states about what may work when it comes to reducing gun violence.
Almost every claim of “if we did this than we could reduce gun violence” is inconclusive.
- Raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21: inconclusive
- Raising the minimum age for possession of guns: inconclusive.
- Mental health prohibitions: inconclusive
- Domestic violence prohibitions: inconclusive
- Background checks for private transfers (which the left is advocating for): inconclusive
- Background checks through the dealer (what we already have): Moderate
- Gun licensing: inconclusive
- Waiting period: Limited evidence
- Bans on “assault weapons”: inconclusive
- Bans on high capacity magazines: inconclusive
- Bans on low quality handguns: inconclusive
- Child access prevention laws: inconclusive.
- Pro 2-A reforms, like shall issue concealed carry (did this dramatically increase gun violence?): Inconclusive
The only category with supporting evidence to reduce homicides are stand your ground laws, but you would need to assume that homicides are always a bad thing. If someone breaks into your home and you shoot them, that still fits the definition of a homicide. Homicides aren’t always bad things.
A look at homicides show the same result in almost every category.
The Left wants to paint anyone that stands against any of these laws as “science deniers” but the science does not say that if these were implemented that they would reduce crime. The science does not say that if we banned all AR-15s, even if it was possible to get these guns off of the streets, that these school shootings would end. But we aren’t being told that. We are being told that banning AR-15s will end school shootings and if you don’t support taking away AR-15s than you want kids to die. The facts say something completely different but that would get in the way of the narrative that all Republicans are evil and want to murder people.
This doesn’t happen in any other country
They keep repeating this claim but if you actually look into the details you would see that it does happen in other countries.
First they manipulate these figures by eliminating the governments from the study that murder people due to there not being any Constitutional right to protect yourself against an out of control government like we have in the United States. Dictatorial governments hold the record for killing people but they don’t count that in their study.
They then eliminate all non-rich countries from the data and focus just on the rich countries, which makes zero sense.
According to a writer for the Chicago Tribune “Of the 97 countries where we identified mass public shootings (1998-2015), the U.S. ranks 64th per capita in its rate of attacks and 65th in fatalities. Major European countries, such as Norway, Finland, France, Switzerland and Russia, all have at least 25 percent higher per capita murder rates from mass public shootings.”
These claims of “the US is number 1 in gun violence” also don’t account for the fact that the population of the US is much larger than most other countries (only two countries, Russia and China, have a larger population than the US), so it makes sense why more people die from gun violence in the US than a country that is much smaller. Sure, we have more mass shootings than most other countries, but when you look at shootings per capita, we are no where close to the top of the list.
“You couldn’t own a cannon when the second amendment was passed”
These claims of “you couldn’t own a cannon when the second amendment was passed” or the “second amendment is not absolute” are just ridiculous. According to what law? What federal law was passed around the time that the second amendment was ratified that prevented private citizens from owning a cannon? Why is it that they keep making this claim and yet never bother to cite the actual law?
It’s because they don’t have a law to cite because this law didn’t exist. You absolutely could own a cannon when the second amendment was ratified, and even to this day you do have the right to own a cannon.
David Harsayni wrote a book on the gun laws of America. In it he wrote that “You absolutely could buy a cannon. There is zero historical evidence that Americans were barred from purchasing or constructing any type of weapon they pleased. Not only are there numerous accounts of the American military using, or purchasing, private cannons; privateers — as the name strongly suggests — relied on their own cannons, as well. (For their expedition, Lewis and Clark bought a privately owned small-bore cannon and Girardoni air rifle, which could shoot 30 or more times without reloading.)”
David French wrote that “it’s historically indisputable that the Founders protected the right of Americans to possess weapons that gave individual citizens far greater military parity with the government than American citizens possess now. The musket was the principal weapon of armed conflict in the 18th century. An American leaving his home with a musket was on par with a member of the Continental Line. Not so with an American who possesses any number of AR-15s or AK-47s. The contemporary gap between civilians and the military is vast and growing.”
Multiple historians have claimed that they can not find any laws that banned cannons, then or even today.
AR-15s make up a tiny part of the problem and yet that is what everyone focuses on. “We must ban these “weapons of war” and ” no one needs an AR-15″. But AR-15s are actually used in very few mass shootings compared to handguns. Only 2.5% of homicides are killed using AR-15s.
In 2020, all rifles combined killed fewer people in the US than hands, feet and fists and just slightly higher than clubs and hammers.
According to the Bureau of Justice, in 2016 about 90% of guns used in crimes were not purchased through a legal means. So no matter how many more laws you pass, the only thing that will do will prevent law abiding citizens from defending themselves.
An Assault Weapon ban was tried in the US and it worked
This leads me to the final myth that I’m going to debunk in this article, and that is that the assault weapons ban of 1994 is proof that bans do work.
Well, not exactly. Even the authors of the bill admit that there is almost zero evidence of this ban working. “The final report concluded the ban’s success in reducing crimes committed with banned guns was “mixed.” Gun crimes involving assault weapons declined. However, that decline was “offset throughout at least the late 1990s by steady or rising use of other guns equipped with [large-capacity magazines].” So banning AR-15s may reduce crimes committed with AR-15s, but that just means that crimes committed with handguns will increase.
If you want to have a discussion on what we could do to reduce gun violence in America, I’m open to having that discussion, but it starts with the other side being honest and not manipulating data. As I have shown you, none of these proposals will have any significant effect in reducing gun violence, if any at all. And in some cases they are just outright manipulating data such as the “27 school shootings in 2022” to make it seem as bad as possible, just to push a narrative, and that’s just outright disgusting.
One death is too many but I have yet to hear of a proposal that will actually solve or reduce the problem.
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