President Biden wants the country to act following a school shooting Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, that left at least 19 children and two adults dead.
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” said Biden from the White House Tuesday night. “When in God’s name are we going to do what we know needs to be done?”
While it’s understandable that there is an impulse to want to do something after these tragedies, one must pause and consider the facts about active shooters and gun-related violence in America.
Here are eight facts that need to be part of the conversation moving forward:
1. Most Mass Killers Bought Their Guns Legally
As the New York Times recently reported, “From 1966 to 2019, 77 percent of mass shooters obtained the weapons they used in their crimes through legal purchases, according to a comprehensive survey of law enforcement data, academic papers and news accounts compiled by the National Institute of Justice, the research wing of the Justice Department.”
Democratic lawmakers are now making a push to criminalize private transfers (aka pass universal background checks), but in the majority of cases, there was nothing to disqualify these killers from purchasing a firearm from a gun shop (or FFL).
2. The “Preferred” Firearm of Active Shooters Isn’t an AR, It’s a Handgun
There’s a narrative that the “preferred weapon” of active shooters is an AR-pattern rifle. However, this is not true. The majority of active shooters use handguns to perpetrate their attacks.
According to Statista, between 1982 and May 2022, handguns were used in about 77 percent of mass shootings.
The Bloomberg-funded publication, The Trace, has even reported on this. It found that pistols were used in 56 percent of active shooter events between 2000 and 2015.
The deadliest school shooting in American history, the one at Virginia Tech in 2007, was carried out with two commonly-owned handguns.
It must be said, a national ban on black rifles would not stop mass killings.
3. Armed Citizens Stop Active Shooters
The FBI’s 2021 report on “active shooter incidents,” which was published this month, indicated that armed private citizens killed four active shooters last year.
There were a total of 61 active shooter suspects last year. Percentage-wise, that means armed citizens stopped 6.5 percent of all active shooters in 2021.
If we save even one life from gun violence, it’s worth it. Tell Congress: #WeDemandAVote. http://t.co/ykZsvHHoV5, pic.twitter.com/4JQSrrnNCC
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2013
Democratic politicians often say about gun control that “If it saves just one life, it’s worth it.”
We know without a doubt that armed citizens save lives and stop at least some of these killers each year (two active shooters were fatally shot by armed citizens in 2020).
It’s “worth it” to wholeheartedly embrace the role that armed citizen responders, who are lawfully exercising their right to bear arms in public, can play in stopping these events.
Anyone who denies the fact that good guys with guns save lives is lying.
4. Rate of Mass Public Shootings Is Higher Globally and Increasing More Rapidly
“They have mental health problems, they have domestic disputes in other countries, they have people who are lost,” said President Biden on Tuesday night, referencing his recent trip to Asia. “These kinds of mass shootings never happen at the frequency that they happen in America.”
Back in 2020, Dr. John R. Lott, President of the Crime Prevention Research Center, considered mass public shootings worldwide between 1998 and 2015 and found that the United States makes up less than 1.13 percent of the mass public shooters, 1.77 percent of their murders, and 2.19 percent of their attacks – all while accounting for 4.6 percent of the world’s population, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
“While Americans are understandably concerned with the increased frequency and severity of mass public shootings, the rest of the world has experienced a much larger increase in their per capita rates than the United States,” Lott said at the time.
Mass shootings do, indeed, happen elsewhere.
5. Most Gun Crime is Driven By A Small Group of Known Offenders
The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform found in a new study that a small group of known offenders is responsible for the vast majority of gun crimes in Washington, D.C.
The study’s author said, “This very small number of high-risk individuals are identifiable. Their violence is predictable and therefore it is preventable.”
Per the study, 86 percent of victims and suspects have previously been involved with the D.C. criminal justice system.
“Overall, most victims and suspects with prior criminal offenses had been arrested about 11 times for about 13 different offenses by the time of the homicide,” the study said.
The author estimates that about 500 known offenders are responsible for 60-70 percent of the city’s shootings.
Reducing gun violence overall starts with understanding who is mostly responsible for it. Known criminals. The question must be asked, why are politicians and prosecutors putting these known violent offenders back out on the streets?
6. Gun Violence Disproportionately Affects African American Males
While mass public shootings grab much of the mainstream media’s attention, they are a statistically rare event, accounting for less than .5 percent of all homicides in a given year, according to Rand.org.
The reality of gun violence is that it hits the black community the hardest, specifically young black males living in economically disadvantaged communities.
Per a new CDC report examining the 35% spike in gun violence from 2019 to 2020, the authors found that black males between the ages of 10 and 24 were 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to die from gun homicides.
Put another way, young black males make up two percent of the U.S. population but accounted for nearly 38 percent of all gun homicides in 2020, as a Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence analysis explained.
“We’re losing too many of our nation’s children and young people — specifically Black boys and young Black men,” Dr. Debra Houry, the acting principal deputy director of the CDC, told NPR.
7. Most Gun Deaths Are Suicides, Not Homicides
Mental health as it relates to diagnosing and committing homicidal individuals is critically important, but it’s also critically important to recognize mental health in the context of self-harm.
Year over year, firearm suicides consistently outpace firearm homicides.
In 2020, for example, there was a total of 45,222 gun deaths, approximately 24,000 were suicide and 19,350 were homicides, per the CDC.
While we need to discuss how we as a society can better identify those on the verge of harming others, we also need to do a better job of identifying those on the verge of harming themselves.
8. Virtually All the Studies That Show Gun Control Works Are Significantly Flawed
In the coming weeks, many pro-gun control politicians and activists will cite studies that ostensibly bolster their position to infringe on 2A rights. It’s important to remember that virtually all the studies that claim gun control works are significantly flawed.
Reason.com put together the video above that is a must-watch, and it explains in detail what’s wrong with the body of academic literature supporting tougher gun laws as a means to reduce crime.
“We took a look at the significance of the 123 rigorous empirical studies and what they actually say about the efficacy of gun control laws,” says Reason in the accompanying article.
“The answer: nothing,” they continue. “The 123 studies that met RAND’s criteria may have been the best of the 27,900 that were analyzed, but they still had serious statistical defects, such as a lack of controls, too many parameters or hypotheses for the data, undisclosed data, erroneous data, misspecified models, and other problems.”
“This matters because gun laws, even if they don’t accomplish their goals, have large costs. They can turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals, they increase prosecutorial power and incarceration, and they exacerbate the racial and socioeconomic inequities in the criminal justice system,” they add.
Please like and share and feel free to add to this list in the comment section.
Democrats need to acknowledge all of the facts on the table before they rush to curtail the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens.
is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.