Hi Faith Ann,
I read your piece. It was like a lot of pieces I have read before: long on emotion; a bit shy on facts.
You, like so many others, love to throw around a big number. In this case, the number of mass shootings reported by the Gun Violence Archive.
Let me give you an example of a Gun Violence Archive mass shooting.
Two wanted felons were spotted in a Target parking lot in Sand City, California. Police were notified and two officers were dispatched to take the fugitives into custody. As the officers approached the criminals’ car, the bad guys opened fire, wounding both officers. Though injured, both officers were able to return fire and killed the fugitives. This was duly reported as a mass shooting by the Gun Violence Archive.
The Gun Violence Archive has even included some incidents that didn’t even meet their own rather loose standards.
Be that as it may, let’s take a closer look at those mass shootings. From January 1, 2014 to the senseless tragedy in Jersey City last week, the Gun Violence Archive has reported over 2,000 incidents.
A lot of people use numbers like this to promote an agenda of measures that have been flogged onto the American people for about two decades.
But there is more than a big number to look at. Considering how different gun control laws are from state to state, it’s important to look at where all those mass shootings occurred to get an idea of the value of these laws.
All of a sudden, the value of the Gun Violence Archive reports to justify more gun laws runs into trouble. California, the state with the nation’s toughest gun laws also has the highest frequency of mass shootings.
Of course, since California has the highest population of any state, it stands to reason that it would have more of something that other states.
Unfortunately, that excuse also runs into problem: Texas has the second-largest population and Florida is third.
So it’s important to adjust for population size, using the rate per 100,000 population. That will provide a more equitable comparison.
You’re not going to find any comfort here, either.
Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and California all have higher rates of mass shootings than Texas. All those states plus New York and Connecticut have higher rates than Florida. Only two of the “A” graded blue states have lower rates than Arizona.
Those blue states are the jewels in the gun control crown. They all have heavy restrictions on gun ownership. They have all enacted most, if not all of the pet measures promoted by gun control advocates.
Among the red states are 16 of special interest. They are what are known as “constitutional carry” states. Not only do they not have universal background checks, no restrictions on “assault weapons” or magazine capacities, no red flag laws, they don’t even require their residents to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
So what happens if we compare the aggregate mass shooting rates of the blue states to the aggregate of the constitutional carry states?
The rate for the constitutional carry states is slightly lower.
You brought up Sandy Hook. Has anyone ever told you that none of the gun control measures that have been advanced would have prevented or even had an impact on Sandy Hook? It’s true. About the only change might have been Lanza’s choice of rifle. Magazine capacity was irrelevant because Lanza was reloading magazines before they were even empty.
You also mentioned Las Vegas. I guess you didn’t know that Stephen Paddock passed more than a dozen background checks to get his rifles or that he may have spent as much as two years meticulously planning the attack. Paddock actually had the time and money that, had he wished, he could have bought a real machine gun. Maybe even two. Legally.
According to what you wrote, you were resentful by the time of the Parkland shooting. May I suggest you read the findings of the commission formed to investigate the incident? Parkland has been called the most preventable mass shooting. Nikolas Cruz did the shooting but he was helped by the Broward County Public Schools, the administration and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI. The commission never said anything about blaming Florida’s gun laws.
You mentioned a Reuters/Ipsos poll. I am reminded of another poll, this one a Marist poll commissioned by NPR and the PBS Newshour. It asked respondents about gun control laws and tallied up predictable results. But there was one question, the last question, that was never mentioned in any of the new coverage about the survey.
Here is the question verbatim: “From what you have read or heard, do you think, compared to 25 years ago, the per capita gun murder rate in the U.S. is higher, lower, or about the same?”
Of those responding, 59% said the rate had gone up; 23% said the rate was about the same.
The per capita gun murder rate dropped more than 36% in the most recent 25-year period for which we have data.
That’s right: 82% of those responding, based on what they had read or heard, were wrong.
Do you think that those Reuters/Ipsos numbers might have been different if the media had not been lying to the American people for so many years?
So let me ask you something. You marched in Washington; you petitioned Congress: Was it one of those “click to add your name” petitions that are routinely deleted because they are essentially meaningless? You engaged in what passes for activism these days.
You were enraged that Congress didn’t act.
Act on what? Laws that demonstrably don’t make a difference in mass shootings? Laws that can’t prevent mass shootings?
How about background checks? 548 people have been killed and 1,071 have been wounded by mass shooters who passed background checks and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving a constitutional challenge.
There is also one more thing you’re not being told: universal background check laws can’t be enforced without gun registration and national gun registration is against federal law (18 U.S.C. §926(a)(3)).
Assault weapon bans that focus on cosmetic features that have nothing to do with the functionality of the gun? Sure, idiots like Beto O’Rourke talk big but they would have a very unpleasant surprise waiting for them if they ever tried to put that promise into action — including a price tag of billions of dollars.
So now you’re apathetic because Congress didn’t pander to you and deliver the things you were told to want. Don’t think about it that way: consider the time saved in the future that would be wasted by Congress trying to explain to you why what you were told to wish for didn’t work.
Don’t think you can get away with blaming the NRA, either. The politicians are listening to voters (whether they want to or not) and the NRA can motivate voters far beyond its membership.
Look at the chart below. This is the resistance to the gun control agenda and it’s growing. Nevada passed a background check law this year and there is not a single county sheriff in the entire state that will enforce it.
This isn’t the NRA. This is voters and their elected representatives saying “NO!”
Perhaps instead of being “immune” and angsty, you should devote some time to learn about the facts surrounding mass shootings, the facts about actual violence, and the facts about the proposed gun control laws.
Then you might be able to become more effectively involved.