We are treating a legitimate, but very small, problem as if it is an existential threat to the country. It just isn’t.
After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, congressional Republicans are making noise about gun control laws. The liberal media is screaming about expanding background checks. Never mind, as Kimberley Strassel reports in the WSJ, that “these mass shooters, and those of recent years, bought their guns legally and therefore passed such checks.” How about an assault weapons ban? “Assault” weapons “function in the same way as tens of millions of other semi-automatic rifles that would remain in circulation.”
Chris Buskirk at American Greatness gives readers some facts that challenge the activist-driven, media-empowered hysteria into passing ill-advised gun control legislation.
As Buskirk points out: “Rushing important legislation that affects people’s most fundamental rights based on what’s trending on Twitter is not the best way to run a serious country.”
- Fact:There were 387 deaths from mass shootings in the U.S. in 2018 (defined as four or more shot—not necessarily killed—at one time). Of those, most were regular criminals as we expect to see in gang-related drive-bys, bar fights, and a strangely large number of shootings at parties (like this one).
About 100 deaths were the result of the random, psycho-killer shootings that dominated news coverage for days and weeks at a time. Mercifully, those are quite rare. But that’s not the impression we are given by the news coverage.
- Fact: There are more privately owned guns in the United States than ever before and the number of murders has been declining for decades and has been at or near a multigenerational low for several years. More guns, less crime.
- Fact:There were 660 murders in Chicago in 2017. That’s nearly twice the number from mass shootings in the whole country and six or seven times the number murdered by random psychos mass-shooters. Chicago has some of the strictest gun control in the country. Maybe it’s not the guns.
- Fact:There are between 1.2 million and 1.5 million defensive uses of guns per year in the United States. How many more murders, rapes, thefts, and assaults would there be without armed citizens?
- Fact:There were more than 70,000 opioid deaths last year. That’s 4.5 times the total number of murders and 700 times the number of people killed by psycho mass-shooters. Yet, liberals want to enact far-reaching gun control laws and prevent Americans from defending themselves.
Could There Be Another Agenda?
Power-hungry ideologues are playing on people’s emotions, using terrible, tragic—but also quite rare—incidents to push a false narrative about America and to enact dangerous gun control legislation that would leave millions of Americans subject to abuse.
Do you want the people who dox conservatives and get them banned from social media deciding who is allowed to own a gun? “Red flag” laws don’t stop crazy people and will empower bad actors to harass American conservatives, depriving them of their ability to defend themselves.
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to mass shootings, and, as the WSJ notes, “most of the quick solutions on offer would provide false comfort.” Outright bans or confiscation would run afoul of the 2nd Amendment. “The immediate priority should be to reform laws and practices to deny firearms to those who are a danger to the public.”
Read more here.