Whenever there is a mass shooting the leftists always turn the conversation to gun “control.” I doubt that the most stalwart 2nd Amendment advocate wouldn’t want to discover a way to stop tragedies like Las Vegas or Sandy Hook Elementary. They just don’t believe that limitation of the 2nd Amendment rights would accomplish that – and neither do I.
Do I have an answer. No. Do I believe Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer has the answer. Definitively not.
But I do have some “facts” to consider:
First, it is true that US homicides are most often committed with a gun.
The graph below shows gun deaths among differing races. If one wishes to reduce “homicides” rather than “suicides,” then the following data are helpful. (And, by the by, the thin “light blue” line are essentially “police related deaths.”) I don’t know anyone arguing that the police should be disarmed (although I’m certain they are out there). As a proportion of the population, African Americans are far more likely to commit murder while Caucasian Americans are far more likely to blow their brains out. I don’t think any liberal would state that the answer to gun homicides is to no longer allow Black Americans to buy guns – NOR WOULD I!
Mass shootings get a lot of media attention but their complete eradication would have essentially no impact on “gun deaths.”
Stephen Paddock was nearly unique. Twenty percent of the US population is over the age of 60 years – that’s around 64,000,000 Americans. Only two mass shootings occurred in that age group.
The chart below speaks for itself. Each instance was very sad. Over the past 26 years 8 of the worst mass shootings have occurred.
We get inundated with the phrase “assault” weapons. The guns used in murders are overwhelmingly hand guns.
The next things to consider are the following:
- no American can purchase an “automatic” weapon (a weapon that fires multiple rounds with a single trigger pull) – Dear Readers, Since I first posted this many readers have informed me that it is possible to buy an automatic weapon.
- all semi-automatic weapons work the same way – one must pull the trigger for each discharge of the weapon
- thus a semiautomatic hand gun, a semiautomatic hunting rifle, and a semiautomatic rifle that looks like a military rifle all work in exactly the same way
- an American cannot actually buy a military grade weapon – also, military weapons are far too expensive for the vast majority of Americans
- Americans are allowed to purchase rifles that look like the military equivalent, while still being “one discharge per trigger pull”
- large magazines are considered to be more dangerous than small magazines because the assailant doesn’t need to reload as often.
So let’s think about this information. First all semiautomatic weapons are the same. One trigger pull results in one discharge. The Orlando assailant was in the Pulse Club for more than three hours. Major Nidal Hassan, the army psychiatrist convicted of the Fort Hood massacre, did his dirty work in 7 minutes. He used a semiautomatic handgun. (And let us not forget that Hassan was attacking trained military on a military base.) He managed to fire 100 rounds between the start of his rampage at 1:20 p.m. and the time he was shot at 1:27 p.m. How many rounds can a handgun shoot in seven minutes? At least 1,500. Modern semiautomatic weapons can discharge a round and load the next bullet into the chamber faster than even the nimblest of fingers can pull the trigger. FBI studies have shown that a novice can fire three shots in less than a second, and a trained shooter can double that. That means an experienced gunman can fire off a 20-round magazine in 3.3 seconds. Reloading takes under two seconds. The argument about “handguns” versus “assault weapons” is moot.
Handguns are the most commonly used firearm in a homicide and there is little appetite to “ban handguns.”
A bit more on public opinion.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the biggest bogeyman of the left. And it is true that the NRA spends upwards of $3 million lobbying legislators. But let’s put that in perspective. The following companies dwarf the NRA’s lobbying.
CNNMoney used data from the Center for Responsive Politics:
- FedExCorp (FDX): $85.7 million.
- Exxon Mobil (XOM): $85 million.
- Lockheed Martin (LMT): $78.8 million.
- Pfizer (PFE): $77.8 million.
- Google (GOOG): $62.2 million.
That last chart is too long for the post so I’ll put it in a footnote.
And thanks to CAG for sending the BBC article to me.
Footnote: Finally, all murders are “not equivalent.” I don’t like the fact that there are many gang members who die by homicide, but I won’t be going to their funerals. By contrast a single innocent bystander death during a drive-by shooting is unconscionable.
The same can be said for terrorist murders. While I hate all terrorists, I am particularly irate about radical Muslim terrorists.