The gun control debate uses a lot of varying statistics and analogies to try to make claims. The simple truth is that it’s difficult to accurately model or predict how different proposals would really affect American life. So, we look at other countries as evidence. Or, we compare regulation of things outside of firearms.
One of the common points is that we don’t blame cars for the deaths they cause. Liberals respond to that by pointing out how regulated car ownership and operation are. Well, let’s dissect that. Let’s compare mass killings by car to those caused by shooters and see if anything important unfolds.
Let’s begin by looking at vehicle attacks. It’s extremely difficult to compare gun and car killings across the board, so we need some qualifying criteria to make the comparisons meaningful. For starters, we’ll only consider terrorist vehicular attacks that killed four or more people. We’ll also only be looking at what liberals would often call the “developed world.” Namely, we’re looking at Western Europe, the United States and Canada. Some would argue for the inclusion of a few other specific nations, but this is a good starting point. We’re also only counting incidents since 2000.
With those rules set, here are the numbers for vehicular attacks. A total of 277 innocent lives have been taken. The number injured is easily over 500 and not well defined. It’s worth noting that only 8 of those lost lives were in the U.S., the country with the most vehicles and the most vehicles per capita by far. It’s also worth noting that roughly half of the deaths happened in attacks in the last two years. This is a largely a new problem, and it seems to be growing.
Before we draw any conclusions, we’ll lay out the raw numbers. The total kill count for terrorist attacks using guns in the same regions for the same period of time is exactly 200. The injury list is again around 500 and not perfectly countable. Once again, the vast majority of lost lives were in Europe. Also, almost every attack was carried out with illegally obtained and/or possessed firearms. The one big difference here is that the death rates seem to have peaked in 2016. Since then, gun deaths have declined while vehicular deaths have risen.
A Few Simple Conclusions
The first thing we can learn is that with the exception of a single event (9/11), terrorism is a much bigger problem in Western Europe than it is in the U.S. The U.S. has a larger population than this section of Europe, and it is bigger in area. The U.S. has more of both weapon types, cars and guns, than Europe, yet the violence is diminished. Let’s put that information to work.
Liberals want more gun control. They follow two major conclusions. The first is that registering and tracking gun ownership would make it easier to catch criminals or even prevent them from obtaining firearms in the first place. This has proven completely untrue with vehicles, so there is little reason to think it would work for a different weapon.
The second idea is that having fewer guns around would result in fewer gun deaths. This once again proves untrue. Europe has fewer of each weapon class and more deaths and attacks. That’s not a fair statement. Access to firearms in Europe is largely nonexistent in every country with either type of terrorist attack. Yet, they’re seeing more deaths from guns than from cars.
It’s such a lopsided issue that calling it a lie or willful ignorance doesn’t get the job done. It is unfathomable for liberals to be any more wrong than they are on this issue.
Outside of Terrorism
Still, it’s important to acknowledge the limited scope of these comparisons. Looking at international data is always tricky, so we’ll make one more point. In the U.S. only, there are close to 350 million guns. There are only 260 million cars. Despite the fact that guns are made specifically to kill, cars kill more Americans every year than guns. Registration, licensing, proof of competency and a host of other regulations haven’t changed this truth.
We can look at two simple modes of death and see that every gun control proposal on the table is going to fail. It couldn’t be any more obvious. No matter how you draw the lines, guns are nowhere close to a primary problem in America. And, this is all ignoring the most important truth. Guns stop hundreds of thousands of crimes every year. You can’t say the same for cars.
~ American Gun News