As a gun owner, you likely have a different response to mass shootings than the typical bleeding heart liberal. A mixture of sorrow, rage and cringing anticipation twist your insides as you simultaneously cast anger at the perpetrator, feel sorrow for the victims and brace for the next storm of loud liberal nonsense.
Perspective is always essential in the face of emotional reactionism, so we’re going to take a minute to compare the impact of mass shootings and terrorism. The resulting perspective will make you far angrier than any of the stupid arguments you hear.
The Gun Control Debate
We’re all used to the cycle now. Every once in a while, a maniac will do something terrible, and America will argue about punishing law abiding citizens for the crimes of a few. We’ve seen the basic arguments. Disarming American citizens is in no way feasible at this point, so Democrats grasp for what they think they can reach: incremental gun control.
Countless studies have been done, and the results are all the same. Incremental gun restrictions have no discernible impact on gun crime. And, they certainly don’t affect mass shootings. There is an argument that completely disarming the citizens could reduce gun crime specifically, but all of the studies suggest that it leads to higher overall totals of violent crime. It also prevents citizens from defending themselves and gives potentially tyrannical governments more leverage. In every measurable way, gun control is a bad idea.
Yet, the left still argues, and the shock of these terrible mass shootings leaves all of us scrapping for answers. In response, Democrats label lone attackers as terrorists (completely ignoring the significant threat of organized efforts) and push the terrifying narrative that we, and our children, are all in danger of being gunned down randomly. Let’s pit these ideas against each other. We feel relatively safe from terrorism at the moment. Are mass shootings the bigger threat?
Mass Shootings by the Numbers
The debate on what qualifies as a mass shooting is almost as heated as the gun control arguments it circles. Is a mass shooting every time multiple shots are fired? Should we separate gang violence from the seemingly random episodes? Do terrorists count?
For this comparison, we’re going to steal criteria that were used by an article in the Washington Post. It only counts massacres that have four or more deaths. It ignores crimes that can be tied to traditional motives such as gang violence, robberies or domestic violence. It does not necessitate that the shooter acted alone, but for these criteria they were not directly tied to any known terrorist organization.
These specific qualifications are important because they are the same that are used in arguments measuring mass shootings in Australia, the UK and other countries that often pop into this discussion. (Side note: Australia has in fact had several mass shootings since they banned guns. Don’t let liberals tell you otherwise.)
With the rules set, we can now talk about the shootings themselves. The first qualifying event in American history was in 1966. The famous clock tower sniper at the University of Texas rained bullets on an unsuspecting crowd and killed 17. Since then, the rate of mass shootings very slowly increased. It actually peaked in the 90s when the Clinton Administration had to face 23 separate incidents over 8 years.
We saw a brief respite with Bush, but when Obama took the reins things escalated suddenly and severely. Obama oversaw several of the worst shootings in history to that point, and he presided over a total of 162 mass shootings. It’s not fair to blame Obama solely for this change, but it’s also unreasonable to assume his administration and lax lawmaking didn’t in any way contribute.
Overall, these shootings took a massive toll on human life. From August 1, 1966 to February 16, 2018, there have been a total 153 mass shooters. Their combined efforts have robbed 1,077 Americans of their lives over a span of 52 years.
There have been plenty of terrorist attacks against the U.S. over the years. Most of them took place outside of the mainland, but the few that have struck home have hurt us deeply. On September 11, 2001, the worst of those attacks robbed us of our security. The combined attack killed 2,996 people and injured many thousands more. A single terrorist attack proved deadlier than 50 years of domestic mass shootings combined. Times three. How is this still a conversation?
~ American Gun News