It’s scripted at this point: Somewhere in the United States, there's a mass shooting, and before the details are known, before the bodies have cooled, politicians and mainstream media activists capitalize on the emotional vulnerability of the public to push a political agenda.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is a widespread political ethos that exploits fear, confusion, and irrationality—commonplace after a traumatic event—to push legislation that otherwise would have never seen the light of day.
Unpopular Facts About Gun Violence in AmericaFor instance, those who try to talk you into giving up your Second Amendment right to self-defense don’t tell you that guns are used far more often for defensive purposes than to commit crimes. According to data reported by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, there are between 500,000 and 3 million defensive uses of firearms every single year in the United States.
What Does All This Mean?Based on the data, roughly 85 to 89 percent of gun-related deaths in the United States are likely caused by either suicide or gang violence. And using the current estimate of the U.S. population of 329,333,038, when we filter out suicides, gang-related murders, accidents, and justified shootings, there is roughly one firearm death per 100,000 people in the United States every year—making the United States among the lowest in the world for per-capita firearm deaths.
Mark Twain once said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” and they most certainly do not.
Politicians, reporters, and pundits who leave this information out when they’re scaring you into signing away your constitutional rights are intentionally manipulating you. They know the facts and they choose not to properly inform the public they're supposed to serve.
Firearm data clearly shows that we don’t have a gun problem, we have a suicide and gang problem—issues that anti-gun politicians won’t touch, likely because policies they’ve supported in the past have created the conditions that led to both more suicides and more gangs.
These facts aren't to minimize the pain and destruction caused by mass shootings or anyone who is affected by gun violence. However, they do serve to paint a clearer picture than what one would hear from politicians and a media establishment that seeks to leverage an emotional public to push policy prescriptions that have little to no chance of stopping crime, particularly gun crime.
The loudest voices screaming “Gun control now!” don’t care about saving lives. They don’t care about reducing crime. What they actually care about is patting themselves on the back and making themselves feel like they did something—even if that something has zero chance of stopping another mass shooting.