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Gun control folks are an interesting breed. I say that because it seems like no matter what you do, they can warp their perception of reality into anything they want it to be.
Sometimes, it’s conscious, like the folks at the Gun Violence Archive who actively chose a definition of “mass shooting” that could be as expansive as possible and include more garden-variety criminal acts as mass shootings.
April 15, 2021 marked another violent day in America: mass shootings claimed nine lives and injured 21 more. Four shootings occurred in four different states on that day, bringing pain and fear to the many victims and their families’ lives. With such unbounded violence taking innocent lives, increased regulatory control is overdue.
Regrettably, this day of mass shootings is only a statistic due to dozens of other months with increased gun violence. Multiple shootings happen each day in the United States, with the annual rate skyrocketing. Mass shootings occur when three or more people are killed by an active shooter in a public place, according to the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012.
Compared to the 269 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2014, 2016 saw a rise to 382 cases, and 2020’s cases spiked drastically to 611. As of March 2021, 126 mass shootings have already occured, an increase of 44 cases compared to March 2020.
However, the author also fails to provide a source for their numbers. If they’re using the Gun Violence Archive, as so many journalists do these days, then they’re counting things that don’t fall under the cited act.
Regardless, though, for the sake of argument, we’ll just assume the numbers are accurate.
Of course, it should be noted that between 2014 and 2016, violent crime actually dropped overall in this country, just as it had been doing for decades before 2020 when violent crime seemed to spike due to a number of factors likely tied to the pandemic and the government’s response to it.
See, that’s something people tend to miss. Historically, during the heyday of gun control, violent crime soared. Once gun rights groups started combatting gun control at the state level and states started liberalizing their carry laws, we started seeing violent crime drop. According to the central premise of gun control–that more guns mean more crime–that should have gone the opposite way, only it didn’t.
The author likely opted to use mass shooting numbers because those are scarier. This is cherry-picking data so as to try and prove a point without looking at the big picture.
But that’s only one side of reality. The truth is that it hasn’t been until gun control started making a hard push again that we started seeing a new spike in mass shootings.
While I don’t think anti-gun rhetoric is driving those mass shootings or even other violent crimes, I can say definitively that it’s not a lack of gun control laws contributing either. If so, we’d have seen so much more violent crime over the last 30 years or so than we did.
For the anti-gunner, though, that reality doesn’t actually exist. Not in their minds, at least.