Oh we have all heard the ‘gloomy’ truth on gun control before, and to be completely honest mass shootings account for far fewer casualties than incidents of everyday gun violence in the United States.
On average, 93 people are killed by guns daily either from suicides or homicides, and we don’t hear this on the news everyday. But when the media injects terror into activities as mundane as sending children to school or singing along at a concert, mass shootings tend to provoke more strident calls to reexamine gun laws.
Following the recent Las Vegas shooting, some of these appeals even come from people who previously were for limits on gun ownership.
According to ijr:
Leah Libresco is a former writer for the data site FiveThirtyEight.
She is a self-described anti-gun advocate. She does not own a firearm. Libresco despised the NRA for “blocking common-sense gun-control reforms” and sought to create the final word on gun control through her research. She and her colleagues began an immense data deep dive on tens of thousands of Americans killed in this country by firearms. The research was exhaustive, narrowing in on types of deaths, weapons used, and motives of the killings.
After months of research, Libresco was left dumbfounded.
“The policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence,” she said. Libresco writes in The Washington Post that “broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns” was a fool’s errand and, instead, says her research points to one important lesson: Focus on people.
Libresco writes in The Washington Post about her findings.
They include these revelations:
The gun control policies of other first world countries are not applicable to the United States:
I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.
Critics who attack owners of “assault weapons” don’t know what they’re talking about:
When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an “assault weapon.” It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.
Silencers do not make a weapon “silent:”
As for silencers — they deserve that name only in movies, where they reduce gunfire to a soft puick puick. In real life, silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer. Magazine limits were a little more promising, but a practiced shooter could still change magazines so fast as to make the limit meaningless.
Mass-shootings account for very few gun deaths each year, proposed policies do not address the real problem:
However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.
Her proposed solution: Focus on people, not guns.
We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.