Mass shootings are extremely rare in America. But you wouldn’t know that if you listened to politicians and much of the media. Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a recent Senate hearing on gun control that there had been 309 mass shootings America so far this year. CNN reported that “U.S. mass shootings are on pace to match last year—the worst ever.”
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on the floor that there were 13 mass shootings across the country in just one weekend. Major media outlets like The New York Times, NBC News, and ABC News all reported on the “hundreds” of mass shootings this year. All of this sounds like a national crisis and terrifying to the public but believing the matter of gun violence in this country can be solved by enacting a law, creating a rule, or even amending the Constitution is beyond naïve—it’s delusional.
According to the CDC, in 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the United States. That figure includes gun murders and gun suicides, along with three other less common types of gun-related deaths tracked by the CDC, i.e., unintentional gun deaths, those involving law enforcement and lastly, in circumstances that could not be determined–below a quick snapshot of those statistics.
- 54% or 24,292 died from suicide
- 43% or 19,384 were murdered
- 2% or 611 involved law enforcement
- 1% or 535 were unintentional and
- .8% or 400 were of undetermined cause.
Suicide is more appropriately a sociological or psychological matter, so, for purposes of this blog, I will refer only to the 19,384 who were murdered, which has increased by 75% in the last 10 years. Meanwhile, the legacy media is loath to examine inner city violence and street crime and would rather focus on mass shootings; begging the question of “how many people are actually killed/murdered in mass shootings each year?”
Unfortunately, there is no single agreed upon definition of the term “mass shooting.” Definitions vary depending on factors including the number of victims and the circumstances of the shooting. The FBI collects data on “active shooter incidents,” which it defines as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” Using the FBI’s definition, just 38 people (.002% of the total murders in the U.S.) excluding the shooters died in such incidents in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Gun Violence Archive, an online database of gun violence incidents in the U.S., defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people are shot, even if no one was killed (again excluding the shooters). Using this expanded definition, 513 people died in mass shooting incidents in 2020—a figure that’s less than three one hundredths of one percent of all gun-murders occurring in the United States.
And here is yet another statistic we should find interesting. According to the FBI, in 2020, rifles, the category sometimes referred to or categorized as assault weapons, were involved in just 3% of firearm murders, begging the question, “why is the legacy media so focused on mass shootings and “assault weapons” when as a practical matter their percentage of the whole is rather small?”
There’s no question the democrats were in a fit of pique regarding the Supreme Court decision striking down New York’s carry/conceal law and its attendant ripple effect. But that anger is misplaced because if they really wanted to solve the gun violence problem in the United States or at least ameliorate it, they should first acknowledge who the perpetrators are and then look into the societal conditions that underpin the violence beginning with the fact that 49% of the murders in the United States are committed by 6.5% of the population i.e., black males.
That statistic comes the FBI and while it paints a less than flattering picture of the black community, there is nothing racist about statistics because the science or practice of statistics is simply collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities without discussing causality.
We could fill a small library with information about causality however, such as how our public school system is failing black youth, or the number of black children born into fatherless homes. But the democrats and their media lapdogs eschew that conversation because they fear it would alienate two of their largest constituencies, the teachers’ unions where two-thirds of its members are democrats and the second-largest contributor to the Democratic Party, and secondly, black voters, who since 1968 haven’t given the Republican presidential candidate more than 13% of their vote (Trump received 8%).
The question we should ask is, who is serious about redressing the matter of gun violence, those who seek to identify the source of the problem before proffering solutions, or those who turn a blind eye to reality? Until we’re able to speak honestly on this matter, gun violence with remain a scourge on the American landscape.
Quote of the day: “If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.”—Plato