The mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, unleashed a torrent of public outrage and offered politicians a platform for their progressive stances on gun control. Many politicians have shown their willingness to go so far as to confiscate weapons. Politicians opposed to citizens owning and carrying weapons are constantly suggesting that revoking the Second Amendment would allow Congress to pass even more draconian gun laws and penalties that would end so-called “gun violence and “save countless lives.”
But these politicians have failed at attempts to utilize homicide rates to control gun ownership. Why? The media has highlighted the fact that being caught with a firearm in one of the partisan Democratic cities in many cases will only result in an “intervention” attempt, with no meaningful consequences.
Realistically, the numbers thrown haphazardly at worried voters are manipulated to fit the platform of the politician seeking office. Opponents of firearms ownership dramatically skew the constant barrage of gun-related death and violence statistics. They have sufficiently manipulated the numbers to the point where the average citizen is becoming afraid to leave his or her house, go to the supermarket or even walk on a city sidewalk. Both global and domestic statistics, however, paint a different story.
Rather than simply use total numbers of firearms deaths, a number of scientists utilize a “firearm-related death rate per 100k population per year.” The United States has a much larger population than most countries that gather these statistics. So pundits suggest we are the global leader in violent firearm-related gun deaths. But weighting the total number of deaths and using that as the key barometer reading skews the statistics. Showing what the homicide rate is per capita generates a more meaningful reference.
Truth About Gun Violence by Location
True statistics tell a different story. The U.S. does not lead the world in total gun deaths of all causes. That honor belongs to Brazil. Of the eight countries with the highest total gun deaths, five are in central and South America.
Left-leaning journalists have a number of tired statistics culled from newspapers, government publications, anecdotal stories and a host of other sources that they consider unchallengeable and cast in stone. Though the numbers they often quote may be accurate, more often than not, journalists present those numbers without context or important underlying issues.
Murders from gun violence are part of a global issue. But the press often bypasses the many proven factors that contribute to gun violence and focuses solely on what will attract readers to their media outlets. The recent spate of mass shootings has provided a combustible fuse for the advocates who want to see the government, by edict, force or a combination of the two, confiscate firearms (especially the subset of “assault weapons” such as the AR-15).
The method of determining the highest rates of violent gun death per 100,000 residents is a more solidly empirical method. It provides a better method of comparison than a simple tally. Rather than simply saying Brazil led the number of violent deaths last year by firearm with 49,436, a comparison of deaths to population size provides a more rational view. Gross numbers ignore any sort of attempt at defining and understanding the problem. When cast in this light, El Salvador leads the world with a stunning 36.78 violent gun deaths (homicides) per 100,000 residents. The Bahamas lead Honduras, Puerto Rico and Mexico in violent gun deaths per 100,000 residents.
The Media’s Role in Skewed Statistics
Gun-control advocates are attempting to steer America onto a one-way path to disarming the entire populace with the exception of government employees or a limited group of political and social elites. Those who are granted ownership rights to their weapons under a new regulatory scheme will be the politically powerful and wealthy who will assuredly game the system to hold onto their guns.
The distrust in media in reporting gun deaths, gun control and gauging the true public sentiment is the result of endless partisan bickering about gun violence issues. Politicians are supported by anti-gun media such as the New York Times, which published an article titled “Compare These Gun Death Rates: the U.S. is in a Different World,” by Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger Katz. The article, though published in 2016, has become the style template for many anti-gun zealots. The authors make no attempt to hide their bias or manipulation of the numbers to push their agenda.
In a more recent and comprehensive study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Professor Matt Miller from Northeastern University, there are two interesting statistics combined. According to Miller, “Just under half of all new gun purchasers were females and nearly half were people of color.” Females have traditionally had lower ownership of firearms.
Many of the most vocal proponents of gun control are women, but it appears some are abandoning their positions and embracing the new reality. Gun statistics are showing that more people do not believe the rhetoric and ridiculous hype. People are weary of the calls that outlawing assault rifles or high-capacity magazines and other heavy-handed measures will reduce gun violence.
Are More Gun Laws the Solution to Gun Violence?
Those responsible for gun violence are not studying the law. They aren’t even concerned about being caught or imprisoned. Many of the major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco have reduced or removed cash bail requirements for many gun-related charges. Couple this with progressive district attorneys who believe reducing charges for accused teenagers will help keep them out of a life of crime.
Do we need more gun laws? The knee-jerk reflex by vote-seeking politicians is to constantly attempt to add new laws to the existing failed ones. The recent spate of mass shootings has brought gun ownership and gun-control policies into full scrutiny by many think tanks. And despite claims of neutrality, they have deliberately skewed the numbers to favor the position endorsed by their boards, without addressing many of the issues associated with the reported numbers.
When President Reagan was approached about his appetite for additional gun laws, he commented, “There are today more than 20,000 gun-control laws in effect – federal, state and local – in the United States.” Though this number is constantly disputed, one truth is inviolable: gun violence is increasing domestically. And politicians are advocating for new gun laws as campaign material. Meanwhile, what the populace both wants and needs is simply stronger enforcement of the laws currently in place.
According to the statistics in Miller’s article, approximately 5.4 million people who purchased firearms previously did not have them in their homes. Gun sales are exploding. This speaks loudly to the lack of faith the American populace has in its government officials to protect them. But many left-leaning politicians are still trying to remove the more than 300 million guns from citizens legally entitled to own them.
Ripe with Misinformation
President Biden offered his opinion on gun control in his speech “Remarks by President Biden on Gun Violence Prevention,” along with another opinion piece “Remarks by President Biden Discussing His Administration’s Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Gun Crimes.” His speech was riddled with glaring misquotes and improperly cited facts that have proven to be fiction.
President Biden said, “The only industry in America — a billion-dollar industry — that can’t be sued — has been exempt from being sued — are gun manufacturers.” Congress did pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCCA), which in theory offered blanket immunity for crimes committed with firearms, in 2005.
A cursory review shows the inaccuracy of this remark.
- The 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School resulted in a $73 million dollar settlement by Remington despite the President’s assurance that they “can’t be sued.”
- The mass shooting at a California synagogue has resulted in a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson for the firearm used in the crime.
- The Texas Supreme Court, in a widely disputed decision, declared Luckygunner.com enjoyed no protection under the PLCCA because of the sale of ammunition to minors.
- In one of the more highly disputed lawsuits, the government of Mexico has sued several gun manufacturers because of their purported weapon design and targeted marketing to drug cartels.
Those who manipulate the numbers of firearm-related deaths are playing a shell game with poorly executed sleight of hand. The next time you read a panic piece on gun violence, remember, the person writing it probably lives in a gated community.
An Act To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. Public Law 109-92. Statute at Large 397 (2005): 2095-2103. https://www.congress.gov/109/plaws/publ92/PLAW-109publ92.pdf.
Biden, Joe. “Remarks by President Biden on Gun Violence Prevention.” WhiteHouse.gov. April 8, 2021. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/04/08/remarks-by-president-biden-on-gun-violence-prevention/.
Bush, George W. “Statement on House of Representatives Passage of Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Legislation.” The American Presidency Project. October 20, 2005. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/217286.
Chu, Vivian S. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act: An Overview of Limiting Tort Liability of Gun Manufacturers. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2012. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/R42871.pdf.
Helmore, Edward. “Gun purchases accelerated in the US from 2020 to 2021, study reveals.” The Guardian. December 20, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/20/us-gun-purchases-2020-2021-study.
Hood, James R. “Can Consumers Sue Gun Manufacturers for Gun Violence?” Consumer Education Council. May 31, 2022. https://www.consumereducationcouncil.org/can-consumers-sue-gun-manufacturers-for-gun-violence/.
Kurtzleben, Danielle. “FACT CHECK: Are Gun-Makers ‘Totally Free Of Liability For Their Behavior’?” NPR. October 6, 2015. https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/06/446348616/fact-check-are-gun-makers-totally-free-of-liability-for-their-behavior.
Lee, Michael, and Emma Colton. “States with higher rate of gun ownership do not correlate with more gun murders, data show.” Fox News. June 30, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/us/states-higher-rate-gun-ownership-not-correlate-more-gun-murders-data-show.
“New York to Sue Gun Industry.” Los Angeles Times. June 20, 2000. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-jun-20-mn-42954-story.html.