We have all heard the oft-repeated assertion by American media that so-called “gun violence” — especially mass public shootings — is almost exclusively an American phenomenon. This claim is almost always connected with our “lax” gun laws compared to other countries, particularly European nations.
Most so-called “research” uses worldwide “gun violence” data — deaths due to firearms — as a way to measure a particular area’s “safety.” In many instances, these stats are not an accurate portrayal.
Mass Shootings Occur Worldwide
The deadliest mass shooting in history was the Beslan (Russia) school massacre in 2006, in which 334 people were killed. Yet it is seldom even mentioned when “gun violence” or “mass shootings” are discussed.
The media and anti-gun-rights activists conveniently ignore worldwide mass shootings, such as those in France. And how many Americans have even heard of the 77 people who perished in a bombing and shooting rampage in supposedly “peaceful” Norway in 2011?
Mass shootings aren’t anything new. In April 1996, a mass shooting in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded occurred in Port Arthur, Australia. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history. It also led to some of the most extreme gun-control measures anywhere in the world.
During the massacre of 50 people in a New Zealand mosque last week, the shooter ghoulishly live-streamed the slaughter on Facebook. He also left a rambling, incoherent 70-page “manifesto.”
Predictably, the establishment news media seized on the event to imply that the killings were somehow related to American politics.
Thankfully, not everyone bought it. The writers at The Atlantic took exception to their media colleagues: “Significant portions of the manifesto appear to be an elaborate troll, written to prey on the mainstream media’s worst tendencies.”
But barely had the dust settled on the New Zealand case when a gunman in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands opened fire at a tram (trolley) station. The attack killed three and wounded a number of other innocents. The shooter, identified as a Turkish national, has been captured.
Exposing the Failures of Gun Control
Ironically, these mass shootings prove something that Second Amendment activists have been saying all along: No amount of gun control will ever prevent a determined killer from getting a gun.
Note that all of these countries have considerably more stringent gun control than the United States. The New Zealand shooter was an Australian who bought his guns legally.
But make no mistake, even shootings that occur halfway around the world will be used to justify ever-more-restrictive gun laws in the United States. Which is why we must continue to be vigilant, aware and active in defending our rights.