by Robert Carbery
After the high body count in Las Vegas at the hands of a man (likely men) with many guns, liberal lawmakers and the liberal mainstream media alike are pouncing on this opportunity to jam through their gun control agenda. This latest act in our nation’s spate of mass shootings killed almost 60 and injured well over 500 so something might be done this time. However, when looking into the data, gun control is far from the answer to stopping the next one from happening and it will not make any dent in the alarming number of gun deaths in this country.
Leah Libresco, a statistician and former FiveThirtyEight writer, used to think that gun control was the answer, but then, she did her research, and found otherwise. She used to believe that the NRA was stopping “common sense” gun control measures, a tired phrase used by leftists to attack the 2nd Amendment. Assault weapons should be banned, silencers should be outlawed, and magazine sizes should be reduced. All this would surely stop the next deadly shooting from occurring, if we could only convince our stupid politicians.
Then, she and her colleagues at FiveThirtyEight analyzed all 33,000 lives ended annually by guns in the U.S., and the numbers would frustrate her. When she put her proposed policies for gun control toward saving those murdered at the hands of a mass shooter, she came up empty.
Libresco wrote, “The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.” The one common sense solution did not exist. There was no easy answer to this conundrum, she found. But this would not stop the outcry for gun control NOW from our friends on the left.
Jimmy Kimmel spilled his guts out on television again to show how much his politics are clouded by his emotions. His call for gun control measures and calling out those who disagree with him as people who don’t care about saving lives is the epitome of the vast division being made wider by these outlandish cries from our dismissive leftists in America.
Now, the Democrats are at it again. Sen. Chris Murphy from Connecticut, who led the last charge for gun control proposals after Newtown (which failed), said on Monday that Congress’ failure to pass legislation on guns amounted to an “unintentional endorsement” of the mass shootings.
This is ridiculous. The left simply does not get it. Luckily, Libresco does.
She researched the countries with extensive gun control laws, Britain and Australia, and discovered that they did not reveal much in terms of how America should orient its policy. But they do tell a story. “Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crimes 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.” So even if you offer to buy guns off of people or restrict the rights of law abiding citizens, you won’t have much of any, if any, effect on gun crimes or deaths.
The data does not lie. And as horrific and heartbreaking Sunday night in Las Vegas was, one needs to look into how most people are actually killed by guns.
“As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them,” Libresco concluded.
1 in 5 gun deaths are young men aged 15 to 34 in homicides, usually at the hands of another young man. These acts of violence are usually gang-related. Just this last weekend, 32 were shot and 4 were killed in Chicago, where already 2,877 people have been shot this year alone. 527 homicides have already occurred in 2017, which is actually 50 fewer than this time last year, according to The Chicago Tribune.
So when you look at the overall statistics on gun deaths, far more were killed in gang-related deaths or suicides than the mass shootings that are inappropriately blown out of proportion and in turn leading to more.
But liberals touting gun control as the obvious answer to these catastrophes is irresponsible and just plain wrong. These kind of people have never seen a gun in real life, hate those who love the 2nd Amendment, and will rely on emotion for their arguments instead of pouring over the data and finding workable solutions as Libresco and her team did.
There are perhaps other measures we could take that might actually make a difference. Older men, who make up most gun suicides, need better access to those who can take care of them and get them help. Young men at risk of a life of violence, need to be shown a better life and be given mentors they can look up to and put them on that better path.
The left needs to ratchet down the rhetoric on gun control. It will not make a difference in the end. Deal with facts, not with feelings. Don’t dismiss the other side simply because you disagree with them. Don’t blame them for the unforgivable actions of another.
We don’t have to “do something.” We don’t need “reasonable” gun laws. We need to be rational and find the truth about what happened. We need to get it straight.
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by Robert Carbery