Mass murder hysteria vs. real facts

  • Mass murders represent only a tiny fraction of total homicides in America. Yet the gun control hysteria triggered by these headline-grabbing tragedies rages wild, fueled by the rabidly anti-gun media and their gun-grabbing masters in seats of governmental power and influence.

    The real facts reveal a different story, a story we must tell and retell constantly to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.

    Parkland, Umpqua Community College, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, Ft. Hood, Virginia Tech — the media reminds us of them over and over, at every anniversary of each event. In between, we're assailed almost daily with dire warnings of a mass murder "epidemic."

    Is there really an epidemic of mass murder by gun? Not according to Josh Blackman, assistant professor at the South Texas College of Law. Writing for The American Spectator, Blackman said, "The truth, simply put, is that mass shootings — as horrible and nightmarish as they are — are very rare, constitute a tiny sliver of homicides, and are not becoming more frequent. Homicide in America is far more common than it ought to be. But mass shootings — defined as four or more murders in the same incident — constitute a minuscule share of the total."

    The Bureau of Justice statistics show that between 2002 and 2011, 95 percent of total homicide incidents involved a single fatality, 4 percent involved two victims, 0.6 percent involved three victims, and only 0.02 percent involved four or more victims. That's less than two-hundredths of 1 percent of homicides that are officially classified as mass murders.

    Yet the public perception is that it's not safe to go out in public because some "loner nut with a gun" is lurking unnoticed on the school campus or in the movie theater waiting to kill us. The socialists in government and the media play on this fear to drum up support for disarming America.

    Five years of data on mass shootings compiled by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun violence prevention organization backed by anti-gun activist former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, shocked its researchers:

    70% of mass shooting incidents occurred at home
    42% of mass shooting incidents involved a current or former intimate partner
    57% of mass shooting incidents involved a current/former intimate partner or family member
    While the liberals politicize the most visible of the mass murders for their anti-gun agenda, they conveniently ignore the more common group killings that aren't as spectacular and "newsworthy."

    Did you read about the brutal mass killing in South Carolina that was perpetrated by a man who beat several members of his family to death with a dumbbell? Of course the mainstream media ignored it completely because the weapon used wasn't a gun. Have you heard anyone calling for a ban on weightlifting?

    The Parkland shooting in Florida occurred in a gun-free zone... but what you didn't hear of was the non-shooting that happened earlier that day.

    A few hours before on that Valentine's Day in Amarillo, Texas, an armed vagrant Joshua Len Jones, age 35, who had been attending the morning service, left the building, retrieved a handgun, re-entered the Faith City Mission and took a hundred or more worshipers hostage.

    Clay Murdock, a student at the mission, charged and tackled Jones, whereupon the church security staff joined in. The media couldn't have cared less because there was no mass death by a lone shooter.

    Just hours later — by coincidence, of course — the Florida school shooting occurred, and the media had their "horrific gun tragedy" to use against lawful firearms owners... and to flog their narrative that guns cause mass murders. Notwithstanding the fact that they only tell you about the killings or non-killings they choose to reveal.

    Is it guns or something else?

    The radical Left hold the mass murder banner high in an attempt to inflame public opinion against guns and gun owners, calling for tighter controls on gun and ammunition ownership.

    Study after study shows that while permits for concealed firearms have soared, the overall murder rate has actually declined. The Washington Times reported that since 2007, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared from 4.6 million to over 12.8 million, nearly a threefold increase. Yet during that same time frame, the murder rate (by any means, not just guns) has fallen from 5.6 killings per 100,000 people to just 4.2, a 25 percent drop. That's according to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center.

    Another study by the respected Pew Research Center showed that the overall gun death rate has declined by 30 percent since 1993 and has been basically stable. The study included all forms of gun deaths — homicides and suicides, along with a smaller number of fatal police shootings, accidental shooting deaths and those of undetermined intent.

    A key statistic to know about reports on gun deaths is that most of them are not murders, but suicides. Dr. Scott Bonn wrote in Psychology Today that there are now nearly three suicides for every murder in America. Many of the suicide deaths are attributed to the use of antidepressants.

    Melissa Melton reported on that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescriptions for antidepressants had risen in this country by 400 percent since 1988. Side effects of these drugs can include confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, mood swings, impulse-control disorder, paranoia, psychosis and hostility.

    An analysis of CDC data by Lori Robertson of FactCheck.Org found no correlation between tight or loose gun laws and the rate of gun grimes in the top 10 "murder capitals" of the country in 2013, including New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, Birmingham, St. Louis, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago.

    "There's no discernible pattern among those cities, nor clear or convincing evidence in these statistics that shows more gun laws lead to more or less gun crime," concluded Robertson.

    It is critical that we know the real facts and stand at the ready to set the record straight in any discussions we are party to where the misinformation and disinformation gushing from liberal politicians and media wonks take center stage.

    It is also critical to remember that the 2nd Amendment was not included in the Bill of Rights to only ensure Americans could defend themselves against criminals, so the argument that we "don't need" guns is a non sequitur.

    Taking guns

    The federal government didn't get in to the business of banning classes of weapons until the 1930s when, emboldened by the government's foolish prohibition of alcohol, gangsters like Al Capone became a force to be reckoned with when they took to the streets with fully automatic rifles that were a byproduct of World War I. Interestingly enough, the NRA fully backed legislation at the time to take automatic rifles off the streets.

    With hundreds of millions of guns in American homes, a gun-free future is not going to happen; if it is forced, a bloody and unwarranted fight is likely in the cards.

    Despite that fact, there are new attempts by the Democrat-controlled House to create more anti-gun laws that will also not stop these random and infrequent mass shootings. For the gun-grabbers, if one law is in place to prevent a thing and the thing occurs anyway, two more, three more, six more will certainly do the trick.

    This is the way liberty is lost, one law at a time. And then, one day, a once-free nation finds itself in bondage. When the state has "a monopoly on legitimate violence," Americans are no longer citizens; they are subjects. Americans will not become subjects.

    Yours for the truth,

    Bob Livingston
    Editor, The Bob Livingston Letter™

  • I think it is important, so I repeat it frequently, to remind, especially the "gunners" ... that our right to self defense does not come from the Constitution. Our right to own weapons is not derived from the Constitution. Our right to "keep and bear arms" is not granted by the Constitution. These are inherent rights. The words in the Constitution attempt to protect the people's right to keep and bear arms ... from government restriction.

    If the government allows itself to ignore the Constitution, the people need to pay attention to such actions and consider remedies. Ultimately the people must protect the Constitution. We cannot rely 100% on the government to do that for us. The people that "run" things have too many enticements to behave otherwise.