Each time we have a mass shooting in America, false facts start to fly in the media, on Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s clear some of those up, starting with some AR-15 facts. It is not an “assault rifle” and AR actually stands for Armalite rifle, named for the company that developed them. An AR is also not a fully automatic military weapon. Sure, it looks like one but it’s a modernized sporting rifle that functions the same as any other semi-automatic civilian firearm. One round fired with each trigger pull. Fully automatic weapons are heavily restricted and have been since the 30s.
Moving on to gun deaths. The media would like you to believe that mass shootings account for the majority of gun related deaths. Not so. In fact, handguns (not the AR-15) account for the most deaths by firearm, with suicides and gang related violence far outpacing mass shooting deaths. A 2015 article from the NY Times reported that 60 percent of all gun deaths are suicides – a shockingly high percentage that people don’t seem to be focusing on.
Do gun bans work? Our last assault weapons ban happened between 1994 and 2004. It’s worth noting that during that ban, Columbine happened and the shooter used automatic weapons to carry out that attack. Some of the guns were illegally purchased from unlicensed dealers at a gun show and others sold to them even though the seller knew they were underage.
Christopher S. Koper did a study after the ban expired in 2004 and found that it had no impact on crimes committed during the ten year ban on assault weapons, which is primarily why the ban was not renewed.
Gun deaths are down. Contrary to what the media might have you believe, gun deaths are in a state of decline and have been since the 90s. From a Washington Post article in 2015:
In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.
1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker.
2. Defensive uses of guns are common.
3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining.
4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results.
5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime.
There’s no doubt we have some problems in America and it’s sad that evil people are turning to guns to carry out their horrendous plans. We need to have serious conversations about how to stop violence before it happens and address the mental health issues that face our country.
Christians need to be vigilant about praying for our country daily – not just in times of tragedy. Evil will not leave this world anytime soon.
2A supporters need to have civil and fact-filled conversations with gun control advocates. Screaming at each other on social media is getting us nowhere.
And we need to stop glamorizing these assassins in the media. Don’t publish their names, pictures or give them any kind of attention. Focus on the heroes in the situation. Remember the victims. And above all else, be KIND to one another – you never know who might be on the brink of doing something terrible and one kind word, deed or action just might impact them for good, changing the course of history.
Praying for our nation,