In the commentary “Prevalence of mass gun violence,” the author makes a lot of false or misleading statements that need to be corrected.
First, the United States is NOT the only developed country in the world where regular mass shootings occur. In fact a study shows that the United States came in 12th when compared to European counties based on the frequency of mass public shootings per million people from 2009-2015. Just because such European mass shootings are not covered in the American press doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. The study can be found here: www.crimeresearch.org/2015/06/comparing-death-ratesfrom-mass-public-shootings-in-the-usand-europe/
Second, comparing Japan to the United States is a waste of time. Culture has a lot to do with murder and suicide rates. Japan doesn’t have the rampant illegal drug and gang problem the United States has and they don’t have the associated murder rate to go with it. Murders are very rare in Japan, with any weapon. But their suicide rate is very high — more than twice as high as the United States and virtually all those suicides are committed without a gun.
Third, the author talks about “automatic” firearms. There hasn’t been a murder in the United States with an automatic firearm since a police officer killed his wife with one in the 1970s. An automatic firearm keeps firing shots as long as the trigger is held in or it runs out of ammunition.
The author is probably talking about a completely different class of firearms: the semi-automatic. The majority of handguns and rifles in the United States are semi-automatic, where one pull of the trigger causes one shot to be fired. Heck, even a revolver, which isn’t technically a semi-automatic, fires one shot every time the trigger is pulled!
What’s particularly amusing is the author says, “Gun-control advocates aren’t asking people to give up their hunting rifles or even the pistols they keep for personal protection. What we need is a complete ban on automatic weapons…” Banning semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns would ban pretty much every common self-defense firearm!
Of course, that is the real goal of gun control, isn’t it?
Philip Van Cleave is president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.