Democratic presidential candidates wasted no time in demanding new gun control laws in the hours after the Virginia Beach tragedy left 12 people dead on May 31.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said new laws are needed because America is “the only developed country where this is routine.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) echoed Buttigieg, saying: “This senseless act of violence should not be normal. Too many communities have been shattered by gun violence—we cannot continue to stand idly by.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said: “The days of the NRA controlling Congress and writing our gun laws must end. Congress must listen to the American people and pass gun safety legislation. This sickening gun violence must stop.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked, “How many lives will it take before Congress acts to end this crisis,” while former Vice President Joe Biden wondered “when will we finally say enough is enough?”
The claim that gun violence is at epidemic proportions in the United States is frequently heard, but crime data from around the world presents the opposite picture.
In a report published in November 2018, John Lott Jr., founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), said,
“The U.S. is well below the world average in terms of the number of mass public shootings, and the global increase over time has been much bigger than for the United States.”
Lott analyzed data for 2,354 attacks and almost 5,000 shootings overseas between 1998 and 2015, then compared them to data for the 53 attacks and 57 shooters that occurred here during the same period.
“Attacks in the U.S. are not only less frequent than other countries, but they are also much less deadly on average. Out of the 97 countries where we have identified mass public shootings occurring, the U.S. ranks 64th in the per-capita frequency of these attacks and 65th in the murder rate,” the report reads.
The report also pointed out that “not only have these attacks been much more common outside the United States, the U.S. share of these attacks have declined over time.”
“There has been a much bigger increase over time in the number and severity of mass shootings in the rest of the world compared to the U.S.,” it states.
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