Guns and Killings

This, from no less a Liberal outlet than the Chicago Tribune.  John Lott, Jr, Crime Prevention Research Center President, provided some gun-related killings statistics for the Tribune.  He began by defining what constitutes mass killings, a term too often bandied about without definition.  The FBI’s definition is what he used.

  • shootings must claim four or more lives in a public place
  • shootings must be carried out simply with the intention of killing
    • excluded are gang fight killings because they tend to be motivated by battles for drug turf
    • excluded are murders incidental to other crimes
    • excluded are politically motivated attacks, such as assassinations or killings pursuant to guerrilla conflicts

The he came to the actual data.

Of the 97 countries where we identified mass public shootings,

  • the US ranks 64th per capita in its rate of attacks of the 97 countries with mass public shootings
  • the US ranks 65th in fatalities.
  • Tightly gun-controlled European countries, such as Norway, Finland, France, Switzerland and Russia, each have 25%+ higher per capita murder rates than the US

In the interval from 1998 to 2015, there were

  • 2,354 attacks and at least 4,880 shooters outside the US
  • 53 attacks and 57 shooters in the US

The US has 4.6% of the world’s population but only 1.49% of the murders, 2.20% of the attacks, and less than 1.15% of the mass public shooters worldwide.

And: of all the mass public shootings that have occurred since 1950 98% have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns.

What’s missing from the research is all the mass shooting attempts that have been short-circuited or stopped altogether by citizens on scene when the incidents began—the true first responders—who had firearms on their person and so could respond inside the two-five minutes that even a talented, trained, and motivated policeman and police force will need to arrive—after the call, with its intendent delay, goes out.  Occurrences illustrated by these anecdotes.

  • a concealed handgun permit holder stopped an alleged killer who was shooting blacks at a Kroger grocery store in Louisville, KY
  • armed off duty policemen stopped a mass killer wannabe before he could get started at a Draw Mohammed contest in Dallas, TX
  • two gunmen in College Park, who herded party-goers into separate male-female groups and then compared the number of bullets they had with human targets were stopped by one partier who was able to reach his pistol, engaged the two, killing one

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