It's the lying liars lie some more: gun control edition.
If their position is so right, why do gun control advocates continually lie about reality?
From The NRO piece by Charles C. W. Cooke:
This map, which purports to show that there are have been 74 “shootings at schools” since the abomination at Newtown, is currently doing the rounds.
Writing it up, the Washington Post reported that,
Tuesday’s school shooting in Oregon is at least the 74th instance of shots being fired on school grounds or in school buildings since the late-2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to a list maintained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for policies it believes limit gun violence.
There have been at least 37 shootings on school grounds this year, which is just barely half over. All told, there has been nearly one shooting per week in the year and a half since Newtown. Everytown identifies a school shooting as any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds, sourced to multiple news reports per incident. Therefore, the data isn’t limited to mass shootings like Newtown—it includes assaults, homicides, suicides and even accidental shootings. Of the shootings, 35 took place at a college or university, while 39 took place in K-12 schools.
The Post is admirably clear that the map includes both colleges and schools, that it counts “any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds,” and that the data isn’t “limited to mass shootings like Newtown.” This point has also been made forcefully by Charles C. Johnson, who yesterday looked into each of the 74 incidents and noted that not only did some of them not take place on campuses but that “fewer than 7 of the 74 school shootings listed by #Everytown are mass shootings,” that one or more probably didn’t happen at all, that at least one was actually a case of self-defense, and that 32 could be classified as “school shootings” only if we are to twist the meaning of the term beyond all recognition.
And that, of course, is precisely what the map’s creator is doing. The point here is not to tell the truth, but to get out the “74 school shootings since Newtown” figure and to turn it into conventional wisdom before anybody can check if it’s actually correct. This is why, on its website, Everytown for Gun Safety introduces the map with the simple claim that,
Since the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, CT, there have been at least 74 school shootings in America. How many more before our leaders pass common-sense laws to prevent gun violence and save lives?
Everytown is not the only advocate of gun control that is engaged in a concerted effort to convince the public that gun violence is on the rise. At his White House event yesterday, President Obama insinuated that the United States was uncommonly awash with shootings. “We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens,” he said.
And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this.
Later, the president added:
So the country has to do some soul-searching about this. This is becoming the norm.
This isn’t true. But it doesn’t matter. As Pew reported last year, the American public remains largely unaware that the last two decades have seen a quite remarkable drop in gun violence. Obama presumably knows this. ”Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence,” Pew wrote, “most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.”
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
Don’t want to take Pew’s word for it? The Obama administration’s own Department of Justice agrees:
According to DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Non-fatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s.
As Forbes’s Larry Bell notes, this is the “gun-control hypesters’ worst nightmare.” ”More people are buying firearms, while firearm-related homicides and suicides are steadily diminishing.” I would only add that these drops have happened while the gun laws have generally been liberalized, not tightened. Do we really want to start screwing with the trend so that we can all feel good about ourselves?
What? Firearm homicides are down by 49% and violent crimes are down by 75%!! Well then we must ban guns. It's the only way to get those number back up to where they should be!
How else are we going to create a morass of worse-than-useless federal laws that restrict our freedoms, our ability to defend ourselves, and make us dependent on government agencies for protection? Get with the program people.