I’m writing in response to a May 12 commentary “At least 123 people were shot dead over 72 hours. Did America notice?” There are so many statements of “fact” in it, ahem, that I’m not sure where to start.
Let’s start with the purported number of 196 mass shootings this year. In 2013, Congress passed a definition of mass killing in which three or more people were killed in a single incident. There is no solid definition of mass shootings, and anti-gun forces use the highest number they can get to further their agenda. In this case, merely adding the injured to the list. There is a point on which we do agree, and that is that one mass shooting is too many. No one wants to see anyone injured/killed by firearm violence — least of all, lawful and respectful firearm owners.
The actual number of firearms in the country, individually, or as a group is immaterial other than being used to scare people. Most of the lawful firearm owners I know, which is a fair number, have more than one firearm, a few have about a dozen, and a couple have scores. They are all legally owned, safely stored and, to the best of my knowledge, the owners have never shot and injured or killed anyone. The anti-gun forces have, for years, had their sights, (Bloomberg’s) money and legislation aimed at the wrong target.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, firearm related murders have dropped in number in each of the preceding three years and for 2019 was 10,258. This a far cry from the 35,000 often quoted by the anti-gun forces who include suicide in their numbers.
There is one glaring omission in the column, any mention of a criminals committing these crimes. If this subject is going to be discussed, I’d like more information. Where did the shootings occur? (inner cities) Under what circumstances (gang, drug, criminal activities)? How many of the shooters were “previously known” to the police? (plenty) Were any of the shooters previously known to have mental problems? (yes) How did the shore acquire their firearm? (stolen or black market).
Lawful firearm owners as a group, are not now, nor have they ever been, part of the firearm problem. When the anti-gun forces and legislators start focusing on the criminals and not the guns, positive results will follow.