Scales of Justice
U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- The things we don’t know are fascinating. Judging by recent news reports, we should keep our children at home so they won’t be killed by a crazy kid with a gun at school. On the other hand and again judging by the news reports, we should send our kids to a “gun free” school simply to get them out of any home that might have a legally owned gun on the premises. Neither claim is true, but they are entirely understandable if you reached the wrong conclusion by watching the “news”. The media lies to us as they struggle to sell advertising. Let’s look at the facts, and I’ll show you my sources at the end of the article.
27 students and staff were killed by mass murderers in US schools this year. That is revolting. It shocks us as it should. It is also true that we don’t know how to make sense of that number. There are almost 327 million of us here in the United States. 57 million attend school in grades K through 12. Is 27 murders a large number or a small one? How many of us die by other causes?
Let’s put the numbers into perspective. 156 people were murdered by gunfire in Chicago this year. There are only 9.6 million people living in the Chicago metropolitan area. It is an interesting comparison, but the results are shocking.
(It is actually 120 times, but I’ve made my point.) As fascinating as that may seem, the important question is why we didn’t know that fact already. Given the many hours of news coverage breathlessly devoted to mass murders, why didn’t the news reporters put their information into perspective for us? I don’t have proof, but I have an educated guess.
Since we’re on a roll, I’m going to put another news item into perspective. After the latest mass murder at a school in Texas, we were again told that guns kill us. It is true that guns are sometimes used in murders. In fact, there were about 11 thousand homicides with a firearm in the US in 2016. Again, we have to ask if that is a lot or a little.
The vast majority of the firearms homicides were suicides, while only a third of the homicides were murders. Both are a loss. Let’s stop to ask how many times guns saved lives. As verified by government reports, there were about 2.2 million cases a year where legal gun owners used a firearm in self-defense, though each example did not necessarily result in shots being fired.
Look at those results. Guns make us safer, and disarming us would put innocent people at greater risk. Why didn’t we read about that in the news? It appears that the media is more interested in click-bait headlines than informing their readers.
I’ll leave the data right here so you can see for yourself.
US population- https://www.census.gov/popclock/
Mass murders in the US- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States#2015_to_present
Chicago murder statistics- https://heyjackass.com/
Population of Chicago- http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/chicago-population/
Public and private US school populations- https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
US homicide data- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States#Statistics
CDC data on defensive gun use- https://reason.com/blog/2018/04/20/cdc-provides-more-evidence-that-plenty-o
Rates of self-defense in sexual assault- http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/guns-and-crime-prevention/
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.