You have undoubtedly heard some “analyst” on a major media network say that the U.S. has more mass shootings than anywhere else in the world. John Lott, who famously wrote the book, More Guns, Less Crime, has written a new volume, titled Gun Control Myths.
In the new book, Lott breaks down media-driven myths like the one about mass shootings, examines the data, and debunks them. At National Review, Robert Verbruggen reviews Lott’s new book, writing:
In a heavily publicized study, the researcher Adam Lankford purported to count all the mass shootings across the world since 1966, and he alleged that the U.S. had an incredibly disproportionate share of them: We had 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly a third of the mass shootings. He promoted the results to sympathetic media outlets before the paper was published but refused to share the data with critical researchers until much later.
In response, Lott put together a competing data set covering only the period since 1998 (for which records are much closer to comprehensive), published it openly from the get-go, and found something much different. By his tally, the U.S. does not have a high rate of mass shootings, and the worst-hit countries are places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Central African Republic.
And when the murky reality of gun violence is filtered through the media, everything gets a little more distorted yet. In one chapter, Lott chronicles case after case in which a civilian carrying a gun interrupted a mass shooting. Few of these received much national media attention, despite the clear newsworthiness of heroes putting themselves at risk to save others’ lives.
These, of course, are the simple things: how basic charts are made, how we count violent incidents, how the media chooses to cover shootings of different kinds. But most of the studies you read about these days are not so simple. They involve using complicated methods to see how crime rates changed when gun laws changed, taking into account how crime changed in places that didn’t change their laws — and for good measure, “controlling” for other trends that might affect the results. There are any number of ways to put a study like that together, and all of them will lead to different results.
Read more on Lott and gun control/freedom here:
- How Often Can Armed Americans Successfully Defend Themselves?
- These Strict New EU Gun Rules Will Be A Catastrophe
- Gun Control’s Effect on Violence, Part III
- Boston Globe Wrong About Guns
- Gun-Free Zones Coming Your Way
ACTION PLAN: Get your gun and your training, now. Don’t wait because soon you may not have the chance. Make it your action plan for today.
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E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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