No, the United States Doesn’t Lead the World in Mass Shootings
As expected, Democrats immediately began politicizing the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Quite a few of them even blamed Trump. Like clockwork, calls for more gun control have commenced. Democrats are even trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to cancel the Senate recess so they can vote on gun control.
A common myth you can expect to hear a lot in the coming days and weeks is that the United States “leads the world in mass shootings” and therefore we must pass some law that will do nothing to stop future mass shootings, but will infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
What you might not hear is that this claim is completely bogus.
Sure, if you following conservative media, you’re probably aware of this. Townhall, The Daily Signal, Bearing Arms, FEE, The Washington Examiner, and others have all previously reported on how the myth that the United States leads the world in mass shootings is based on a deeply flawed study, which has been debunked by the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Yet, the myth remains alive and is sure to be regurgitated endlessly again.
The following video from John Stossel's YouTube channel explains how the myth got started and why it's bogus:
Many on the left have tried to delegitimize CPRC’s research. Snopes rated their claim as “mixed” but CPRC debunked their assessment here. Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker at The Washington Post, also suggests that CPRC’s research is misleading for including acts terrorism, which, he suggests, inflates the number of mass shooters abroad, however, if we excluded acts of terrorism from mass shootings, the El Paso shooting would not count as a mass shooting, as it is now being investigated as domestic terrorism. The Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, and the Las Vegas shooting were also considered domestic terrorism incidents. If those, and other similar incidents, don’t count as mass shootings but as terrorism, then we should be having a completely different discussion.
In the end, the problem of mass shootings (and gun violence in general) is not one to be solved by knee jerk reactions, finger-pointing, useless legislation or unconstitutional gun grabs. The left will do whatever they can to politicize these incidents because they think they can gain power from it. They don’t expect most Americans to do the research required to fully understand the big picture.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis