America's problem is most definitely not guns

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Here we are, in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting.

Once again, people are tripping over themselves to blame guns and gun rights for what transpired and to reutter their continued calls for gun control.

Most who do so are nameless voices in the echo chamber of their own social media. Some take to the broader internet and voice their opinions.

Unfortunately for them, they simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

Most days, there’s an alert on my phone: The Washington, D.C. police are posting an update on the latest shooting in the US capital.

‘shots fired’

arrest the suspect

Transfer the victim to the hospital.

It’s absolutely madness. What a way to live.

But then just look at the stats. It’s truly amazing and an all-American problem. Yes, there are mass shootings elsewhere – the horror of the events in Thailand just a few weeks ago is a reminder of that.

But America’s problem with guns stands alone.

Now, to be fair, that’s not untrue. It’s also an incomplete picture at best.

Yes, when guns are available to the law-abiding, some bad people will get guns. They get them anyway, of course–we’ve seen mass shootings all over the world, after all, to say nothing of much lower-level violence committed with guns–but it makes sense they’d be able to steal more guns if there are more guns to steal.

Yet America’s “problem with guns” pretends that without guns, we’d suddenly become a more peaceful place. that’s simply not true.

For example, if you just eliminated every single homicide carried out with a firearm and were to stupidly assume the killers wouldn’t have used any other weapon, we’d still have a homicide rate greater than anywhere in Europe.

And you can’t convince me that no one would just switch to a knife or some other weapon to kill another if they didn’t have a gun.

The problem is that most people aren’t familiar with these numbers. They don’t know this fact. They hear the media say that our gun homicide rate is higher than Europe’s and never dig any deeper. They accept that the problem is that shootings are higher than everywhere else and never understand that the issue is that our violence is greater than everywhere else.

Some have even outright rejected the notion that Americans are more violent than elsewhere, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Of course, with this writer, they also appear to believe that all of our gun deaths are accidents.

This year, nearly 40,000 Americans have been killed in gun-related accidents (including accidental killings and suicides)

Wow.

That’s…well…that’s something.

In fairness, it’s entirely possible the writer meant to write “incident” instead of “accident” and autocorrect changed it. Of course, the editor should have caught that and at least questioned it. If there was no editor, then it’s safe to say there wasn’t any fact-checking going on, either.

Of course, when you’re pushing gun control, fact-checking is just letting reality get in the way of a good narrative.