from Powerline on November 25th
by John Hinderaker
Liberals constantly assert, without citing any data, that the U.S. is alone among civilized nations in suffering the phenomenon of mass shootings. Like so many claims, it suits the Left’s narrative while being entirely untrue. John Lott explains:
People have been acting for a long time like the United States is the world’s hotbed of mass public shootings. Following a 2015 mass shooting during his administration, President Barack Obama declared: “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”
This belief is constantly used to push for more gun control. If we can only get rid of guns in the United States, we will get rid of these mass public shootings and be more like the rest of the world, gun-control supporters preach.
But America doesn’t lead the world in mass public shootings. We’re not even close. …
Over the course of 18 years, from 1998 to 2015, our list contains 2,354 attacks and at least 4,880 shooters outside the United States and 53 attacks and 57 shooters within this country. By our count, the U.S. makes up 1.49 percent of the murders worldwide, 2.20 percent of the attacks, and less than 1.15 percent of the mass public shooters. All these are much less than America’s 4.6 percent share of the world population.
Of the 97 countries where we identified mass public shootings, the U.S. ranks 64th per capita in its rate of attacks and 65th in fatalities. Major European countries, such as Norway, Finland, France, Switzerland and Russia, all have at least 25 percent higher per capita murder rates from mass public shootings.
While Americans are rightly concerned by the increased frequency and severity of mass public shootings, the rest of the world is experiencing much larger increases in per capita rates of attack. The frequency of foreign mass public shootings since 1998 has grown 291 percent faster than in the U.S.
As Lott says, “The media bias on this is overwhelming.” Experience shows that the best thing we can do to reduce mass shooting casualties is to get rid of “gun free zones,” which offer immunity to would-be mass murderers. But don’t hold your breath, waiting for liberals to do anything practical.