The latest David Howarth letter contained some shocking statistics and should be an eye opener for any rational American. The statistics he presented were so purposely misleading anyone capable of thinking for themselves should see through it. I suspect his statistics come from the Gun Violence Archives, or at least a place that uses their material. The similarities are too close to be a coincidence. This group uses a much different criteria for their information and try to portray all “shootings” in the same light. By definition “mass public shootings” are much different than the circumstances surrounding most of the events Howarth uses. The majority of those occur in America’s mid-sized cities and are the result of other criminal activity. This is shown to be the case in places like Chicago and Baltimore both of which are major drivers in America’s declining violent crime rate. Some are sadly familial but those again are a much different thing. He presented these “facts” in a way as to make us believe they were killings which is certainly not the case. This is all done for two reasons, to bolster a weak argument for firearm legislation and frighten the public into thinking that legislation will have any effect. Precisely the same reason they include suicides. Tragic as they are, there is no evidence that lack of access to a firearm would have any affect.
The rate of homicide by firearm is driven by gang violence and the drug trade. Most victims are urban youths involved in these activities. Over 90% are killed by members of the same group. After that statistic is factored out the murder rate in America gets much smaller. Howarth, in the online edition, claimed that 43% of Americans are afraid to go to public gatherings. This even though it is many times more likely that they would be killed or injured driving to the event than by a firearm. Well, unless they are a drug dealing gang member, then all bets are off.