Friday, November 10, 2017

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

The only other country that comes close to the U.S. in both gun ownership and mass killings is battle-torn Yemen.  The answer to this question may be found in these quotes:
The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.

Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.
Sadly, and despite so many mass killings in the U.S., most recently in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church, many in our country view unregulated gun ownership as a price we have to pay for what we casually describe, albeit in a twisted manner, as "safety." 

The gun companies that reap massive profits both socializes and manipulates these sentiments while lobbying our politicians that resist gun control no matter how many people die as a consequence.

And what a high and unconscionable price to pay, indeed.


What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

Adjusted for population, only Yemen has a higher rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people — a distinction Mr. Lankford urged to avoid outliers. Yemen has the world’s second-highest rate of gun ownership after the United States.

The Difference Is Culture

The United States is one of only three countries, along with Mexico and Guatemala, that begin with the opposite assumption: that people have an inherent right to own guns.
The main reason American regulation of gun ownership is so weak may be the fact that the trade-offs are simply given a different weight in the United States than they are anywhere else.
After Britain had a mass shooting in 1987, the country instituted strict gun control laws. So did Australia after a 1996 shooting. But the United States has repeatedly faced the same calculus and determined that relatively unregulated gun ownership is worth the cost to society.
That choice, more than any statistic or regulation, is what most sets the United States apart.
“In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

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