How gun-free zones invite mass shootings
By John Lott Jr. – November 20, 2018
“This doesn’t happen anywhere else on the planet,” said California’s Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. “We stand alone in the world in the number of mass shootings,” echoed U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. These were typical comments after an alleged shooter murdered 12 people in Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
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. Just last month, a school shooting in Crimea, Russia, claimed 20 lives and wounded 65 others. But Americans usually don’t hear about such events.
It is understandable that the media doesn’t cover most mass public shootings in other countries. But as much as it might not fit the media’s narrative, the U.S. is a relatively safe place from these shooting attacks. Still, we need to let people protect themselves and each other. We need to get rid of gun-free zones.
John R. Lott Jr. is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author most recently of “The War on Guns.”
Photo credit: People attend a funeral ceremony in Kerch, Crimea, on Oct. 19, 2018, after a student opened fire at a technical college and 20 people were killed. (Andrey Petrenko/Getty-AFP)
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