Lots of people are stating that “something” should be done in response to the gun violence. I agree. I’m just not so sure what that something should be.
Here’s a few things to consider. 1. Simple solutions rarely, if ever, “solve” a problem. 2. Do we really understand, or can we even agree on, what the problem is? 3. Whatever people are talking about, they assume that our elected officials think the same way. In other words, people assume that elected officials are primarily concerned with solving this issue.
I’ve seen statistics thrown around without any citation. They just end up on the social media, they sound good and then people share them because those statistics match up with what they were thinking.
This leaves me with a ton of questions. Questions like – Where did the stat come from? How does the source of the stat benefit from that stat circulating? Will it end up being used a nice little fundraising slogan? Is it true, or should there be an * beside it that clarifies it?
I find it difficult to trust many statistic relating to gun violence – both those in favor of gun restrictions or opposed.
Here’s what I’d like to see. I’d like to see information that compares the mass shootings and homicides and any other deaths directly related to a gun with the laws for the areas where they happen.
Do these deaths happen in “gun free zones?” How many? Is it more or less than in places where there are few gun restrictions?
What types of weapons were used – in mass shootings vs. homicides? Were the weapons that were used already illegal or were they legally obtained?
Do the mass shootings happen all across the US, or are they concentrated in areas? What areas, or even types of environments, have these happened?
Is there a difference between the mass shootings, terrorist attacks and homicides in these statistics? If so, how?
Is the claim that the top five cities for homicide in terms of total numbers of deaths account for the majority of gun violence in the country true? Does that include mass shootings?
What are the gun violence rates in places that have fewer gun laws vs. places that have stricter gun laws?
I’d really like to see more information. I’m not interested in the political arguments. I’ve heard them all before and most of them are filled with inflammatory rhetoric and blaming. I’m not interested in that.
Does anyone have sources they can point me to that would answer some of these questions?