The Math and Madness of Mass Shootings

In 2011, the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly passed legislation allowing permit holders to bring hidden loaded handguns into establishments that serve alcohol, over the objections of the state’s restaurant and bartender associations, major law enforcement groups, and even by some Republican lawmakers. “We are not making it safer” by adding guns to the mix, said Republican Todd McKenney, who represents a district near Akron. This dose of death was brought to you by the NRA.

The Harvard Injury Control Research Center presents a number of studies on guns and health, including a direct correlation between availability of guns and the homicide rates in industrialized nations, a correlation that holds even when the United States is excluded: it comes down to more guns = more homicides. Across developed nations, where guns are more available, there are also more homicides of women. There is also a higher incidence of road rage behaviours among drivers with a gun in the car.  You’d almost suspect that having so many guns floating around is a Bad Thing, if you weren’t one of those that’s convinced themselves otherwise.

Mother Jones has produced an excellent analysis of America’s mass shootings over the last 30 years, and they found some some interesting statistics:
  • Forty three of the killers were white males. Only one was a woman
  • The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest was only 11 years old
  • Of the 139 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally
  • Mass shooters prefer semiautomatic handguns and assault weapons for their lethal tantrums

Slate gives us an explainer on “What is an Assault Weapon“, basically boiling it down to firearms “designed for rapidly firing at human targets from close range”. These are all the rage now!

“We will never be able to identify the next nut, and the next nut has no difficulty acquiring a firearm. In fact, he probably already has one”, as David Lowe writes, concluding that, as a society, “We’re OK with the risk of random mass shootings“. The majority of kool-aid swigging gun-nuts would seem to concur.

The US isn’t the only country with a “group shoot” problem. Check out the Reuters summary of mass shootings around the world.

Which countries in the world have the highest firearms murders – and the highest rates of gun ownership? The gun ownership and gun homicides murder map of the world. That doesn’t look so bad, now, does it?

Let’s break it down to the state level. The highest gun death rate is in Alaska and the lowest is in Hawaii, our 49th and 50th states compared and contrasted.  Here’s the summation from The Geography of Gun Violence :

“Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42), and mandate safe storage requirements for guns (-.48).”

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3 Responses to “The Math and Madness of Mass Shootings”

  1. Todd Roper Says:

    Not to be an Ass, but explain Utah. Where everyone has a CCW. Where even my Democratic Butt open carries except in Winter. I do it because I live in the “barrio”. I do believe that Utah’s permit needs to be harder to get and require range time, but I’ll never get the laws changed in this state..so I joined em.

    • offlogic Says:

      Yeah, I don’t know about Utah at all, maybe the magic underwear is Kevlar now? Then look over at Nevada. What happens at the state line, alcohol consumption? I’d managed to forget to mention Virginia, the state with the highest rate of machine gun ownership and where you can get a CCW without ever having touched a gun before. I was surprised that Oklahoma didn’t rate much higher, considering we lead the country in injuries sustained by falling out of moving pick-up trucks. We could see a statistical shift here come November 1, when “Open Carry” kicks in. It’s uncomfortable, but I’m sticking with my flamethrower.

  2. Todd Roper Says:

    And completely legal..LOL! Take care Bud!

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