Commentary

America Isn't the World Leader in Mass Shootings. France, Finland & Switzerland Are All Worse

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In his response to the horrific mass shootings earlier this month in Texas and Ohio, former President Barack Obama used a rather tired leftist talking point regarding the frequency of such tragedies.

“First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States,” Obama said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do.”

This point is often pushed by the left to convince the electorate that we have a unique problem in the United States when it comes to gun violence.

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This claim, like many other leftist assertions, is simply not true, at least according to research conducted by the Crime Prevention Research Institute.

“The U.S. is well below the world average in terms of the number of mass public shootings, and the global increase over time has been much bigger than for the United States,” the institute reported in November.

Our country ranks 64th in per capita frequency of mass shootings and 65th in the murder rate out of the 97 countries where measurable incidents have occurred between 1998 and 2015, the institute’s data reveals.

A quick look at the list gives us some specifics regarding the per capita rate of mass shootings.

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Near the top are various African and Middle Eastern countries like the Central African Republic (the clear outlier), Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

But there are also a few somewhat surprising entries above the United States.

Norway, Finland, Switzerland and France, all European countries with standards of living very similar to the United States, check in with a higher frequency of mass shooting deaths than ours.

Not only are there many countries dealing with higher rates of deaths from mass shootings, but the rates of these incidents are increasing at a pace alarmingly higher than in America.

“Not only have these attacks been much more common outside the US, the US’s share of these attacks have declined over time,” the institute says. “There has been a much bigger increase over time in the number and severity of mass shootings in the rest of the world compared to the US.”

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When comparing the U.S. to the other 96 countries as a bloc, their rate of increase in mass shootings is more than two times as high as ours.

The point of this is not to brag about the relative rarity of mass shootings in the United States.

If there were only one mass shooting per year, that would be too many.

Instead, we have to question exactly what the left believes its radical agenda will truly accomplish.

Norway, despite a proud heritage of hunting and shooting sports, has incredibly strict gun legislation on the books. Finland’s laws are tough as well, while France’s are even more restrictive.

Switzerland, on the other hand, has relatively permissive laws, with easily obtained permits and even the potential for concealed carry.

This just goes to show how little gun control has to do with mass shootings. They happen in countries with and without restrictive laws, because evil exists everywhere.

The left wants to make this an issue about the tool, when the real problem is that we are creating a society of godless, antisocial hermits.

We don’t have a gun problem in the United States. First and foremost, we have a moral and cultural problem.

While we are nowhere near the least moral nation in the world, we must always strive to do better — not as a collective, but as individuals willing to look inward and become better people.

And stripping our citizens of God-given rights won’t make that happen.

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Cade graduated Lyon College with a BA in Political Science in 2019, and has since acted as an assignment editor with The Western Journal. He is a Christian first, conservative second.
Cade graduated Lyon College with a BA in Political Science in 2019, and has since acted as an assignment editor with The Western Journal. He is a Christian first, conservative second.
Birthplace
Arkansas
Nationality
American
Education
BA Political Science, Lyon College (2019)




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