A new study appearing in Monday’s Annals of Internal Medicine, and reported by CNN, contained two revelations including one that may cause a problem for gun prohibitionists: Mass shootings make up less than 1 percent of U.S. gun deaths.
The study, titled “Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings,” appeared coincidentally on the day after the National Rifle Association’s convention in Atlanta drew a reported 81,836 people, the second-largest convention turnout in the association’s history.
The study’s main thrust, determining whether gun sales spiked following a mass shooting, had its own coincidental fallout. The Washington State Department of Licensing issued new figures on concealed pistol licenses. As of May 1, there were 580,861 active concealed pistol licenses in the Evergreen State. That’s up 2,612 above the figure at the end of March and that is significant since most people consider Washington to be a politically “blue” state, due to the dominant far left liberal vote in Seattle and along the I-5 corridor. The rest of the state is purple at best and brilliant red over much of the landscape. Yet more people are arming themselves and obtaining concealed carry licenses.
The study also resulted in what some might see as media bias. When the Stanford Medicine News Center reported on the study findings Monday, it practiced what might be bias by omission. Here’s what the News Center reported:
“More than 32,000 people die of gunshot wounds in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While mass shootings account for less than 1 percent of those deaths, they are the most visible form of firearm violence because of the extensive broadcast and social media coverage that surround them.”
There is no mention of the fact that about two-thirds of those fatalities are suicides. A ground-breaking suicide prevention effort mounted last year in Washington State, championed by Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation and supported by the National Rifle Association, promises to make a difference in that suicide figure.
The CNN report quoted Nicole Hockley, mother of one of the 6-year-old Sandy Hook victims in 2012. She questioned an observation from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at the time: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Hockley wondered, “How do you recognize who the good guys are?”
That seems pretty simple. They’re not the ones shooting at you, or firing at children and other unarmed victims. Bad guys are doing all of those things. In Atlanta over the weekend, there were plenty of people who could easily offer a solution to this dilemma: Shoot back.
That would answer the second half of Hockley’s question: “How does arming ourselves with more weaponry make us a safer society?”
Further edification might be found in a Forbes magazine piece published almost four years ago under Larry Bell’s byline. He noted that new reports from the Department of Justice and Pew Research found that “more people are buying firearms, while firearm-related homicides and suicides are steadily diminishing.”
The research team in this latest study did what researchers are best at. They recommended more research.