Americans’ love of guns, we’re told, is why we pop caps in each other’s asses, rather than sit down to talk about our problems over wine and brie, like civilized Europeans. Leftists base this narrative on one study and one study alone, one written by Adam Lankford. John Stossel and economist John Lott researched this “research” and found some serious numbers problems.
Lankford claimed to find “complete data” for all mass shootings in 171 countries from 1966 to 2012. But Lott notes that Lankford doesn’t reveal basic details about how he found shootings in so many countries — most of which don’t speak English. And most of those years, those countries didn’t have the internet.
“How I came to this conclusion” for a study which has impacted quite a few talking heads, is kind of basic information. If your aim is to strip Americans of their Second Amendment right, best have your research methods handy when people like us ask you “So, how did you arrive at that conclusion?”
Lott counted more than 3,000 cases around the world — several times more than the 202 cases Lankford found. Lott found 15 times more, despite the fact that he only looked for shootings in the last 15 years, whereas Lankford looked at 46 years. Lott attempted to use the same definition of “mass shooter” that Lankford used, although that’s difficult. In Lankford’s paper, Lankford says he excludes “sponsored terrorism” but does not define what he means by that. To be safe, Lott removed all terrorism cases from his data. When he did that, he still found 709 shooters around the world — more than 3 times what Lankford found.
So if one is looking to find actual numbers for the sake of numbers, and not to prove one’s own confirmation bias, one finds different facts. But let’s give Lankford the benefit of the doubt and call him a lazy SOB who didn’t feel like working in different languages. That’s rather a narrow view of the world, considering most of the world doesn’t speak English. So he either intentionally shrugged his shoulders or had an agenda as his main goal.
Gun control advocates have used the Lankford study to argue that mass shootings are caused by the comparatively high gun ownership rate in the U.S. But when Lankford’s data are fixed, Lott says, there is no longer any correlation between gun ownership rate and mass shootings.
Media wants America to be like the United Kingdom: stripped of the right to self-defense. The best way to do so is to say “Americans’ love of guns, the sheer number of guns, is what causes mass shootings.” Which sounds all well and good until facts. See also Video Montage Exposes Democrat, Media Ignorance on Guns and ‘Common Sense’ Gun Control Lies Exposed.
More guns do not equal more mass shootings. But more false narratives do seem to equal more confusion, which may lead to bad laws.