There’s a myth that has been propagated by Democrats after mass shootings: mass shootings are far more common in the United States than in other Western countries.
To wit, Barack Obama, June 18, 2015, after the Charleston, North Carolina mass shooting: “Let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”
Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, June 23, 2015: “The United States is the only advanced country where this kind of mass violence occurs,” he said.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, after the Florida Valentine’s Day shooting: “This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America.”
But as Investor’s Business Daily points out, “a study of global mass-shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 by the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by economist John Lott, shows the U.S. doesn’t lead the world in mass shootings. In fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10, when measured by death rate per million population from mass public shootings.”
Here’s the list of the 18 countries with the top death rate per million people from mass public shootings from 2009 through 2015:
- Norway: 1.888
- Serbia: 0.381
- France: 0.347
- Macedonia: 0.337
- Albania: 0.206
- Slovakia: 0.185
- Switzerland: 0.142
- Finland: 0.132
- Belgium: 0.128
- Czech Republic: 0.123
- United States: 0.089
- Austria: 0.068
- The Netherlands: 0. 051
- Canada: 0.032
- England: 0.027
- Germany: 0.023
- Russia: 0.012
- Italy: 0.009
Norway’s rate is undoubtedly highest because of the massacre in 2011 when a mass shooter killed 77 people.
The study adds, “Some people have defended President Obama’s statement by pointing to the word ‘frequency.’ But, even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries. … There were 27% more casualties per capita from mass public shootings in EU than US from 2009-15.”
Further, “There were 16 cases where at least 15 people were killed. Out of those cases, four were in the United States, two in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. But the U.S. has a population four times greater than Germany’s and five times the U.K.’s, so on a per-capita basis the U.S. ranks low in comparison — actually, those two countries would have had a frequency of attacks 1.96 (Germany) and 2.46 (UK) times higher.”
The murders from mass shootings in America are horrifying and brutal. But in the wake of another attack, it should be incumbent on all people on all sides not to demagogue the issue.