Dr. John Lott Jr., president of the nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security last week for a hearing dedicated to “Examining Uvalde: The Search for Bipartisan Solutions to Gun Violence.”
Dr. Lott delivered a lot of information but he began with three basic facts that everyone should know about gun-related violence in America.
Here they are:
- Over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms. The U.S. Department of
Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey for 2020 shows 4,558,150 rapes, robberies, and
aggravated assaults, and the FBI reports 21,570 murders. Of those, firearms were involved
in 350,460 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Adding those numbers up, 7.9% of violent
crimes were committed with firearms.
- While the US media doesn’t give much, if any, coverage to mass public shootings in other countries, mass public shootings per capita are relatively low in the United States compared to the rest of the world. Over the 20 years from 1998 to 2017, the US had less than 1.13% of the world’s share of mass public shooters and 1.77% of its mass public shooting murders. That’s much less than the US’s 4.6% share of the world population. Since 2000, there have been nine mass public school shootings in the US. Germany had only three over that period and Finland had only one, but the United States has four times the population of Germany and sixty times that of Finland. Russia has had four such massacres, but we have 2.3 times its population. On a per capita basis, all three countries have a similar or higher rate compared to that of the US.
- Like many other mass public shooters, the Buffalo shooter targeted defenseless people. He even wrote in his manifesto: “Attacking in a weapon-restricted area may decrease the chance of civilian backlash. Schools, courts, or areas where CCW are outlawed or prohibited may be good areas of attack. Areas where CCW permits are low may also fit in this category. Areas with strict gun laws are also great places of attack.” The national media refuses to report other explicit statements by attackers explaining why they pick the targets they do. Nor do they report the fact that 94% of mass public shootings occur in places where civilians are banned from having firearms.
You can check out Dr. Lott’s full testimony in the video embedded above or read his written document, “How to stop another Uvalde Massacre and Other Mass Public Shootings from Occurring,” that was presented to the committee.