Three Charts That Will Change Your Perspective on Mass Public Shootings

in 2nd Amendment – R2KBA, Authors, S.H. Blannelberry, This Week

The nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) does great work putting together reliable data about gun-related violence in America.  Below you’ll find three CPRC graphs that help to contextualize mass public shootings.  

Three Charts That Will Change Your Perspective on Mass Public Shootings
(Photo: CPRC)

Anti-gunners frequently tout so-called “assault weapons” as the “preferred weapon” of mass killers. But the truth is that handguns are used in more than half of all mass public shootings.

Therefore, the notion that a ban on modern sporting rifles will significantly impact these events doesn’t hold water.

As Dr. John Lott, the founder of CPRC, recently told Fox Digital, “There’s been a lot of studies done on things like assault weapons bans, background checks … Even for the assault weapons ban, even the Clinton administration – which signed it into law – paid for research on it. And even their studies couldn’t find any benefits in terms of reducing a type of violent crime or in terms of stopping things like mass public shootings.”

Does this mean we should ban handguns?

Hell no, as they are by far the go-to defensive weapon for law-abiding citizens who bear arms in public. As the old saying goes, disarming good guys does not make bad guys less dangerous.

SEE ALSO: BREAKING: Senate Agrees on Gun Control Package 

The point is any proposed ban on “assault weapons” is window dressing that distracts from the underlying problem: potentially violent individuals who either need mental health treatment or permanent incarceration.

Three Charts That Will Change Your Perspective on Mass Public Shootings
(Photo: CPRC)

It’s hard to view this pie chart and not see an overwhelming trend. That is, mass killers prefer soft targets.

“To me, it’s obvious. Look out there and you see about 96% of the mass public shootings occur in places where guns are banned. These people want to kill as many people as possible. And they know if they go to a place where victims aren’t able to go and defend themselves, they’re going to be more successful,” Lott told Fox Digital. 

Lott noted that turning soft targets into hard targets is “one thing that would work” to deter mass killers.

“These gun-free zones actually serve as magnets for these killers to attack,” he explained. “Because they know they’re going to be more successful in terms of killing.”

Along these lines, the National Rifle Association made a cogent observation:

Three Charts That Will Change Your Perspective on Mass Public Shootings
(Photo: CPRC)

Apart from the fact that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit just struck down California’s age-based gun ban as unconstitutional, measures to deny 2A rights to adults under the age of 21 would not end mass public shootings as only 17 percent of perpetrators are under 21.

This stat is missing from the current debate over age restrictions for gun purchases.

What’s more is that just because a determined killer is banned from purchasing a firearm by law, it doesn’t mean that he cannot buy a gun on the black market, obtain a gun via a straw purchaser or steal a gun from a friend, or family member, or neighbor.

SEE ALSO: New Poll Finds Lowest-Ever Support for Ban on Modern Sporting Rifles

The Sandy Hook shooter, for example, murdered his mother and used her guns to perpetrate the attack on the elementary school in Newtown, CT.

Yet, the truth does not stop anti-gunners from arguing that age-based gun bans are “common sense.” They usually cite laws regulating the consumption of alcohol to make their point:

The problem with that logic is, of course, the 2A is a right — not a privilege. Adults — law-abiding citizens 18 and up — have the right to keep and bear arms under the constitution.

As the 9th Circuit said in its majority opinion last month, “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army.”

“Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms,” and that “the Second Amendment protects the right of young adults to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to purchase them,” it continued.

Amen to that!


Please share these charts with those who are new to gun debate as they will dispel much of the misinformation and disinformation that’s being piped out from mainstream media on a 24/7 basis.

Also, please consider making a donation to the CPRC, or at the very least, sign up for the CPRC newsletter. Dr. Lott is an invaluable asset to the gun community, and we need to ensure he has the resources at his disposal to continue his work.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Jeffrey Gibson February 10, 2023, 8:36 am

    The bottom line is even with all the “scientific proof” the real facts show it is not about saving lives. It is about controlling the populace and turning citizens into subjects forcing servanthood upon the people. These swamp-dwelling lowlifes can not do that to an armed citizen and want two sets of laws, ones you must follow “the law” whatever they say it may be, however, that does not apply to them.

  • Jerry June 18, 2022, 10:32 am

    Because the ar15 looks like a military weapon! But, it started out as a civilian-market takedown-able survival weapon for an european airline flight crew on polar flights and dident look military, only “space-y”, sci-fi stuff, then the army said with some modifications this could work, our soldiers cant carry a real gun. Nobody remembers experts opining this is too light, its not a real military weapon? But because the army stuck with it, and the gunpowder spec issues, it has become a war gun. The leftist elitists wont acknowledge their beloved jeep was designed as a weapon of war, and which, depending on the expert, was as/more important a weapon of military combat as the garand, or the m1 carbine. Lefties, abandon your war-blooded jeeps! (This to include the land rover, too, eh) And your military-developed survival rations! Half-cloth “hiking” boots were for-military developments, werent they? And walkie-talkies? Howabout eisenhower’s autobahn-isch hiwaysystem, both designed for rapid mass military movements?

  • Stan d. Upnow June 17, 2022, 2:35 pm

    The Left are adept at propagandizing by conveniently omitting facts that detract from their storyline. For example, suicides are lumped together with murders and other firearm assaults. They actually account for the majority of cases of what they call “gun violence.” Yet, they’ll never publicize the reality of those statistics.

    It really breaks-down into 3 classes, the way I see it—
    1. suicides
    2. criminals attacking what they view as “soft targets”
    3. crimes of passion
    Instead of the HUTA approach to prevention by going after guns and trampling on the 2nd A., how about some intervention/counseling in the first case. Then, we can actually come down Hard on violent criminals, in the second case. The last case is the most difficult, as it is quite often spontaneous.

  • Mark A Gutsmiedl June 17, 2022, 10:25 am

    They keep saying “they can’t even buy beer but they can buy an AR-15?”. Somaremtheymsaying wait until you buy beer and an AR-15? Not a good mix. I hate the exaggerated fear mongering. “…buy a gun that can decapitate a child..only the military should have them”. WTF!? People with no real facts or understanding make up BS comments to try to scare and horrify. Just because it looks like the military weapon, M-16 or the M-4, does not make it a weapon of war or “assault weapon”. It does not have select fire of 3 round burst and/or automatic fire.

  • Leighton J Cavendish June 17, 2022, 6:23 am

    oh…just wait…the REAL plan is to ban ALL guns and ammo….they just had to start with something…and scary black rifles are convenient targets
    they’ll get to shotguns and handguns soon enough…after they get their foot in the door

    • Stan d. Upnow June 17, 2022, 2:15 pm

      Yup. Feinstein’s gun-ban list during the Obama error contained over 200 common firearms. Even the Ruger 10/22 would make her list, based on the ridiculous criteria. Just a heat shield qualified the gun as an “assault weapon.” A heat shield!
      Recently, with the Progressive-Socialists thinking their time has come, they’ve resurrected Feinstein’s list and even added to it! They try to deceive the public with BS such as, “We just want ‘common-sense gun safety’ laws that will save lives.” Translation: “Just let us get our foot in the door.”

  • Perri June 17, 2022, 4:43 am

    I have often thought there are only two solutions to the ‘problem’ of gun violence. Either everybody or nobody should have one, both being impossible. Maybe we should just keeping going as is and hope lightning doesn’t strike ya know..

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