Folks, other countries have the same set of issues as do we: depression, anxiety, social media, violent video games, etc. They also have citizens who are religious and others who are not religious. They have citizens who believe in a woman’s right to choose and those who think abortion should be illegal. We are not unique in those respects.

However, what they don’t have is the frequent occurrence of mass shootings and the huge numbers of other murders committed with guns.

What is vastly different between our country and the other countries is the easy access to weapons.

It’s painfully obvious. We have a Second Amendment problem. We can’t begin to fix the problem until we acknowledge it.

Scott Jones

League City

Locations

(41) comments

Carlos Ponce

"However, what they don’t have is the frequent occurrence of mass shootings and the huge numbers of other murders committed with guns."
They have mass murders without the use of guns. Removing firearms does not remove the problem.
"On July 22, 2011, a total of 80 people were killed in Norway when Anders Behring Breivik, a political extremist, bombed a government building in Oslo."
Other countries also have a problem with mass murders by firearms:
"March 11, 2009, in Winnenden, Germany, a teenage gunman killed 15 people. The majority of the victims were children and teachers killed when the shooter opened fire in three classrooms in a local secondary school. "
"Sept. 23, 2008, in Kuahajoki, Finland, a gunman shot 10 people to death after opening fire on a classroom."
"September 24, 1995, Cuers, France: Éric Borel shot to death 12 people and wounded 4 others"
"Nov. 7, 2007, Tuusula, Finland : Seven students and the principal killed at a high school"
"Sept. 23, 2008, Kauhajoki, Finland : Ten people shot to death at a college"
"March 11, 2009, Winnenden, Germany : 15 deaths, 9 wounded in school shooting."
Many, many more. Some involve guns. Some involve bombs, some involve knives.

Raymond Lewis

Mr. Ponce, it seems the most recent mass shooting in your international Google search was seven years ago. We have not made one week and barely three months since Florida. What might be your prediction as to when the next mass shooting, even school shooting, will be on our soil? And there will be another (as that one Santa Fe student so sadly stated) while we dig deeper into our non-productive and self righteously opposing silos.
.
This CHL carrying gun owner would be curious as to what one as prolific as you might offer as a solution.

Carlos Ponce

I've offered my solutions. Look for my post on family, school building security including dress code and prayer.

Scott Jones

Carlos - You do not cite numbers or rate of mass shootings or other homicides where guns were the cause of death. You throw out some individual events with some not even being relevant to the argument, e.g. by bomb. The unemotional data on do not lie and my statement is a fact: https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/world/americas/mass-shootings-us-international.amp.html

Well, one correction: we are number 2 in the world in mass shooting rate per capita, behind Yemen. I don’t think we should be too proud of that stat. We are way above other developed countries in rate and number. It’s the easy access to guns. We do need to harden targets, but we need to be honest about the ease of access to the weapons most commonly used and do something about it: universal background checks, close gunshow loophole, increase age to buy, reinstate federal assault weapons ban of 1994 (please note I am not limiting my argument to only Santa Fe tragedy, but the all too numerous shootings with that type of weapon), mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, etc.

Carlos Ponce

From "Sorry, Despite Gun-Control Advocates' Claims, U.S. Isn't The Worst Country For Mass Shootings" Feb 20, 2018
"But 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."
https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/sorry-despite-gun-control-advocates-claims-u-s-isnt-the-worst-country-for-mass-shootings/
The data is shown on "UPDATED: Comparing Death Rates from Mass Public Shootings and Mass Public Violence in the US and Europe" From the Crime Prevention Research Center
https://crimeresearch.org/2015/06/comparing-death-rates-from-mass-public-shootings-in-the-us-and-europe/
We are number 11 in the world in mass shooting rate per capita, behind Norway, Serbia, France, Macedonia, Albania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. The NYT article you cite has data going back to the last century, 1966 to 2012. The numbers presented here is more recent, 2009-2015. Things have changed since 1966. Which is more relevant?

Scott Jones

First, a larger data set (48-year data set) is better than a smaller data set (7-year data set). That's just common sense. I would take that data set over a set that is only 3 years "more recent."

Second, if the data cited in NYT article included the years since 2012, the USA's lead in occurrence and death rate in mass shootings would be even worse with the tragedies that happened in this country since 2012.

Third, the Lott study is extremely (and intentionally) misleading. In his 2009-2015 seven-year data set, Lott used mean (average) and not median (middle value) to come up with his results table. For example, Norway, with it's one mass shooting of 69 people in 2011 ends up with a higher average than the USA. Same can be said of the other countries that he purports have a worse mass shooting problem than the USA. When you look at the death rate in mass shootings, the USA is clearly, and sadly, the leader.

Lott works for the pro gun sales lobby, thus his bias. All you have to do is turn on the local and national news to see the truth of the gun problem we have in this country.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/united-states-lower-death-shootings/

Carlos Ponce

"First, a larger data set (48-year data set) is better than a smaller data set (7-year data set)."
Why not a 100 year set, 1000 year set. If you haven't noticed the world is not the same as it was 50, 40, 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. The recent data is more relevant. SNOPES???? Not reliable all the time, unless you are looking for an uber Leftist view on things. In this case, their data from MOTHER JONES????? Not very reliable. But note that Snopes gives this article a ""Mixture" rating. But using median with this data skews the data. I taught math for 32 years, and you?

Pete Nanos

We don't have a second amendment issue. You obviously did little if any research on the issue or you would have known we don't rank at the top when it comes to mass shootings or for that matter, with mass killings. You are repeating liberal talking points that are irrelevant and do nothing to address the problem. That's why nothing of substance gets done. Doing away with rights or inflicting new laws will do nothing to stop this problem. Please cite one law you could put into place that would stop school shootings.

Scott Jones

Unfortunately, we do lead the world (with the exception of Yemen). See my reply to Carlos above about that and some laws that will help prevent these tragedies.

Carlos Ponce

Read my reply to the NYT article you cite. Which is more relevant TODAY, data from 1966 to 2012 or data from 2009 to 2015?

Scott Jones

See my reply to your reply, Carlos.

Paul Hyatt

Just another progressive spewing forth their lies hoping that something will stick. Germany used to have a saying back in WWII and that is if you tell a lie often enough even the teller will soon begin to believe it.... That is what the progressive left and their lapdog media mainstream media outlets are doing their best to do as they continue to spew forth lies about these tragic incidents and do their best to blame it on guns instead of the sick people who are doing this....If we went by the progressive left twisted logic we would ban cars given how many people are killed by them, or alcohol, tobacco, baseball bats, knives as they have far more deaths attributed to them than guns do....

Scott Jones

Paul - Your accusation that I am lying is both wrong and offensive. And your logic is faulty. Read the data and weep: https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/world/americas/mass-shootings-us-international.amp.html.

Please provide the numbers and rate per capita if mass killings and homicides committed by auto, alcohol, baseball bats, and knives. That’s utter nonsense as is the statement that progressives want to ban those items. Plenty of us are gun owners; we are just reasonable and honest.

Carlos Ponce

Read updated data and weep, Scott:
"UPDATED: Comparing Death Rates from Mass Public Shootings and Mass Public Violence in the US and Europe"
https://crimeresearch.org/2015/06/comparing-death-rates-from-mass-public-shootings-in-the-us-and-europe/
NYT data isn't wrong, just out of date. Citing from data that includes1966 numbers goes back to when I was in elementary school - and that was LONG, LONG ago.

Scott Jones

See my reply to your reply. Your pro gun sales lobby organization's data based on average and not median is intentionally misleading. We're number 1, unfortunately. We can't fix a problem until we acknowledge it.

George Croix

A Second Amendment problem?
Nice job ignoring the hundreds of millions of honest firearms owners and blaming a document for the murderous acts of a few.
You can make such claims because the Second protects the First.
Nice job ignoring that, too.
But the best job of all is the typical attempt to find some reason for evil, rather than just accept reality and admit it exists, and must be dealt with personally, at the source. MUST be some law we can pass or some fault we can find or maybe easy access to Big Macs is really why people are so fat these days?
Each is welcome to his own opinons, but not to his own reality - that's shared by the victims who become the collateral damage of fallacious thinking.

Scott Jones

Yes, a Second Amendment problem. See the data in my reply to Carlos above. There is no more evil here in this country than in other countries which have much lower numbers of mass shootings and killings where guns are used. The only difference between our country and the others is the number of guns. That’s reality; not opinion.

The First Amendment protects free speech. In your life, have you ever had to use your gun to allow you to express your free speech? I haven’t, and will never have to do so.

No one is going to take away your ability to protect yourself and your family, to hunt, or to target shoot. But there are reasonable limits to any right. The Second Amendment has been bastardized such that folks think that God himself gave us rights to any weapon we want. The Supreme Court has said otherwise.

We need to revisit this amendment so that it is clear in intent. Repeal and replace, so to speak. Before you say it can’t happen, the Constitution used to allow slavery and didn’t allow African Americans or woman to vote. Maybe not in our lives lifetimes, but eventually it will be changed.

Until then, we need reasonable reforms. I know you won’t agree with me and that’s fine. We just have different ideas on how to solve this horrendous problem.

Carlos Ponce

See the UPDATED data from my post.
No gun legislation would have prevented what happened in Santa Fe.
I have relatives who attend SFHS, I have friends who are on staff (teachers and administrators) in SFHS. I know students who attend SFHS. Do you?
I want something done to protect the students and staff in SFISD. More gun control is not the answer here. The answer lies in family, facility security, and prayer.

Scott Jones

I am clearly not only addressing the Santa Fe tragedy. And yes, I do know students, and parents of students, at Santa Fe. But so what? Does that make you care more than me or others about mass shootings or does that make you more of an expert than me or others? The answer is no. It's irrelevant to the argument.

I agree that we need more attentive and caring parenting and facility security. I have already spoken with the administrator's of my child's high school calling for fewer entrances and for those to be guarded. I am ok with metal detectors. But our biggest problem is easy access to mass killing tools, and we need to address that.

Jim Forsythe

The USA makes up about 5% of the world population, but have about 30% of the mass shootings.
This is not what is important, what are we going to do about this problem, is?
If the answer is the same as always, the outcome will be the same.

George Croix

Jim, unless you can eliminate evil, or regulate human kindness, the result will always be the same where there's failure to recognize the fallacy of relying on 'cut it out' to stop anything - and that's all words and ink are - cut it outs......
You left out we have most of the world's freedom, too...and for some reason have not been invaded or subjugated to the point of fear of death by oppressive government....
Apples.
Oranges.
Those in police states or living under dictators or under warlords might want to talk to you about the risk vs freedom relation.....[smile]

George Croix

Sorry. Heard Wife scream from back porch and got distracted - attack wasp dealt with...[smile]
It's not about answers, Jim...that's just talk...it's about ACTION and physical DOING.
You'll recall we worked for people who had all the answers about how to run a refinery, and do so with a lot fewer people and at much lower cost...until we blew the west end of it up....
Then, billions of bucks suddenly became available, and on-job experience became important agaun......
Don't misunderstand. You know darned well I listened to all who came to me or to my door....all were encouraged to speak up, even if it was unpleasant.
But I (both of us, for a while...) worked where delay was not compatible with positive results or personnel safety.
Hard to forget the basic lessons of well over 3 decades.....

Jim Forsythe

George, my answer was to Pete.
You are right , now is the time for action. I hope the new Schools that TCISD is building, will have the needed protection
I know that you are against Gun free zones, but the reason I'm for them is because it gives the police one more thing that a person can be charged with.
What kind of wasp, I have been having blue colored one's

George Croix

I know, Jim.
I was just joining in. I always appreciate your viewpoint(s), just like way back when.
Jim, I here ya on the additional charges, but, imo...and only imo...from inside the ramparts of my biases ([wink]), it's cold comfort to the victims for the perpetrator to have extra charges tacked on, and the sign might as well be changed to "Free Fire Zone - Come On In". To me, it's not much, if any, different from putting a note on a bag full of cookies telling the kids not to take one them, except with far more tragic consequences...repeatedly.....
If it hurts when we do something, the logical thing would be to stop doing it, it would seem.
Anyway, Jim, that wasp was the biggest blankety stuff red one I've seen in my life! I don't blame her for screaming...I kinda felt like joining in ....[beam][beam]
No match for Raid, and Bates, though.....

Jim Forsythe

George, I'm talking more about the person that fails in doing bad. If they are successful, gun free zone means nothing.

Carlos Ponce

That data appears in Time magazine:
"The U.S. is home to 5% of the world’s population, but has had 31% of the public mass shootings worldwide between 1966 and 2012."
It's dated material, Jim.
Try: "UPDATED: Comparing Death Rates from Mass Public Shootings and Mass Public Violence in the US and Europe"
Which shows data from 2009 to 2015.
1966 was a LONG time ago, Jim. I'm sure you remember it, though. It was a different world.

Scott Jones

Don't be fooled, folks. That Crime Prevention Research Center's data is intentionally misleading. Lott tries to sneak one by those of us who are not statistics experts by using mean (average) and not median (middle value) on skewed data with outliers (abnormal events).

Thus, he can purport that Norway, with ONE mass shooting resulting in 69 deaths during this 7-year period has a worse mass shooting problem than our country which had 19 mass shootings resulting in 158 deaths during that same time period.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/mass-shootings-in-america/?utm_term=.5f8ce4151aab

That one shooting in Norway, while tragic, is an outlier. It's abnormal. It's the exception and not the rule. It is the same with most other countries. The US, on the other hand has so many mass shootings that you don't have outliers. It is normal to see multiple mass shootings each year, ranging from 3 to 8 of them per year from 2009 to today.

For those who don't know, here's how mean and median work (indicated how the mean can be used to mislead (from https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-median-and-vs-average-mean/):

Median vs Mean (Average)
• Both mean and median are measures of central tendency and summarize the data. Mean is independent of the position of the data points, but the median is calculated using the position.
• Mean is heavily affected by outliers while the median is not affected.
• Therefore, median is a better measure than the mean in the cases of highly skewed distributions.

Carlos Ponce

To include stats that go WAY BACK to 1966, more than half a century ago .......
A "mean" is an average, a "median" is an average, a "mode" is an average. By including data from more than half a century ago the results are definitely skewed. And I taught math for 32 years. But you only mention "Norway". What about the other countries who lead in mass shootings?????

George Croix

OK.
But I wish we'd do away with the 'gun free zones', and stop betting our lives on a sign that a nut wanting to shoot up the place will be deterred or fail.
NOBODY would put a sign on their house that said "No Alarm System" or "All Doors Are Unlocked".....

Jim Forsythe

Gun free zones with or without a sign , are still a gun free zone. I prefer a sign, so no one can not say, I did not know.
Some Schools are including a sign that says something like this, we are protected by trained people. with guns, that will use them.

"Federal law generally bans possession of firearms within an elementary or secondary school, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of school property .
"A violation is punishable by a fine, imprisonment for up to five years or both, but is deemed a misdemeanor for all other legal purposes."

George Croix

Then we work for change to that federal law, dump the free fire zones, and in so doing effect positively school safety, instead of demanding the feds do more of the same that's already failed every time. Those already legally armed KNOW where we can/cannot carry by current law, and anyone else intent on violating the law don't care.
I am just not smart enough to grasp how adding an aditional fine or jail time onto some killer makes a flip to the people he already shot, and the goal should be to STOP the shooting, not enter another line of type on an a list of criminal charges.
To me, it's like adding a fine for a non-working license plate light to the driver of a truck that totaled it running over a family's min-van.
But, nobody agrees with anybody about everything.....

George Croix

With pretty much everything else we look at percent of population, or average per incident, involved to decide whether we are worse or better than another country.
One event where 69 die is 1/69, and 7 where 158 are killed is 7/22.5.
On top of that Norway has over 2 million less citizens than NY City.
As with all data, we believe what proves our point(s)....
We also treat almost all other things that result in the death of a person by placing blame on the killer...except for guns.
Never hear about how Jack Daniels or Budweiser killed so many last year in drunk driving incidents...etc....

Scott Jones

I didn’t know drunk drivers planned ahead to commit mass homicides with their vehicles. Fascinating theory. Please do present the data many mass killings were commited by drunk drivers with malice aforethought.

George Croix

So, you figure the drunks are being forced to get plastered and then operate a 2000 pound plus, sometimes a lot of plusses, chunk of steel at speed in the midst of non-impaired drivers.
Fascinating theory.
Anyway, I didn't think it necessary to explain that it was an example of using percent of population to come up with comparisons between countries, not a comparison of drunk driving directly to mass shooting. I thought the wording specifying that would suffice for clarity.
Silly me.....I need to be more careful....sorry.
Anyway again....If the only concern is killings per single event, then mass shootings win.
If it's total deaths by cause, then those poor folks who didn't go out and plan to get plastered kill way more every year...they just space them out.
That's better....
So, if deaths are what's important, then we should pass more driving laws, if more laws than we already have for any one problem will do the trick on it next time. I'd say better background checks before a license is issued, nobody under the age of 21 allowed to drive since the younger folks are involved in more traffic crashes, and vehicle owners must keep their tires locked in a separate place from their car when not in use, so the tool of death is not capable of harm.
But, that would be silly to blame the car rather than the drunk or driver....
Yep.
Nobody would do that.....

Carlos Ponce

I was not aware there was a "De-fund the NRA" page on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/DeFundtheNRA2day/
Among their posts:
"Why should the NRA receive Federal funds?"
"We wonder about the political mindset that would de-fund Plnned (sic) Parenthood, National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, etc, etc., etc. but not ONE word about de-funding the National Rifle Association."
"The Trump administration is slashing government funding for all sorts of organizations.Why isn't the NRA's funding being cut off?"
I hope this page is a spoof. People can't be this clueless. Or could they?

George Croix

Of course they can. They’re resisting. [beam][beam][beam]

Scott Jones

Beware of math teachers who say that the mean, the median and the mode are the same thing. Beware of advocates who ask for 1000-year time ranges for mass shootings.

Carlos Ponce

Scott, mean, median and mode are all averages. Don't be ignorant.

Scott Jones

They may all be “averages”, but it doesn’t mean they are the same, as you are trying to portray them for your losing argument.

Carlos Ponce

Sorry, you lose this one. And your contention that if data since 2012 were included, the US would be in worse shape is faulty since it assumes the rest of the world had no mass shootings, a faulty assumption not based on reality. The data set from 1966 to 2012 is not wrong but irrelevant. Selective manipulation of data to achieve the desired effect - make the US look bad. Using a different data base, expanding or condensing the years covered would give a different result. They picked the one that they wanted.

Carlos Ponce

And all I posted was that mean, median and mode were all averages. Never posted they were the same as you falsely contend.
Mean - add them up and divide the number of numbers
Median - put in order and pick the one in the exact middle. If two are there, find the mean of those two
mode - the number that occurs the most
They each can be called the "average".
Using the data given here, finding the mean is best for determining "average".
And if you like 50 years of data why not 100 or 500? No, because the US would lag behind in mass shootings if you did that, especially when you go before there was a United States. July 26, 1764, a teacher and 10 students were shot dead by four Lenape American Indians in Greencastle, Pennsylvania Colony. But that was before there was a United States. The most useful data comes from the recent past.


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