Wohlstetter: Gun control reality check in wake of the Parkland Florida shooting rampage

Wohlstetter: Gun control reality check in wake of the Parkland Florida shooting rampage

Opinion

The recent horror show in Parkland seems to have generated new sentiment that something needs to be done to stop mass shootings at schools. This is fine, but it remains up in the air as to whether the measures chosen will prove effective. History offers cold comfort.

Murder Weapons. FBI statistics for 2015 (the most recent year for which these figures have been compiled) show:

  • There were 13,455 murder victims, of which 9,616 (71%) were committed using firearms; 6,447 (67%) were with handguns, 252 (3%) with rifles, 269 (3%) with shotguns; the remainder were with guns whose type is unrecorded. Taking out the unrecorded category reveals that over 90 percent of the 6,948 murders for which the firearm was identified were accomplished with handguns.
  • Of the remaining murders for which the weapon was identified, 1,544 were with knives, 623 with “personal” weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.), 437 with blunt instruments (club, hammer, etc.), 82 by fire, 7 by poison, and one each for explosives and defenestration.
  • Thus: (i) so-called personal weapons accounted for more than the combined total for rifles and shotguns; (ii) blunt instruments topped the separated totals for rifles and shotguns.

As to mass shootings, CNN compiled a list of the deadliest (34, ranging from 8 to 58 killed) from 1949 to the present; in all, 531 perished, an average of nearly 16 per event. Other numbers: There have been 12 mass school shootings (defined as those in which as least four were killed, not counting the shooter) since Columbine 1999, totaling 136 deaths; there were over 100 total shootings in the past five years, if one includes those with less than four dead.

This article continues at [American Spectator] Shooters, Schoolkids, Scapegoats & Showboats

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