Governor, your corrupt policies on gun control are an embarrassment to our country. You were “out of line” at your hypocritical press conference yesterday comparing elementary school massacres with mafia driven shootings in other cities. Evidently, the “real” gun protection laws in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York are not enough. We need more restrictive laws to protect us, not less. No one needs military grade assault weapons to practice hunting.
Mosquito-born diseases kill: if we can’t control the virus (mental illness), at least let’s control the vector (assault weapons). Of course, we can’t prevent all massacres, but we can prevent most, as all other countries in the world show. The good is never the enemy of perfection, except in y0ur sick mind and in your hardened heart.
Sir, shame on you. Worshiping guns is evil. You have the blood of innocent kids — and their teachers — in your hands. Military assault weapons must be banned in the streets of a civilized society, unless you are engaged in an armed insurrection, are you?
We shall overcome, some day.José Becerra, Atlanta, GA
A few myths that have surfaced in recent days:
MYTH: Urban homicides falsely inflate statistics on US gun deaths.
FACT: “The common trope is that places like Baltimore or Detroit or Chicago are the reason we have so many gun deaths in this country,” Cass Crifasi told the Chicago Tribune. “And yes, those places … have unacceptable rates of gun homicides. But the places with the highest rates of death are not Maryland, Michigan, and Illinois. They are Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Missouri, and Alabama. The places with weaker gun laws have higher rates of death.”
“More people died from guns in Texas than Illinois, when suicide and accidental shootings are included,” she added.
MYTH: Mass shootings, like the ones in Texas and Buffalo, are the result of mental health issues.
FACT: While motives in the Uvalde massacre are still unknown, “increasingly, we are seeing people who are frustrated, angry and hateful and using firearms take that out on a particular group,” Crifasi told MarketWatch.
But there’s a distinction between this and a diagnosable mental health issue. It’s also dangerous and irresponsible to link gun violence and mental health. For one thing, mental health issues are far more common than mass shootings: More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives, according to the CDC.
Fixating on motives and the mental health of those who perpetuate violence distracts from more actionable approaches to reducing gun violence, Crifasi said.
MYTH: In most mass shootings, perpetrators do not know the people they kill.
FACT: Nearly 70% of mass shootings involve domestic violence, Lisa Geller told 12 News in Arizona. In a study published in 2021, Geller and colleagues found that in over 68% of mass shootings, the perpetrator killed at least one partner or family member and had a history of domestic violence.
Restricting access to guns by people with a history of domestic violence could curb the occurrence of mass shootings and fatalities, the study suggested.
MYTH: There are more gun deaths in the US because America is a violent society.
FACT: “Most countries don’t have a problem with fatal mass shootings,” Webster told Fox News in LA. “Most countries do not have anywhere close to the rates of homicides that we do. It’s driven principally … because we have decided to make guns readily available to almost anyone, and our interests seem to be more in protecting those who sell weapons and want to own them as opposed to the broader public.”
MYTH: We don’t know what to do to curb gun violence.
FACT: Data collected by researchers about mass shootings show discernible patterns and opportunities for intervention. The data also suggest that many of the ways we’re currently trying to prevent gun violence are wrong—but the good news is that we now have evidence-backed solutions to do better.
MYTH: More guns are the answer.