Joe Biden released a statement Monday remembering the December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary and declared gun violence a “national health crisis.”
He wrote, “To the grandparents, parents, siblings, children, spouses, and fellow broken and healing hearts of Sandy Hook, I know. No matter how long it’s been, every time you talk about it, you relive it as though you just heard the news. Eight years later, I know the pain never fully heals.”
Biden described December 14, 2012, as “the saddest day we had in the White House,” and praised Sandy Hook parents for “working to change our laws and our culture around gun violence and how we protect and nurture our children.”
I know it can feel like an impossible task. Since this December day eight years ago, your nightmare has been felt by thousands of other families in our country who have lost a piece of their soul in other schools, a shopping mall, a movie theatre, a club, a house of worship, in their neighborhoods, and in their homes. Some of these tragedies make national headlines, so many more do not. Every year, more than 30,000 people die from gun violence across America—a statistic we would associate with war in a far-off place. Countless more are left with a lifetime of injuries and trauma.
Biden then declared gun violence a “national health crisis” that must be confronted, stressing “thoughts and prayers…[are] not enough.”
Biden’s claim that over 30,000 people die from gun violence in the U.S. each year is a claim made by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and by Kamala Harris in 2019 during her unsuccessful bid for the Democrat presidential nomination.
The "Gun Violence Archive" deceptively counts single fatality incidents, double fatality incidents, and biker bar shootouts with no fatalities, as mass shootings. https://t.co/JPKZsuLnHb
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 11, 2020
The claim swells actual gun violence deaths by 66 percent, as over 20,000 of the annual firearm-related deaths in the U.S. are suicides, not homicides. Because of this, more gun control is not a solution.
For example, in 2017, when there was a spike in firearm-related deaths, Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman noted that gun control would not change that. And that is because the causal factor in the rise of 2017 deaths was not “gun violence,” but suicides.
Yet even then, Chapman observed the rate of non-firearm-related suicides outpaced the rate of firearm-related suicides, making a focus on guns and/or gun control a convenient way to ignore issues that were causal.
On November 16, 2020, Breitbart News reported a Gallup survey showing support for gun control had fallen to its lowest point since 2016.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.