In a letter written to correspond with Saturday’s student march for gun control, former NBA great Steve Nash claimed the USA averages a mass shooting “once a day.”
Similar claims have been made by gun controllers for years, and have been debunked at every turn.
For example, gun controllers claimed “355 mass shootings” for the year 2015, prompting Mother Jones’ editor Mark Follman to counter that the number of mass shootings was actually four.
In other words, gun controllers were swelling the actual number of mass shootings by 351 for that year.
Writing in the The New York Times, Follman said:
At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have complied an in-depth open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four ‘mass shootings’ this year, including the one in San Bernardino, and at least 73 such attacks since 1982.
How do the numbers get so skewed? They get skewed because gun controllers get their information from websites and studies that count incidents in which four people are shot as a mass shooting, whether those people only suffer minimal injuries or not. This means gang crimes — drive-by shootings, etc — are reclassified as “mass shootings.” Other gang-related shootings become “mass shootings” as well. All the while, the FBI’s standard definition for a “mass shooting” is four fatalities in one incident.
So Steve Nash’s claims are very similar to the claim of “355 mass shootings” each year, and have already been debunked.
Yet he does make some claims that are closer to accurate, but he does not extrapolate the lessons these claims teach about the failure of gun control.
For example, Nash uses a Players Tribune column to claim “15 of the 20 worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred since 1999.” The larger lesson is that many of these shootings occurred in schools, even though the USA adopted a ban on guns in schools/on school grounds in during the George H.W. Bush administration. The Gun Free School Zone Act is a dismal failure which has only resulted in teachers and staff being unable to defend themselves when an attack occurs.
Nash throws out a smattering of gun control proposals, including universal background checks. In so doing he overlooks the fact that the Parkland Florida gunman passed a background check for his gun, as does nearly every high profile attacker.
In the end, gun control is not keeping us safe and more gun control will not change that. Pushing gun control may make us feel good, but good feelings do not allow teachers to defend themselves against armed attackers.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, 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 directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.