Our View: Gun violence is not just an ‘American’ issue

With all this debate over gun control and the socialist political rhetoric coming from President Obama, allow us to put our two cents in to address the false claims this radical president is spouting off. The other day while Obama was in France, he said, “I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings. This just doesn’t happen in other countries.” This is a claim he continually makes and he simply doesn’t know what he is talking about or thinks we’re simply too stupid to know the facts. The French have witnessed three mass public shootings just this year. January saw two attacks, one on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and another on a Paris supermarket. In the November attack, 129 people were killed and 352 were injured. In just 2015, France suffered more causalities, killings and injuries from mass public shootings that the United States have suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (508 to 424). This number includes the San Bernardino massacre just the other day. In Norway, for instance, where Anders Behring Breivik used a gun to kill 67 people and wound 110 others. Still others were killed by bombs that Breivik detonated. Of the four worst K-12 school shootings, three have occurred in Europe. Germany had two of these, one in 2002 at Erfut and another in 2009 at Winnenden, with a total death tool of 34. The fact is that many European countries actually have higher rates of death from public shootings that resulted in four or more murders. Fact: Norway had the highest annual death rate, with 2 mass public shooting fatalities per million people. Macedonia had a rate of 0.38, Serbia 0.28, Slovakia 0.20, Finland 0.14, Belgium 0.14, and the Czech Republic 0.13. The United States comes in No. 8 with 0.095 mass public shooting fatalities per million people. In terms of the frequency of attacks, the United States ranks ninth, with 0.09 attacks per million. Obama keeps using these attacks to advocate requiring background checks on private transfers of guns. Such a requirement already exists in France and almost all of Europe. The background checks failed. So too did France and Belgium’s complete bans on the weapons used in those attacks. Another point needs to be made clear that there is another common factor between mass public shootings. Virtually all of the attacks in America and Europe are taking place where general citizens can’t carry guns for protection. Such restrictions only protect the killers. And let us also make vividly clear that this latest senseless shooting occurred in California, a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The facts we have cited are attributed to John R. Lott, Jr. contributor to FoxNews.com. He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns, writing op-eds on that issue and in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center.

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