Tracing Suicides

Total suicide and firearm suicide rates from 2000 through 2016

The Lie of Fear: Creating a false sense of fear in order to motivate people to action while easing them past critical thinking. This entry, from the book Shooting The Bull, was the very first items in the “Catalog of Canards”, a list of most common propaganda techniques of the modern era. That organizations favoring gun control too often employ the Lie of Fear is regrettably understandable. Which brings us to The Trace and their artless attempt to scare people about suicides: Take-aways Firearm suicides growing much more slowly than overall suicides. Trace chose to start trend analysis during a low-point in firearm suicides. The interesting angle Depending on the year you examine, firearm suicides constitute about 60-66% of firearm deaths in the United States. For decades gun control advocacy groups (which, charitably stated, The Trace is one, given the legendary activist donors on their disclosure page and that Michael … Continue reading

Mass Shooting Cattle Pens

U.S. Mass Public Shootings Per Capita 1982 through 2016

“The rate of mass shootings per 100,000 population has gone DOWN by an extraordinary degree.” Though not a recurring pro-gun meme, this one was sent to the Gun Facts Project by someone from the pro-gun camp. It was an interesting claim, but incorrect. Investigating the claim then led us to dig and try to find underlying realities. Seriously, the Gun Facts researchers need to get a life. Mass Shootings Increase Mass shooting incidents and fatalities are on the increase (and highly covariant with reported adverse reactions to prescription psychotropic medications). When we adjust for the increasing U.S. population, we still see per capita increases in the number of instances as well as the number of fatalities and woundings. One thing jumped out at us from the initial charts, namely several outliers. Certain years showed dramatically large spikes. The most prominent of the spikes were the years of the Virginia Tech, … Continue reading

School Shooting Database and Propaganda

On-campus shooting grades 9-12 1970-2018

What you name something is very important. One might look upon their congressman and say “politician”. Someone else might look upon the same representative and say “insufferable, deranged, syphilitic git”. Both might be accurate. Important then is the “School Shooting Database” hosted by the Federal Government as part of the Department of Homeland Defense. The phrase “school shooting” creates in the mind of the reader some very specific notions. For the average American, it means mass homicide events like Parkland, Sandy Hook and Columbine. It does not mean a stray bullet from a inter-gang confrontation two blocks away at two in the morning. Honest Disclosure, Noble Purpose, Clumsy Word Use Per the project’s web site, “The K-12 School Shooting Database research project is a widely inclusive database that documents each and every instance a gun is brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of … Continue reading

Meds and Mass Murder

GUNS AND CRIME - Psychotropic medications covariance with mass public shootings - 1999 through 2017

Is national consumption of brain candy contributory to mass public shootings? Looks like it might well be. Takeaways There exists covariant rise in the per capita number of adverse psychological reactions to prescription psychotropic medications and mass public shootings. The rate of adverse medication reactions may be low by an order of magnitude. Mental health and mass shootings The Gun Facts project previously reported on the association between mental health and mass public shootings. However, the review omitted one interesting issue – the contribution of pharmaceutical psychotropic medications. psychotropic: affecting mental activity, behavior, or perception We first became concerned with this topic after the Columbine Massacre. It was reported that one of the two assassins did a cold turkey withdraw from Luvox (an antidepressant) because a known side effect was rage. In other words, he wanted to be as amped-up as possible to commit mass murder. When we started looking … Continue reading

AR-15s: Mostly Harmless

AR-15 and Violence - infographic

The AR-15, allegedly the most popular consumer rifle in the United States, has become the poster child of the gun control industry. But from a homicide statistics standpoint, they are mostly harmless. Main Take-aways AR-15s constitute maybe 4% of all American firearms. AR-15s are used in 0.4% of firearm homicides, maximum. Just How Many AR-15s Are We Talking About? There is no doubt the AR-15 is a popular rifle. The firearm industry notes this. Users note this. Even the gun control industry notes this. Knowing how many are out there is crucial for understanding if they are a problem or not. The AR-15 has been around since 1959, but the last eight years has seen a significant increase in its popularity. And no wonder. The rifle is lightweight, meaning anyone can shoot it (YouTube has a bunch of videos of tiny young girls firing them). They don’t recoil much due … Continue reading

Good Guy with a Gun?

Much has been made in public discussion about a slogan popularized (though I doubt originally penned by) the National Rifle Association, namely: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Ignoring that no such absolute statement is true (e.g., “all politicians are criminals”), it is a good slogan to ponder. What is the efficacy of armed response to an attacker? We at the Gun Facts project have covered this question quite a bit on the Guns and Crime Prevention page, and there is no use going through all that again. But in terms of mass public shootings (MPSs), and we’ll include active shooter events (ASEs) in this tally as well, the situation has better clarity due to the fact there is an indisputable violent event happening. Many defensive gun uses (DGUs) may be against unarmed attackers or have a lower … Continue reading

Mental Health and Homicides

It is time to tap dance on landmines and begin the Gun Facts investigation of the intersection of mental health and gun violence. This will be an ongoing project, as it appears to be a determinant variable in mass homicides (and hence, mass shootings). Main Takeaways Three forms of mental impairment are tightly associated with spree and serial killers. 74% of mass shooters had some form of genetic or induced disorder. Deinstitutionalization has removed dangerous people from being closely monitored In-patient psychiatric care was replaced, in part, with psychotropic medications, some of which can amplify violent desires. Triggering the Investigation News reports too often detail that mass public shooters had prior histories of mental health issues. One need only look at some of the twenty-first century’s mass murderers (the rogues galley at right being a representative sample) and you can tell there is something fundamentally different and dangerous about them. … Continue reading

Gifford’s Goof

Giffords Law Center Scorcard - Homicides - Assaults - Suicides

Just when you think people could not be more deceitful, they somehow manage. And by “deceitful” I mean Giffords Law Center and their rather ridiculous state-by-state scorecard on gun control policy, wherein they attempt to convince an unwary public that guns lead to mayhem (when in fact it is Giffords lawyers that lead intellectual mayhem). Major Takeaways “Strong” gun control is associated with higher rates of violent crime (homicides, assaults and rapes). They handily omitted Washing D.C., which has very high violent crime rates. They included suicides (which we know are not a gun issue). They don’t cite sources for their data. Their grading scheme for the “strength” of gun control laws is 100% opaque. The History of Scorecards, Branding and Giffords Law Center Gun control scorecards are nothing new. The formerly important Brady Center used to annually publish their bit of intellectual fraud in scorecard format. And, every year … Continue reading

Pondering Parkland

Now that details of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida have emerged, we can begin to explore causes and potential cures (unlike members of the gun control industry who didn’t hesitate a moment before proffering legislation of dubious efficacy). In this article we review: The high-level notes about the event Mental health and its recurrence in such incidents Legal intervention failures – Parkland and Virginia Tech (VT) Mass shootings as a policy priority What to watch in the political arena Legislative options and realities The high-level notes about the event The shooter was autistic, as was the Sandy Hook shooter. He had regular behavioral problems to the point that his mother would sometimes call the police to come over and talk to him. He had been treated at a local mental health center and had been on medications He was in a degrading mental state. He had a set of … Continue reading

Crossing Trends

FIREARM DEATHS - accidental and legal interventions - 1981 through 2015

While spelunking some data on the modes of gun deaths, I decided to have a look at some smaller instances, namely how often people die accidentally from gunshots, and the number of justifiable (perhaps even meritorious) homicides. Most readers already know that accidental gun deaths have been in sharp decline for several decades, despite the number of firearms in circulation skyrocketing. This is a curious situation, and one that goes directly against claims by the gun control industry. With concealed carry a fact of daily life in 42 states, one might also think justifiable homicides have gone up. They have, but only slightly. But this too also goes against the claims of gun control advocates, who maintain that concealed carry does not prevent crime (we’ll ignore the whole deterrence effect issue, which is likely contributory to the multi-decade drop in violent crime in America). Though the number of incidents for … Continue reading