Fame, Media and Mass Shootings

Why people shoot herds of innocent bystanders in bars, concerts, movie theaters and schools is an area of earnest interest to the Gun Facts project, and to other researchers. So acute  is this interest that the academic journal Criminology & Public Policy devoted their entire February issue to 16 new papers on the topic. The Gun Facts project hopes to read all of them, but we start with a tantalizing and slightly flawed item, Why have public mass shootings become more deadly? Assessing how perpetrators’ motives and methods have changed over time. Not criminology malpractice This certainly is not a John Hopkins style selection of anti-intellectual tripe composed (allegedly) by doctors pretending to be number nuts. No, this paper is rightful criminology research and the type that the Gun Facts project prefers – namely being devoid of statistical hocus pocus and instead a solid tally of bad tidings. In short, … Continue reading

AKs and ARs: Real assault rifles vs. mythical “assault weapons”

AK-47 assault rifles (not wespons) used by drug cartels

When Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, passed away, some media reports estimated that about 100 million AKs around the world. They are full-fledged and full-auto war weapons. There are between 3-10 million AR-15s in the United States. These are civilian, semi-automatic sporting rifles, and not weapons of war. This perspective is important. In the worst of the worst places around the globe − Syria, Rwanda, Somalia − AK-47s are the norm and the corpses are plenty. Civilian AR-15s are nearly never used in homicides in the U.S. (yes, it has happened, but statistically it is so rare you cannot assign statistical accuracy to their use in crimes). Mexican drug cartels show how this all gets in the way of gun policy. Drug cartels like AK-47s … a lot. South America is awash in Soviet made AK-47s left over from when the former communist block was exporting their ideology one bullet at … Continue reading