President Obama commonly asserts that the United States is the only advanced country in the world that commonly experiences mass murder1 as a talking point to justify pursuit of greater gun control measures. Notwithstanding how one defines “common” to fit one’s agenda or cherry-picking how, when, and where said murders are carried out, nonetheless considerable evidence exists to the contrary on this point:
Australia: 8 children killed.
Brazil: 12 children killed, 18 injured.
Canada: 5 killed.
China: 24 killed, 143 injured.
Czech Republic: 9 killed, several injured.
Finland: 9 killed.
Israel: 4 killed, 5 injured.
Netherlands: 7 killed, 11 injured.
Norway: 92 killed, dozens injured.
Russia: 6 killed.
Serbia: 13 killed, 2 injured.
Spain: 191 killed, 1,800+ injured.
This is not an attempt at an exhaustive list, of course. A more comprehensive listing can be found here. It is reasonable to assume most, if not all, of these countries have much tighter gun control laws than the United States, yet evil people have found ways to circumvent them and carry out their murderous intent with or without firearms. This list does not even include incidences where the death toll could have easily been higher but in pure happenstance did not meet the minimum threshold for the FBI’s mass murder criteria (e.g., Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Sweden, etc.).
Perhaps the worst part of these incidences is that in many cases the victims’ governments preemptively robbed them of the human decency of a fighting chance.
But seeing as this latest gun control issue is specifically centered around mass shootings, vice any old type of mass murder (which apparently does not qualify as being evil enough to discuss in some circles), the following graphic clearly illustrates that the United States is somewhere in the middle of the pack, so to speak, among “advanced countries” when adjusted for population – despite being far and away the world’s leader in firearms availability per capita.
Additionally, and in case anyone is wondering, the following lists countries which have a higher overall murder rate than the U.S.:
British Virgin Islands
Papua New Guinea
(Virtually all of Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, and Central Asia)
In all, firearms violence in the United States is on a steady and appreciable decline since at least 1993 and mass shootings are not increasing in frequency. And all of this does not even consider the most egregious mass murderer in human history: the state. (Usually this takes place following mass disarmament policies.)
1 For the purposes of this quick analysis and to maintain consistency, the FBI generally defines mass murder events as those involving at least four victims in a single event.