Mass shootings in U.S. compared with other countries
WASHINGTON (SBG) - Elected leaders on Capitol Hill were quick to respond with familiar calls for action on U.S. gun reform after the Virginia Beach mass shooting.
"We clearly need common sense gun legislation,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
“We’re the only country in the world with this problem," said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D- N.Y. , grew up in Virginia Beach, and said this:
“We stand alone in the amount of gun violence. It is an epidemic in this country. ”
But the numbers may tell a different story.
In one study by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the United States actually ranked 66th among other world nations when it came to the frequency mass public shootings per capita.
And when just comparing European countries with the United States and Canada, the U.S. ranked 12th in a comparative study between 2009-2015.
There are many places in Europe that have higher death rates per capita then the United States: France, Russia Finland, Norway, Switzerland are just some of the countries that have much higher death rates than we do, “ said John Lott, President of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Some have been critical of Lott’s interpretation of the data. Additionally, some of this country’s largest and most deadly shootings occurred after 2015. And many gun control advocates saying the focus should remain on the particular challenges faced in this country, which reportedly has more guns than people.
"I don’t know how many more guns need to be out there as we wait for that person to appear and they never appear. Because that’s really a fantasy to me. We want to prevent the shooting from ever happening in the first place," said David Chipman, a former ATF Special Agent and Senior Policy Advisor at gun control advocacy group Giffords.
But gun advocates like Lott insist gun ownership makes the country safer, more evidence of the difficult terrain in this latest chapter of the gun debate.