Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mass Shootings and the President


For John, BLUF:  I don't think I have heard a plan to sop up all the guns in the US.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



The Volokh Conspiracy Opinion Fact check:  Obama claim that ‘I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.’ Written by David Kopel December 1 at 3:37 PM, for The Washington Post.  The lede:
This morning in Paris (!), President Obama said at a news conference, “I mean, I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.” Is his statement true? 
In one sense, the answer would be “yes.” President Obama’s statement was in the form of: “Every time X happens, I say Y.” As a historic self-description of Obama’s own rhetoric, Obama’s statement is mostly true, but only in recent years. When President Obama was running for national office in 2007 through November 2012, he never used mass shootings to compare the United States unfavorably with other countries. Nor did he use mass murders as an occasion to make political demands for gun control. This was his rhetorical approach from the Virginia Tech murders in April 2007, through the Aurora theater murders in July 2012.
But, to the heart of the issue, does gun violence only happen in the US. Here is the paragraph on the President's Father's home nation:
Although President Obama has relatives in Kenya, his statement suggests a lack of awareness of events there. On April 2, 2015, criminals murdered 142 students at the University College Campus of Garissa, in northeastern Kenya. Among the other mass shootings in Kenya in recent years are those as Lamu (29 murdered, July 5-6, 2014), Mpeketoni (53 murdered, June 15-17, 2014), Majembeni and Poromoko (15 murdered, two days after Mpekoni) and the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (67 murdered, Sept. 21, 2013). Kenya, by the way, has extremely strict laws against the possession or carrying of firearms, as well as bows, as I detailed in a Quinnipiac Law Review article with Joanne Eisen and the late Paul Gallant.
But, Kenya is not a real "Western" nation, at least in the eyes of some. So, let's look at commonly accepted Western Nations.  Again from the article, in this case initially quoting a Wall Street Journal article:
In terms of per capita fatalities, the United States was fourth, after Norway, Finland and Switzerland. Another article, at the Independent Journal website, provides a “Rampage Shooting Index” for 10 countries, covering 2009-2013. Again, the United States is first in total number of incidents, and sixth in per capita fatalities. (Behind Israel and Slovakia, as well as the previously mentioned nations). Updating the index to account for 2015 would put France ahead of the United States. (French data are reported in the I.J. article, but not the Wall Street Journal article.)
OK, so the question is, who stole the gun meme of the Progressives?Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards  —  Cliff

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