Gun control supporters quickly made three arguments following the latest mass shooting Wednesday: Such violence only occurs in the United States, military assault weapons need to be banned, and expanded background checks are needed.
All three points are based on flawed facts, gun expert John Lott said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” Thursday.
Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said it is “an absurd statement” by President Obama that mass shootings only occur in the United States. The rate of mass public shootings in the United States is similar to that of Europe, he said.
Lott pointed out that the three worst mass shootings have occurred in Europe, which has much stricter guns laws. He noted that 508 people have been killed or injured in mass shootings this year in Paris. That compares with 424 casualties in the United States from mass shootings during the entire Obama presidency.
“Paris this year had more casualties from the three mass public shootings that than we’ve had over the entire Obama presidency,” he said.
The shooting on Wednesday at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., left 14 people dead and 17 wounded. Authorities have named Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, as suspects.
On the background check issue, Lott said, California already has a law — called for at the national level by Obama — requiring background checks on person-to-person gun sales. The same is true of Oregon and Colorado, where other recent shootings have taken place.
Lott also challenged the characterization of the weapons used in San Bernardino — .223-caliber rifles and semiautomatic handguns — as military “assault” weapons.
“The bizarre thing is, we have these shootings occur in places that already have these laws, but he’s pointing to these and Hillary Clinton’s pointing to these places as justifying passing this law even though it didn’t stop them in these cases,” he said.
Lott also challenged the characterization of the weapons used in San Bernardino — .223-caliber rifles and semiautomatic handguns — as military “assault” weapons. They are “military-style” weapons, meaning they look like military weapons on the outside, he said.
“But the inside guts of the gun are the same as any hunting rifle,” he said. “Most of the guns sold in the United States are semiautomatic.
In a separate appearance on the radio show, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., focused on the suspects. He said authorities need to examine how they came into the country and whether they were radicalized in Islamic jihad.
“How did our system not pick that up?” he said. “There’s a lot of things we need to ask about it, but the American people are not prepared to give up the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.”