Source: Mikael Thalen |
During a live discussion on student loan debt Tuesday President Barack Obama claimed that American gun violence was “off the charts.”
Answering questions with Tumblr founder David Karp, Obama pointed to several recent high profile shootings as proof of epidemic gun crime.
“Levels of gun violence are off the charts,” Obama said. ” There is no advanced developed country on Earth that would put up with this.”
Obama argued that Americans should be “ashamed,” using the opportunity to bemoan his inability to pass gun control legislation.
“We’re the only country in the world where this happens and it happens once a week,” Obama said.
Obama went on to refute any link between mass shootings and mental health as well, instead blaming the ability of Americans to collect ammunition.
“It’s not the only country that has psychosis, and yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than anyplace else,” Obama said. ” What’s the difference? The difference is these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses.”
Invoking his role as parent, Obama also pushed the notion that American gun owners are collectively responsible for mass shootings.
“This country has to do a lot of soul searching,” Obama said. “This is becoming the norm. And we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.”
The President even went as far as praising Australia’s gun confiscation program, claiming that “very severe” gun laws have helped the country.
“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown,” Obama said. “And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”
Earlier that day, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the President is “always” looking for ways to “unilaterally” act on gun control.
“The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer,” Earnest said.
In reality, the President’s comments and actions once again conflict with actual statistics regarding gun crimes.
Obama’s claim of “off the chart” gun violence is in complete opposition to countless studies that have found a 49 percent drop in gun homocide since 1993.
A similar study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that non-fatal gun crimes have dropped nearly 70 percent over the same time period.
Ironically, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on gun violence ordered by the President last year reached similar conclusions.
“Firearm-related death rates for youth ages 15 to 19 declined from 1994 to 2009,” the report states. “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.”
The study even pointed to the benefits of concealed firearm carry for protection against criminals, yet another point that interferes with the Obama Administration’s gun control agenda.
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year” the report reads.
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
Reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics also reveal that school shootings are not becoming the “norm” as the President suggested.
Despite the massive plunge in gun crime, a recent survey found that 56 percent of American’s believe it has actually increased, a point unsurprising given the media’s reporting on the issue.
The President also alluded to a recent report from “Everytown for Gun safety,” a gun control group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which claims an average of 1.37 school shootings have occurred every week since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.
Shortly after its release Tuesday, a journalist began listing all of the report’s inaccuracies on Twitter, documenting how it even included drug related shootings off of school property.
Obama’s refusal to acknowledge the role of mind-altering pharmaceutical drugs in mass shootings is reprehensible given the fact that nearly every mass shooter in the last 20-years has been on psychotropic drugs, a point almost always ignored by media. Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen by 400 percent since 1988 according to the CDC, making American the largest consumer of psychotropic drugs in the world.
The President’s public comments regarding children, who are just as likely to be struck by lightning as they are to be in a mass shooting, are a far cry from his private conversations.
Just last year, reports indicated that Obama was overheard bragging to administration aides about how well he killed people with drone strikes. According to several US officials, more than 4,700 people, many of whom were woman and children, have died from such strikes. Researchers estimate that the President’s drone attacks kill anywhere from 36 to 50 innocent people per 1 suspected terrorist. Obama’s decision to assassinate 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki also discredits his alleged concern.
The President’s credibility also comes into question given his involvement in the Fast and Furious gun running scandal. Documents obtained by CBS News in 2011 revealed that American guns shipped into Mexico would be covertly used to blame the Second Amendment, allowing the administration to push tougher gun laws.
The Obama Administration’s agenda becomes most clear when one examines not the shootings it mentions, but the shootings it ignores.
While the media gives endless attention to shootings that can be used for political gain, gun control capitols such as Chicago, which recently saw four dead and more than 30 injured in one weekend, are completely ignored.
As gun crime continues to plummet, focusing on the root issues of gun violence will assure that number continues its decline.