MASS SHOOTING MYTH — U.S. HOMICIDE RATE HITS 51-YEAR LOW AS GUN OWNERSHIP INCREASED 141%
In the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre, politicians have attempted to use the tragedy as means of garnering public support for increased gun control measures. Four pieces of knee-jerk gun control legislation were defeated in Congress yesterday, but the debate surrounding gun rights continues unabated.
The new narrative is that “mass shootings,” defined by the FBI as 3 or more people killed in one incident, are at epidemic level and thus require society to increase restrictions on gun ownership as a means of saving lives and lowering the U.S. homicide rate.
However, this narrative flies in the face of reality as the homicide rate in the U.S. is actually at a 51-year low, according to FBI data. The homicide rate in the U.S. for 2014, the most recent year available, was 4.5 per 100,000. The 2014 total is part of a long downward trend and is the lowest homicide rate recorded since 1963 when the rate was 4.6 per 100,000. The last time the homicide rate in the U.S. was lower than it is now was in 1957 when the total homicide rate was 4.0 per 100,000.