After the truck attack in Nice, France, radio host Joe Walsh tweeted, “Not a gun. Not a bomb. This was a truck. 2-3 minutes. As of now over 80 dead. Please understand now. It’s not the weapon. It’s the ideology.”
This got me into a Twitter argument with a friend who wrote, “Rules against guns will go just about as well as drug laws. And, to be consistent, the left should be going to war against vans.” Another Walsh follower posted later, “Paris and Orlando: guns. Nice: Truck. Germany: Axe. The issue is the ideology, not the weapons.”
But let’s look at the facts on the ground in America.
According to the FBI, between 2010 and 2014, 87.8 percent of feloniously murdered police were killed by guns, not counting those killed with their own guns.
Between 2006 and 2015, 36.2 percent of police who died while on duty were killed by guns, 0.9 percent from terror attacks (source: NLEOMF).
In 2012, 69.37 percent of American murder victims were killed by guns, 12.5 percent from stabbing. For five years of available data between 2006 and 2012, 68 percent of American murder victims were killed by guns, 12.7 percent from stabbing.
In 2013, 33,636 Americans were killed or killed themselves with guns (Wikipedia) and more than the 32,719 Americans killed in car accidents; however, the latter figure equates to only 1.1 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (Wikipedia).
Recently, FiveThirtyEight reported “from 2002 to 2014, 85 percent of people killed by terrorists in the U.S. were killed using guns” and that “Every terrorist attack in the U.S. last year in which someone other than the perpetrator was killed involved guns.”
For anyone who wants to reduce unnecessary death in America, making cars safer will help, but tightly regulating firearms is by far the statistically most effective approach to saving lives.
Regulating ideology would be anti-American. And sadly these days, guiding our actions by science and statistics is as well. Facts just don’t matter much anymore.