A new study concludes that more guns does indeed mean more mass shootings

Mass shootings have long become an all too familiar occurrence in the United States. So much so that the rest of the world would be laughing at us if it weren’t so sad. From theater shootings to school shootings and from racially motivated shootings to disgruntled worker shootings, Americans have seen it all. And done nothing.

The reason behind the lack of concern and action, at least on the part of politicians, is the lobbying power of the NRA. The best example of how a small voice can make the loudest noise if it has money.

We’ve all heard their talking points by now courtesy of Wayne LaPierre. They somehow revolve around the need for more guns. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” “(gun) laws can’t control the lawless,” and everyone’s favorite; “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”

LaPierre is wrong just about any time he opens his mouth, but thanks to a new study, we now know with definitive proof that LaPierre and the NRA have always been full of shit. Earlier this week, a study by the American Sociological Association came out debunking the NRA’s theory (or propaganda) that more guns make people safer. In fact the more guns in a society, the less safe people are.

The study reports that the U.S., which has nearly half the world’s civilian-owned guns, is also home to 31 per cent of the world’s mass shootings despite making up only five per cent of the world’s population. According to the study’s author Adam Lankford, that is no coincidence:

“My study provides empirical evidence, based on my quantitative assessment of 171 countries, that a nation’s civilian firearm ownership rate is the strongest predictor of its number of public mass shooters. Until now, everyone was simply speculating about the relationship between firearms and public mass shootings [defined as killing four or more people]. My study provides empirical evidence of a positive association between the two.”

According to Lankford, mass shootings in the U.S. differ from those abroad. Shooters in the United States were 3.6 times more likely to have used multiple weapons than those in other countries. In the U.S., more than half of the shooters used at least two weapons.

“Given the fact that the United States has over 200 million more firearms in circulation than any other country, it’s not surprising that our public mass shooters would be more likely to arm themselves with multiple weapons than foreign offenders.”

The study determined other factors at play with mass shootings other than guns. Depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, and narcissism all play a role, but people in foreign countries are less likely to indulge in these killing spree “delusions of grandeur” and are less likely to get their hands on the guns necessary for such bloodshed.

“The most obvious implication is that the United States could likely reduce its number of school shootings, workplace shootings, and public mass shootings in other places if it reduced the number of guns in circulation.”

Mass shootings of course are only one aspect of the firearms problem. Gun-related suicides outnumber homicides two to one in the U.S. and there are 29.7 gun homicides per million people compared to 5.1 here in Canada or 1.4 million in Australia.

Australia by the way, in case you’re still skeptical, was part of Lankford’s study as well. It provides further evidence that reducing the amount of firearms can reduce the number of mass shootings.

From 1987-1996, there were four separate mass shootings that occurred in Australia. 12 days after a mass shooter killed 35 people in the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur, Australia agreed to pass comprehensive gun control laws.

Australia also launched a major buyback program that reduced the country’s total number of firearms by 20 percent. Lankford’s study shows that in the wake of these policies, Australia has yet to experience another mass shooting. From four in nine years to zero in nineteen.

I imagine that Mr. Lankford’s study will be largely ignored in the United States. America rarely looks to the rest of the world for good ideas (health care, paid vacations, the metric system). All this study does is reinforce what gun-control advocates have been saying for years, which leads me to yet another NRA ideology; “who cares about facts.”


  1. No. It has not. The Australian Beaura of Statistics proves your statement to be false. I studied this myself fora project a few years ago. Just check out http://www.abs.org.au It’s great it had statistics on everything in Australia and is free. It’s a great site.

  2. Mr.LaPierre, thank god your church hasn’t been visited by a gun toting madman YET. As the most merciless advocate of murder in America you deserve a gun toting madman in your church. Mr. LaPierre, you sir are remorseless in perpetuating murder in America’s schools. I hope some day a young child you love will be murdered by a gun. Mr. LaPierre, you believe all Americans should have access to guns without hindrance, perhaps some day a mentally ill person will murder you with a gun. I certainly hope so. I look forward to reading about your demise by gun murder,hopefully very soon.

    • A bit more violent than I like but similar to my attitude. When drunk drivers tell me ” I drive drunk all the time, haven’t crashed once, that only happens to other people. “I don’t encourage them to change by hoping they crash soon.

  3. What is the necessity of a gun? Why do people “need” them? The answer is, they don’t. Unlike cars which provide a very important function of transportation. People like to have them because they give small individuals the feeling they are big. That’s IT. So you have insecure, ignorant people stocking up on firearms and ignoring the FACTS (something the irrational right wing nuts LOVE to do here in the good ol US of A) and spouting off some rhetoric about their “Rights”. Have you read the 2nd amendment, you psychopaths? “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” WELL REGULATED. Well if we really want to honor the 2nd amendment (the one amendment SO important to everyone with an IQ comparable to a pudding pop) I believe, much like the constitution states, that it must be WELL REGULATED. And now empirical evidence is finally on our side. Thanks for the post Mike!

    • Well thats ok. When the government takes away the guns from good honest citizens, it’ll be people like you that are the victims of shootings. Take away guns and the criminals will still have them. Drugs are illegal and guess what we have a bring problem with…DRUGS YOU FUCKING ASSTARD. When a psychopath wants to kill you, he will whether its with a gun or not, and chances are hes gonna get an illegal gun because his intention is clear. If you arm yourself, you might just save your own life. Its a cruel world with cruel people and violent criminals. Taking away guns will only make it worse. And explain to me how a gun (an inanimate object) somehow manages to kill someone. And why isn’t it charged with murder? I thought it was the ruthless killer here, not the people. Ohhhh wait right your heads so far up your ass you don’t even kno what’s going on. Maybe, just maybe, you could educate yourself before you pull some bullfuck argument out of your gaping asshole.

  4. You’ve really got me thinking here. At first glance, I merely pegged you for an epitomological nitwit. Now, I’m wondering about your commitment to stopping this whole new level of criminal: inanimate objects.

    Let’s start with drunk driving, are you also lobbying to ban cars? Using your logic (that guns kill people), it’s safe to assume that you believe that cars kill people everyday, too.

    I’m not sure why the cars are so violent, but there it is.

    Some may say, “but wait, the cars didn’t kill anyone, it’s the drunk drivers.”

    But, no, I want you to stick to your guns here (no pun intended) and make the argument that it was not the driver’s decision to drink then drive that killed people – we all know he/she had no choice.

    I’m also certain that you will be leading the march to ban hammers, as well. Why? Because a man who was denied the right to purchase a gun, due to mental health issues, chose to kill his entire family with his hammer.

    Again, it begs the question: why are hammers do damned angry?

    The poor guy, he’s facing life in prison all because his damned hammer made the choice to kill his family. I’m sure you’ll help him fight this, we can’t let hammers get away with this. Burn them! Burn them ALL!

    My guns are pretty lazy, they just lay there, never moving unless I force them to get up and make some noise. I’m starting to worry though, maybe they are just waiting for the opportunity to kill, when I’m not looking … Oh, my gawd! What if those evil bastards are plotting to set me up?

    Who should I call? At any moment, my guns may decide to go on a rampage; I will have no control over them … My choices and intentions mean nothing! This is national crisi!

    I’m afraid my can opener may be plotting with the toaster … it’s anthropomorphic terrorism!

    • You need a license to drive a car and hammers don’t kill 30,000 Americans a year. Only a condescending child would respond to the literal meaning of the title instead of the content beneath it

      • You deflected his analogy that drunk drivers are a huge problem in the states by belittling him. The fact that drunk drivers have a license doesn’t answer the problem. In fact it’s easier to get a license than to purchase a gun legally. Logically the only argument anti guns activist pout are the number of deaths. Well cars kill more people in the US, but we don’t outlaw them. Fact is they serve a purpose. What people should understand is guns serve a valuable purpose. Add the fact that the sheer number of legal guns in the states vs the violent crimes where illegal guns are used should be an indicator that gun control only works when you eliminate them outright. Which your article alludes to. Take away everyone’s rights so we can only die from car accidents each year. If you are okay with it i guess that makes it right.

          • Wow what a troll, a nano second on google will give you some insight on Something so obvious. You chose yhe easiest fact to defend. In 2007 the USA manufactured more than 3 million, in 2007, 6 million. Fact check has a diagram depicting around 90 guns per 100,000 people in USA. Now take population of usa, divide by 100,000 and times it by 90. When you see the actual numbers of guns in USA God bless her, you will begin to see that the 30,000 a year which is maybe false since fact check had a number closer to 12,000 with 52,000 being injured, not murdered. Even with 52,000 versus the huge number of legal guns. I say legal guns because you can’t really track illegals can you? Which is in the millions for guns in america. You couldn’t even extract a percentage point. So yeah gun control works on making the legal gun owners pay extra taxes and registering all their fire arms, just so we can wait on some whacko to rampage and kill a few people to get ass hats to whine about how dangerous America is.

    • Comparing guns to cars? You really want to go there? Ok, let’s see… You need to be a certain age to get a PERMIT to be TRAINED in how to operate a car. You take a WRITTEN and DRIVEN test in order to obtain a legal LICENCE to drive. You purchase a vehical that is REGISTERED with the state and has all its serial and vin numbers DOCUMENTED. You must have INSURANCE for the drivers allowed to operate and a TITLE on this vehicle and it must be maintained to keep its legal driving status (blinkers, breaks, headlights, etc). You can look up any VIN on a vehicle and see its history. You must wear a safety belt. You are not to operate while under the influence. You have to prove your capable of operating every few years. Any person operating a vehicle outside of these regulations, are fined or jailed and/it lose their license to operate legally. All these regulations have decreased fatalities since being implemented. Now, when you can say all that for a gun, then you would have a valid comparison.

      • You have to be 18 to purchase a firearm. You only need to be 16 to visit dmv. Need to be 21 for pistol. Need to pass a written test and then run a federal background check. Wait ten days. If you want to actually use a gun you must do so in a regulated environment. Banned from discharging any firearm within city limits. If you want to hunt you must take a two day Fed course. Take a written exam, then pay an annual hunting fee, including tags for any animal. You see, citizens who know the law know that you can’t actually use firearms within a public area. The law is strict. Yet a teenaged boy can take a 4900 lb steel death trap and drive that as fast as he thinks he can handle. Look up the staggering deaths associated with cars…. Guns have a purpose for millions of law abiding citizens. There are more than 100 million guns in America and they kill far less than our cars do. In fact the majority of the deaths are illegal guns. Now if you make laws aimed at the illegal crimes you only restrict the ones whofollow them. It’s like taking away cars cause drunk drivers are killing too many people. Doesn’t make sense.

          • More than half the people who die by guns kill themselves, very unlike the people who die in car wrecks. And I’m sorry, but I cannot count a suicide as “gun violence”; instead it is simply a way to inflate the statistics. Suicides are stable across time and cultures, and Japanese, who have no guns, are far more likely to kill themselves than Americans. Eliminate suicides, and cars are almost three times as likely to kill you as guns. Approximately 500 people die from gun accidents, compared to 30,000 accidental deaths by cars. Yes, there are 10,000 to 12,000 murders per year, but murder is an intentional act, an intentional crime, 85% of which murders are committed by black males between the ages of 14 and 24, according to the on-line FBI annual statistics. This demographic represents 4% of the total population, and the vast majority of this demographic obtained firearms illegally.

            So tell me, how do these facts justify depriving 96% of the population of a Constitutionally guaranteed right, taking guns from millions of firearm owners who do not fit the demographic, obtained their guns lawfully, and have never committed a crime?

      • I guess you never sought to buy a gun in New York. You need a background check (no felonies or violent misdemeanors, no involuntary commitments to a mental health facility) 4 letters of recommendation, a psych evaluation and a personal interview with a police officer as to why you “need” a gun–despite the fact that the right to keep and bear arms in an enumerated constitutional right and driving a car is not. You have to be 18 to buy a rifle or shotgun, 21 to buy a handgun, even if you are on active duty with the military. And there is a training requirement. In NY or NJ, it may take six months to a year to get the state’s permission to lawfully purchase a firearm. Guns are registered–which makes little difference in solving crimes when the gun is stolen, just as it is if your car is stolen.

        Finally, if you cut out the 16,000 suicides, which likely would be committed by other means if guns were not available, the murders that are left are predominantly inner city (black) youth killing other inner city (black) youths, few if any of whom obtained their firearms legally, and none of whom are card carrying members of the NRA. The mass killings that receive all the press are, statistically speaking, outliers, and those who committed them are simply not readily identifiable before they commit their crimes. No law that exists or is proposed will find them, absent some record tht prevents them from passing a background check. Would you really think that all people should be stripped of their constitutionally guaranteed rights for nothing more than a sense of safety that is elusive at best? Shall we get rid of the fifth amendment because criminals should be convicted, due process be damned? That Muslims should be prohibited from practicing their religion because some of them might be terrorists, and just because a few of whom committed the largest mass slaying in US history)? Shall we ban the exercise of the right to free speech because some ideas make us uncomfortable, or make us “feel” unsafe? It’s a Bill of Rights, people, not a bill of needs, and the only dissenting voices at the time of their enactment were those who argued that the government would never violate them, and the Bill was therefore unnecessary. History proved the dissenters wrong.

        Did you know that persons licensed to carry concealed firearms are far less likely than the average person to commit a crime, and four times less likely than a police officer? The fact is that the average gun owner is not a threat to public safety, while the average criminal or thug (most of whom are legally prohibited by age or criminal convictions from possessing guns) are. Not one of the laws on the books will prevent these criminals from breaking the law to obtain firearms, or using them to commit crimes

  5. Another feeble minded attempt to avoid the use of logic. People kill other people. Guns are not inherently violent. The only way human violence can be stopped is if all the guns unite and kill every human in America. Once all the humans are dead our guns will live together in perfect harmony.

Leave a Comment