I Prayed have prayed
Father, we pray that You would protect out Constitutional rights in this country. Prevent politicians from weaponizing tragedy to attack the second amendment, Lord.

As America reels from one of its bloodiest mass shootings in history, we must ask ourselves: is gun control really the answer?

From The Wall Street Journal. Saturation media coverage of such terrifying events as the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, can leave some people with the impression that these things occur far more often than they do. Three years ago, on the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo., the New York Times published an article noting that public perceptions of school safety are largely at odds with what the data show.

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“The unique horror of mass shootings,” the Times reported, “means they occupy a central place in parents’ fears, and in the nation’s political debate about gun access and school safety, even though they remain rare.” Most gun-related deaths—54% in 2020—are suicides. Mass shooting casualties are less than 1% of all gun deaths, and there have been 13 mass school shootings since 1966. These data points are cold comfort to those mourning the shooting victims in Uvalde, but they ought to inform any public policy response under consideration.

There are an estimated 400 million guns in circulation in the U.S., which leads gun-control advocates to conclude that school shootings are an inevitable outcome of having so many guns around. Correlation is not causation, however, and research has failed to find a causal relationship between changes in gun-ownership rates and changes in the level of school violence involving firearms. A recent analysis of the Rand Corporation’s firearms database by the University of Oklahoma’s Daniel Hamlin found significant increases and decreases in school gun incidents during periods when gun-ownership rates remained relatively stable….

Sensational killings—particularly those that occur during an election year in a deeply divided nation—are bound to be exploited by political partisans. But if policy makers want to do something constructive in response to what happened in Uvalde, they might first make sure they’re not barking up the wrong tree….

Deterrence is the more realistic option. Misbehaving students can be suspended and expelled if necessary. Mental-health services can be improved. Armed security guards can be employed. No one thinks turning schools into fortresses is ideal, but turning schools into gun-free zones can make them a magnet for mass shooters. When you’re worried about someone shooting back, sometimes you think twice about taking the first shot.

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(Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal. Photo Credit: Heather Mount on Unsplash)

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