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Monday, July 23, 2018
HomePolicyData Doesn’t Support Rifle Ban for Americans Under 21-Years-Old

Data Doesn’t Support Rifle Ban for Americans Under 21-Years-Old

Florida Governor Rick Scott, foreground, speaks along with Sheriff Scott Israel, center, of Broward County, and Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, during a news conference near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (Photo: AP)

Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Others Buckled to Ignorant Mediates Backing Scott Israel, Despite the Data

Florida Governor Rick Scott, foreground, speaks along with Sheriff Scott Israel, center, of Broward County, and Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, during a news conference near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (Photo: AP)

Florida Governor Rick Scott, foreground, speaks along with Sheriff Scott Israel, center, of Broward County, and Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, during a news conference near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (Photo: AP)

Following the tragic mass shooting at a public school in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead, the idea of an age-based rifle ban is garnering the support of several key politicians and ignorant mediates.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said his proposal “will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older,” though there are “exceptions for active duty and reserve military and spouses, National Guard members, and law enforcement.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who refuses to resign even as he and his deputies failed to protect the children of the community, declared during a scripted CNN town hall that they “have no business” owning “assault weapons.”

I’m going to leave the inaccurate, dishonest and/or ignorant use of the term “assault weapons” alone for the moment.

At the same town hall, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., did what he does best — cave. There is now almost no difference between his position and the position held by his Democratic counterpart, Senator Bill Nelson.

Even President Donald Trump and his son Eric have entertainment the idea of an age-based rifle ban. As People’s Pundit Daily has previously noted, there is no data to back-up this proposal. It’s baseless and without merit.

A “mass shooting” is properly defined as a public shooting in which one or more perpetrators with a firearm murders at least 4 victims. According to a database put together and published by The Washington Post of all outlets, there have been 150 shootings involving 153 individuals since 1966, the year of a shooting at the University of Texas.

As Sean Davis at The Federalist correctly points out, this is the incident that many have argued sparked the modern phenomenon of mass shootings. We know the ages of 148 of these perpetrators.

The average age for perpetrators of mass shootings is 33.

The most deadly mass murder at a U.S. school was committed by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan. Kehoe, who was in his late 50s at the time, killed 38 elementary school children, 6 adults and injured at least 58 other people in what was referred to as the Bath School disaster or the Bath School massacre.

He used explosive devices, not an AR-15 or some other rifle. He was a full-grown man, not a young adult. In other words, the data doesn’t even support the erroneous idea that young adults are more prone to commit these acts, let alone that they would use a rifle.

According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 18-to-20-year-olds committed 10.2% of all crimes. A deeper dive into the data shows 18-to-20-year-olds commit less than 9% of U.S. homicides. The latter is more than twice their percentage representation in the overall U.S. population.

The most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history was perpetrated by Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2017. He was a 64-year-old man.

Thus far, we’ve just touched on rifles, which according to FBI statistics are rarely used in gun murders. The latest statistics show just 3.6% of gun murders in the U.S. are committed with any kind of rifle.

Handguns are the predominant weapon used in gun murders and violence in general. If an age-based gun ban worked and we’ve identified 18- to 21-year-olds as the “problem population” on this issue, then how are they responsible for any percentage involving handguns? They’re already prohibited from purchasing handguns.

Looking at FBI murder statistics as a whole, rifles were used in just 2.2% of all murders. Nearly 12% involved a knife and just over 5% used their hands, fists, or feet. Should we outlaw knives and human appendages, as well?

This issue is not about age. It’s about ignorance. Education and awareness will ultimately lead to a more enlightened and less violent society, not arbitrary laws proposed by those who failed to do their job.

Let’s close with the latest from the PPD Editorial Board:

This knee-jerk, emotion-based effort not only scapegoats a constitutional right but also hinders meaningful solutions that actually have a snowball’s chance in hell to prevent further tragedies.

As the editorial stated, these young Americans are old enough to be sent to war and possibly their deaths to defend the U.S. Constitution. Do we not owe them a fact-based solution instead of declaring that document doesn’t apply to them equally?

Written by
Editor-in-Chief

Richard D. Baris is the Director of the PPD Election Projection Model and of the Big Data Poll, both of which conducted the most accurate statewide forecasting in 2016. He is also the author of the must-read book on American political philosophy, Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract.

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