No Bill, No Break
Gabby Giffords

Americans are grappling with a gun violence crisis.

No, we are not. In fact, gun violence, like crime in general, is way down, and you can say that it is despite the increase in gun ownership or because of the increase in gun ownership, but if you say there is a crisis, you’re a damn liar.

The incidence of firearm homicide in the US is about 3.5 in 100,000. Compare it to, oh, male breast cancer. Gun homicide is about twice as common as male breast cancer. All other things being equal, Obama should give one speech about male breast cancer for every two about guns. Newspapers and news-shows should spend about half as much time talking about male breast cancer as they do about gun violence.

Obviously, none of this happens. Have you ever, ever, seen a TV show about male breast cancer? I haven’t, and I know the president has never given a speech about it.

Of course! Male breast cancer is incredibly rare. Murder with a gun is twice as common as “incredibly rare”, which makes it, what, “very rare”? “Uncommon”? “Not worth worrying about”?

Whatever it is, it isn’t a crisis and no one who says it is is worth listening to.

Like what you read? Give Michael Lorton a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.