Gun Control advocates ranging from late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel to just about any random Democratic member of Congress are beating their breasts, crying at times, raging at others, while calling for" something to be done!" John Lott provides a reality check for such proposals. The experience of Europe proves that “common sense” gun control measures are futile where stopping Mass Shootings are concerned. Almost as important, terrorists have learned to use motor vehicles as weapons of mass destruction.

Europe as a killing field for terrorists

Ever since the 1970s, Europe has been a killing field for terrorists of various stripes, starting with Black September and the Red Army Faction and currently ISIS. Many countries of the European Union have a total ban on semi-automatic weapons. Nevertheless, terrorists have found ways to obtain automated weapons to commit mass murder. Moreover, some terrorists have used motor vehicles, such as happened recently in Nice and London, to mow down people on the street as efficiently as if they used an AK-47.

The carnage is similar between Europe and the United States

During the Obama years, Lott points out, there were 29 (four victims of more) mass shootings in the United States and 26 in Europe.

The casualties in each region of the world were of similar numbers, despite the existence of the 2nd Amendment in the United States and strict gun bans in Europe.

The bottom line

One of the dirty little secrets that is often forgotten when the hysteria over a mass shooting bubbles up is that gun deaths in the United States have declined over time.

According to an article in the Washington Post from a couple of years ago, in 1993 there were seven homicides by firearms per 100,000 people in the United States. By 2013 that rate had been cut in half with 3.6 gun murders per 100,000 people occurring.

A number of factors can be attributed to the decline in gun deaths, including more effective policing, to less alcohol being consumed, even to the removal of lead from paint, a source of brain damage in the young that can lead to violent behavior.

Gun violence in the United States tends to concentrate in locales such as Chicago that have instituted “common sense” gun laws. The old cliché that when guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns seems trite, but it applies in this case.

However, the imperative to do something, anything, even something that is futile or counterproductive is hard to resist. Some sober thought should be applied, however, when dealing with gun violence.