Europe Has Same Rate of Multiple Victim Shootings as the United States

That’s according to John R. Lott, a recognized expert in the field even by gun control advocates.

Newsmax: The media typically spins these mass shootings as an American phenomenon. They suggest we ought to be more like Europe, with strong gun control, because then we would not have these problems. Is that true?

Dr. Lott: No. Europe has a lot of multiple victim shootings. If you look at a per capita rate, the rate of multiple-victim public shootings in Europe and the United States over the last 10 years have been fairly similar to each other. A couple of years ago you had a couple of big shootings in Finland. About two-and-a-half years ago you had a big shooting in the U.K., 12 people were killed.

You had Norway last year [where 77 died]. Two years ago, you had the shooting in Austria at a Sikh Temple. There have been several multiple-victim public shootings in France over the last couple of years. Over the last decade, you’ve had a couple of big school shootings in Germany. Germany in terms of modern incidents has two of the four worst public-school shootings, and they have very strict gun-control laws. The one common feature of all of those shootings in Europe is that they all take place in gun-free zones, in places where guns are supposed to be banned.

Newsmax: So can you give us a correlation between crime rates in jurisdictions that try to ban concealed guns and the crime rate in those that do not?

If you look over past data, before everyone that was adopting [concealed carry laws], you find that for each additional state that adopted a right-to-carry law . . . you’d see about a 1.5 percent drop in murder rates, and about 2 percent drop in rape and robbery . . .  Just because states are right-to-carry doesn’t mean they’ve issued the same number of fees. You have big differences in states’ training requirements.

Newsmax: Would it be a good idea to have teachers who have concealed carry permits in the schools, to better protect kids?

I’m all for that. I’ve been a teacher most of my life. I’ve been an academic. I have kids in college still, and kids below that. It’s not something that I take lightly. But it’s hard to see what the argument would be against it.

People may not realize this, but we allowed permit-concealed handguns in schools prior to the ironically named Safe School Zone Act. And no one that I know has been able to point to a single bad thing that occurred, not one.

We changed the law, and we started having these public-school shootings. So I don’t think they got the intended result that they were hoping for with that type of ban. Right now, [some jurisdictions] allow you to carry concealed-permit guns in the schools. There are not a lot of them. But there are no problems that have occurred with any of those states, either.


  • Mary Sue

    Gun-Free (school) Zones sound good on paper but anyone with half a brain knows they are just worthless and don't protect anyone. Let alone from someone who's hellbent on making casualties, in fact it makes it the perfect place to do so! Nobody can fight back effectively!

    This reminds me. A long long time ago, Chicago, the Epicenter Of Stupidity Of The Entire Universe, had this thing where morons would paste a sticker on the window of their houses that said "This is a gun-free home." They never figured out what a freaking stupid idea this was right off the bat, they had to wait to see that all the homes that got broken into had that damn sticker on the window. It was like an open invitation: having that sticker on your window was like saying "BURGLARIZE ME! IT WON'T EVEN MATTER IF I'M HOME!" So the practice finally fell into disuse out of sheer self-preservation. The problem is nobody really learned anything beyond that. Chicago is still full of idiots.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Gun-Free (school) Zones sound good on paper but anyone with half a brain knows they are just worthless and don't protect anyone."

      But Berkeley California is a "nuclear free zone" and they haven't been bombed since then. I think it could work. With 0'Bama's magical wand of federal regulation, we could reach our promised Utopia sooner if we just kill off all dissenters first, then kill the rich people after we find all of their money.

      "This reminds me. A long long time ago, Chicago, the Epicenter Of Stupidity Of The Entire Universe, had this thing where morons would paste a sticker on the window of their houses that said "This is a gun-free home.""

      OMG. No comment. That has to rank right up there with a kick me sign on the back.

      • Mary Sue

        It's hilarious when the anti-gun crowd is reduced to falling for the same kind of argument that Lisa Simpson once used (and playing the part of Homer Simpson):

        "This rock keeps tigers away."
        Homer: How does it work?
        Lisa: Well, you don't see any tigers around, do you?
        Homer: I would like to purchase your tiger-repelling rock…

  • Carlos Perera

    Gun-free school zones are an excellent example of the sort of magical thinking–pass a law!–that takes the place of factual, logical thought among all too many Americans–especially those who have been marinated in the indoctrination centers formerly known as schools, colleges, and universities during the past three decades or so. As a result, many of our countrymen cannot reason even at the level of an illiterate, manure-daubed Medieval peasant, who would have had no problem deducing that the wolves were more likely to attack the flock where the shepherd and his dogs weren't.

  • sol krakora

    What reliable reference do you have for these statistics? According to a webpage that actually contains references to government statistics, there were only 58 murders by firearms in the UK last year compared to 8775 in the united states.…. The USA leads in every category of gun violence including multiple homicides, the Norway massacre notwithstanding. And even Anders Behring obtained his firearms legally, which only says that Europe has not gone far enough to control gun violence. Why not compare the USA to East Asian countries where guns are restricted to law enforcement and gun violence is extremely rare.

    • Viet Vet

      Or we could compare the work ethic of East Asians to the work athic of East Africans.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        The point being that the problems are cultural, and got bad when we accepted that our "cultural diversity" would now be defined by the same people who promoted their theories of moral relativism.

        Now that the reality of history has proved them to be entirely backwards in their thinking, they simply deny reality completely and that ends the argument for them.

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      Same puerile apples and oranges reasoning, so many other leftist posters have tried.

      Pick a location where anti-civil rights laws are passed, with regards to gun ownership. Note how violent crime rises when such laws are passed. Repeat until reality pokes you in the eye with a sharp stick.

    • SP.

      Sol….Obviously you are anti gun…. However considering you've brought up school killings in china…pretty scary to read the number of dead and wounded caused by knifes and cleavers over the last few years….proving the point that you anti's focus on guns when the crazy's will use any means to carry out their sick mission….or are you also calling for more regulation and tighter control on knife and cleaver ownership????

      • EdC

        Or even consider the fact that a low gun-crime East Asian utopia such as China requires its citizens to get permission to leave the country, prohibits multiple births through abortion as government policy and has tens of millions of people stuck just above subsistence level. No thanks, I'll keep my passport, strap on a gun that's never killed anyone and go about my business with a smile on my face.

  • JLB

    In Japan, gun ownership is illegal. Do you know how many gun-violence related fatalities the ENTIRE NATION of Japan had last year? Less than Newtown had on Friday. We have more accidental gun fatalities in this country per year than any of the strictest gun control countries has gun-violence incidents PERIOD. Strict gun control works.

    • UCSPanther

      And the Japanese have one of the highest suicide rates in the world, mostly involving hanging, drugs, jumping off tall buildings, H2S poisoning, CO poisoning and jumping in front of trains.

      I would rather take my chances with American society where individuality is tolerated, unlike Japan where if you don’t conform, you are an automatic outcast. No exceptions.

      • Bob-O

        Japan also has nearly double the suicide rate, highest of the 'first world' countries. This is a complete irrelevant comparison due to the culture difference. Its not the gun control in Japan that matters is the cultural perception of honorable and shameful behavior. Unfortunately, the freedoms and liberties we cherish that allow acceptance and tolerance of this fringe behavior at its lowest levels, eventually culminating to instances like these.

        • Joey Tranchina

          I agree with the concise way you described the essence of Japanese society as well as your characterization of the role of liberty in American but I don’t find that to be the excuse that some people would make of it for doing nothing to prevent these senseless tragedies.

          I believe action is possible on two fronts — one cheap and the other expensive. First the cheap one. I grew up on a cattle ranch and got my first .22 at the age of eleven. I see guns, in the way I was raised, as a tool. There is no reason to license the possession military weapons for example (we live with restrictions on full autos, silencers and sawed off shotguns) While the assault weapons bans are cosmetology, I see no reason, for example, for 30 shot magazines.

          Anyone who thinks that their popguns are going to threaten this, already too tyrannical government, is delusional. We still have free speech and the democratic weapon to organize but the idea that some little militia — unless it’s a SEAL team — is going to influence American politics, should announce plans for their funerals, along with their declaration of war.

          I do not think it is wise to feed the delusions of fantasists. I think reasonable people can come to some agreement to make small changes in gun laws which will demonstrate willingness to appreciate the awfulness of these outrageous acts of madness.

          These concessions may even do some good, but the real problem is that in a society that’s wound too tight, there needs to be a serviceable and accessible mental health system, which there is not. Training professionals — even enough professionals to train sufficient volunteers — is expensive. I think the price of not doing that is higher, but that’s a complex conversation.

  • Emoliv

    Here in Australia, there have been no mass shootings since tough gun control laws were introduced in 1996.

    • Nick C

      Indeed, there have been no 'mass' shootings in Australia since the gun confiscation following Port Arthur. However, there has been no decrease in the number of gun deaths either. The confiscation had no overall effect.

      • BF69

        WRONG! Gun deaths are down dramatically since 1996. if you are talking murder the average per year 1980-1996 was almost 100. The average 1997-2012 is under 50. The absolute number of murders has also dropped in this period by even more than that number – so no 'substitution'. Given that there has been a rise in population of somwhere near 1.5 million since 1996 the rate of murders due to firearms has dropped even more dramatically while the total murder rate is down by about one third. Oh, and the overall number of firearms deaths (accident & suicide) have fallen even further, though in suicide there has been some 'substitution'. You can get all the official stats on line, no need to rely on NRA propaganda.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Regarding some of the real murder problem(s) in America –

    Every, single day, 1,200 black babies are put to death in abortion facilities, making abortion the leading cause of death among African Americans!

    Moreover, Chicago likes to compare itself to other world cities, so Ward Room thought it would find out how we rank in violence. — Chicago's murder rate is higher even than the Third World metropolises of Mexico City and Sao Paolo.

    Chicago's murder spree of 19.4 per 100,000 is more than three times that of New York's (6 per 100,000) and more than two and a half times of Los Angeles' (7.5 per 100,000), its closest American competitors. Caracas, Venezuela, which apparently is not an Alpha world city–thank you Hugo Chavez–has a higher murder rate of 130 per 100,000. (someone Barack would like to emulate if he could.)

    Read more:

    • joeytranchina

      This is not about abortion, "socialism" or president Obama.
      Why do you think that off-topic and inaccurate comment is appropriate?

      • Ruth

        You are a shallow minded moral relativist. Today's theme is murder(s) in society and the writer makes the point that murder is universally wrong whether at the point of a gun or in an abortion mill. Your moral relativism asserts that morality is not based on any standard. Rather, ethical “truths” depend on variables such as the situation, culture, one's feelings, etc.

        • joeytranchina

          An acorn is not an oak tree; a sack of seed is not a field of wheat; a fetus is not a person and abortion is not murder, except in the mind of the morally muddled.

          But to conflate your racist views of abortion
          with the murder of 20 children is simply ugly and stupid.

          • Getreal

            And a woman’s unfertilized egg is not a fetus. And to equate acorns and seeds to a fetus is ugly and stupid.

          • LOL

            ~1/3 of all fertilized eggs end in miscarriage, making your invisible sky wizard the leading cause of death among African Americans!

  • joeytranchina

    The European stats are imprecise, as many of the multiple shootings (especially in France & Germany where many of them are actual terrorism and not public madness.)

    If the US #MurderRate (4.2/100/00) was equal to that of France & Netherlands (1.1), over 9000 Amereicans/yr would still be alive. That's just arithmetic.

    The fact is that America is more like a third world country when it comes to mental health. Too many desperately ill people are expected just to suck it up and, unfortunately, too many of them don't.



  • ………..

    you know europe is a continent right?

    • Matthew Smith

      He said “per capita”….

  • Atheissimo

    “About two-and-a-half years ago you had a big shooting in the U.K., 12 people were killed”

    The killer in this case used a legally acquired shotgun for which he had a license, not an illegal gun.

    Surely that’s evidence for fewer licensed guns, not more?