Per a reporter at the Washington Post:
Earnest reiterates WH call for tougher gun laws: Shooting is "another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common" in U.S.
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) August 26, 2015
This is wrong. “Gun violence” is not “becoming” anything. Rather, it’s down — and dramatically:
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
The available data is limited, but this trend does not seem to have changed since 2011. The bottom line: America is getting safer and less violent.
Unfortunately, Pew reports, only 12 percent of Americans know this, which is why the Obama administration can get away with spreading falsehoods.
If there is an argument to be made, it’s that America has too many gun-related deaths in absolute numbers, and that this drop does not make up for that. Personally, I don’t know what people who say this really mean. As always, we start from where we are, and we are going in the right direction. That’s good, especially given that the positive changes have come at the same time as the laws have been liberalized and the number of guns increased vastly. Either way, though, it is simply not true that there is an “epidemic” or a “surge” or that shootings are becoming “more common.” It’s not even true that mass shootings are up.
What has changed has little to do with firearms: Namely, that social media has become more powerful and round-the-clock news has become more prevalent. That, in my view, is the story of the day.