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Non-gun mass killings facts

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster Deadliest US incident after 9/11 and Oklahoma City. 45 dead via bombs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akihabara_massacre 3 dead by car, 7 by knife.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka_school_massacre 8 schoolchildren killed by a knife.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_attack_on_the_Dutch_Royal_Family 8 dead by car.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isla_Vista_massacre 4 dead by car.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/07/aurora_shooting_how_did_people_commit_mass_murder_before_automatic_weapons_.html mentions an case where 6 were killed and 15 wounded with a pair of knives. (The article has confused automatic and semi-automatic weapons, BTW. No automatics in Aurora, or any of the other shootings AFAIK.)

"Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapon. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects, and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns."

And of course http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway though with 10 people involved and only 13 deaths they underperformed by a lot, compared to 4-8 per culprit with knives or cars. 6000 injured though. A previous Aum sarin attack killed 8 and injured 144.

Elsewhere it's noted that mass killings tend to be well planned. Reducing the number of guns carried could plausibly reduce the number of shootings in the heat of the moment, but you'd have to eliminate guns to eliminate mass shootings; if guns are available at all then killers could get them. And you're not going to eliminate guns in a country that hasn't made all large non-human animals go extinct. And even if you did, mass killers could turn to other means. Killing 27 with just a car might be hard but most of the other shootings have been much smaller scale.

And US mass shooting deaths tend to total under one hundred per year, vs. the 11,000 murdered with guns in general, or the 35,000 killed in traffic accidents.

Note: I could actually be friendly to gun control! But mass shootings are a terrible justification for it. TSA-level terrible, as in harassing 100 million gun owners and likely not even saving any lives. The 8000 handgun murders every year would be much more apropos, though it's also true that the US non-gun homicide rate is higher than most rich countries' total homicide rate. (http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html gives 1.38/100,000 for non-gun. 1.0 or less is typical for peaceful countries' total homicide.)

Also, if you insist on talking about guns, it's helpful to remember they're not all equal. Handguns make up the vast majority of gun murders (and half of all murders) and even the majority of mass shootings, I think, though semi-auto "assault" rifles do play a bigger (but still overall tiny) role in those. Hunting rifles are almost pristine at the moment... though I suspect you could easily kill 4-8 with a bolt action rifle if you wanted. Let alone a shotgun.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/344555.html#comments


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 15th, 2012 11:46 pm (UTC)
Always appreciate your analyses - for hunting rifles, would this include the Beltway sniper murders from 2002? Wikipedia mentions it being a Bushmaster rifle, but I don't know much about rifles so I begin to get lost in the classification.
(I've fallen a great deal from my days of playing Morrow Project ;))
Dec. 16th, 2012 12:09 am (UTC)
Might be. I did say 'almost'. :p Hunting includes semi-autos (but not scary looking like 'assault' rifles) and old-fashioned bolt/lever action ones.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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