In light of the West Freeway Church shooting in White Settlement, Texas, gun control activists are blaming gun access and conceal-carry laws for the rise in gun deaths in the United States.
Gun control activist Shannon Watts claimed more than 3,500 Texans are killed by guns every year. Her tweet insinuated mass shooters and increased access to guns are to blame for the rise in this number.
“If more guns and fewer gun laws made Texas safer, it would be the safest state in the US. Instead, it has high rates of gun suicide and homicide, and is home to 4 of the 10 deadliest mass shootings,” Watts tweeted.
3,500+ Texans are killed by guns every year: a life lost every 3 hours.
If more guns and fewer gun laws made Texas safer, it would be the safest state in the US. Instead, it has high rates of gun suicide and homicide, and is home to 4 of the 10 deadliest mass shootings. #txlege pic.twitter.com/qnHrbTIBJW
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 30, 2019
There are many problems with Watts’s analysis, beginning with the fact that Texas has one of the highest state populations, making statistics between states incomparable. When Texas is compared to all 50 states and Washington D.C. factoring in gun deaths per population, it falls to number 27, making Texas far from the highest rate of gun violence.
In fact, CDC data shows that since 1990, homicidal and suicidal gun deaths per capita in Texas have fallen bellow the rest of the U.S. population.
The graph tweeted by Watts also fails to differentiate types of gun deaths. According to the CDC, the “firearm-related deaths” referenced in Watts’s graph is not limited to deaths by mass shooter or deaths by homicides. Causes of death included in “firearm-related injuries” includes: suicides, homicides, terrorism, accidental misfire, and legal intervention involving firearm discharge.
For instance, in the West Freeway Church shooting that took place on Sunday, the shooter was shot and killed. This was considered a heroic act and saved many more lives, but it would be considered a “firearm-related injury” according to Watts’s data. So would a suicide, so would the death of a terrorist, so would the death of individual shot by a policeman or other legal authorities. This data simply does not take into account the entire picture or encapsulate the entire problem.
This narrative and messaging is completely on brand with Democrats and the mainstream media. They ignore the big picture and put a laser focus on the issues they wish to highlight, no matter how out of context these issues may be.
So, to put “firearm-related injuries” into context, let’s compare Watts’s alleged mass killings statistic to the amount of unborn babies murdered in the womb in Texas in 2017.
According to Abort73, the Guttmacher Institute, and the CDC, in 2017 there were 53,277 abortions performed in the state of Texas. If Watts’s data was not aggregated and 3,513 Texans were actually killed by gunmen alone in 2017, that would still be nearly 50,000 less deaths by guns than abortion.
This perfectly encapsulates how Democrats and the mainstream media work overtime to ignore the actual causes of deaths and point their focus on an issue they want to discuss, such as gun control. The truth is, Watts’s data is only being used to promote an agenda, not the truth about how people are dying in the United States.