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What If They Didn't Have Guns?

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

As we reel from one mass shooting to another, I can’t help but wonder—what if the shooters didn’t have access to guns? Second amendment defenders keep saying its not the guns, it’s the people.

Well, of course, it’s the people, but guns sure do make it convenient to barge in somewhere and kill a bunch of people. You have to wonder how many of the mass shooters would run off and stab people, set off bombs, or drive their cars into crowds?

I took a look at the data—in 2021 there were 11,578 homicides by guns of one sort or another. The next largest group was knives with 4,740 killed. These were individual homicides—and I imagine it would be much harder to kill a dozen or so people with a knife.

What about bombs? It turns out that in the US, since 2000 only two people have been killed by bombs—though there have been half a dozen bomb incidents.

That leaves driving cars into crowds. This has become a very popular tool for angry men. In the first half of 2020 there were 104 incidences of people driving their cars into crowds of protesters. Still, this attempted vehicular homicide lacks the mobility that a handgun offers, and while there are lots of injuries, almost no fatalities.

Mass shootings are a problem unique to the USA. An international study of mass shootings in 36 developed countries over 22 years found that the US accounted for 70% of mass shootings. Half of the other countries didn’t have any—and only two others (besides us) had more than two. Do we think that Americans are inherently more deranged and violent than everyone else? Or do we think that the fact that there is more than one gun per person her is what makes the difference.

Its time to say what is true, and to not stop saying in until gun-lovers acknowledge their responsibility and put the guns away.


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