Writer “fact checks” Obama’s reaction to San Bernardino shooting

21 Dec

kevin rice

Kevin Rice: Regular contributor to Free State Patriot



Speaking to CBS News moments after news of the shooting, President Obama said in the interview. “We should never think that this is just something that just happens in the ordinary course of events because it doesn’t happen with the same frequency in other countries.”

The tragedies of gun related violence are horrific. There is no justification for the cold blooded termination of people’s lives. But instead of consolation or offering a measure to assist the average citizen protect and defend themselves and others from such events. Such as the training and liberty to own and defend oneself. The training and arming of the average American citizen would greatly reduce the number of casualties associated with these events. The reduction of the occurrence of these events may be completely outside of the control of the average American citizen but the reduction of mass shooting related casualties is a viable option with appropriate training and liberty to exercise our right “to keep and bear arms.”

2nd amendment

Let us take a moment to fact check Mr. Obama’s claim that these events do not happen at the same frequency in other countries. According to the archived data based on OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) statistics the United States ranks seventh in rampage shooting fatalities per million people.

Rampage Shooting Index, covering the five year period beginning on January 1, 2009 and ending on December 31, 2013”

Rampage Shooting Fatalities (2009-2013) Per 1,000,000 Total Rampage Shooting Fatalities (2009-2013) Fatal Rampage Shooting Incidents (2009-2013) Per 1,000,000 Total Fatal Rampage Shooting Incidents (2009-2013) Population Level of Firearm Regulation
Norway 15.3 77 0.19 1 5033675 Restrictive
Finland 1.85 8 0.37 2 5421827 Restrictive
Slovakia 1.47 8 0.19 1 5445324 Restrictive
Israel 1.38 11 0.25 2 7941900 Restrictive
Switzerland 0.75 6 0.25 2 8000000 Restrictive
United States 0.72 227 0.12 38 314941000 Permissive
Belgium 0.63 7 0.09 1 11041266 Permissive
Netherlands 0.42 7 0.06 1 16751323 Restrictive
Germany 0.31 25 0.04 3 81799600 Restrictive
United Kingdom 0.19 13 0.02 1 62262000 Restrictive
Canada 0.17 6 0.06 2 35010000 Restrictive
France 0.06 4 0.02 1 65350000 Restrictive


Could the frequency of rampage shooting not be a factor of guns but of population tendencies towards violence? To examine this hypothesis let us look at the fact that the USA has a population of over 315 million people. When you compare this to the number of people living in countries like France (65 million) or Israel (79 million) it is obvious that the USA is a massive country. The probability of a mentally disturbed individual going on a shooting spree could be uniform (let’s say and average of 1 per million) and the USA would still have more shooting in 5 years than most other countries.

This being said the rational of a mass shooter is an irrational unpredictable variable. Obama would lead the people to believe that the common variable in all these shooting is the access to firearms. When you evaluate this data you can see that of the top 10 countries with mass shootings only 2 have permissive firearms regulations. Within the top 5 all have restrictive firearms regulations. In light of this increasing restrictions of guns possess a greater risk of the US moving into the top 5 as opposed to away from the top 5.

So what of firearm related deaths? Does the US lead the pack in the number of gun related homicides per capita?

Firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year

Country Method of Calculation Homicides
 Honduras (incomplete) 64.8 (2010)
 El Salvador (incomplete) 39.90 (2008)
 Jamaica (mixed years, incomplete) 39.40 (2009)
 Venezuela (mixed years) 39.00 (2000)
 Swaziland (incomplete) 37.16 (2004)
 Guatemala (incomplete) 34.8 (2010)
 Colombia (mixed years) 27.1 (2010)
 Brazil (mixed years) 18.1 (2008)
 South Africa (mixed years) 17.00 (2007)
 Panama (mixed years) 16.10 (2010)
 Mexico (mixed years) 10.00 (2010)
 Paraguay (mixed years) 7.30 (2009)
 Nicaragua (mixed years) 5.90 (2008)
 Costa Rica (mixed years) 4.6 (2006)
 United States -2013 3.55 (2013)


This incomplete data set listed on Wikipedia appears to indicate that the US is not even in the top 10 of the homicides per capita. As this table shows the US ranks 15 of the countries who have data listed on this webpage.

Mr. Obama needs to check his facts. The truth of the matter is “Guns do not kill people. People kill people.” No amount of gun restrictions will alter the gun related fatalities or mass shooting related fatalities within the US population. The most critical steps in curbing the number of these events and associated fatalities is

  • To be vigilant with regards to spotting behaviors that may predict such violence.
  • Improve access to affordable mental health for people who are struggling
  • Provide freedom for the American Citizens to arm and protect themselves and others especially in soft target areas.


There is no quick fix to PRVIWCISE “people related violence in which a gun is employed” Taking the guns does not help. The data present here indicates this fact. There are violent people in the world. They will find a way to act out this violence. We need to have an open discussion regarding gun freedom and mental health, not a slander campaign against the innocent gun, which if left alone would harm no one.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of San Bernardino as well as all of those effected by human violence in the form of mass shooting.


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