America has a gun problem. This is a common belief of gun control supporters not only in the United States, but in the rest of the world as well. Our Second Amendment and the NRA that supports it have become the subject of a global dialogue. When there is a mass-shooting in the US, you can watch the BBC or other foreign news outlets and watch detailed coverage of the massacre, even if only several people are killed. The world also has a problem with terrorism, and when terrorists attack in the US using firearms as with the recent rampage in San Bernardino, this is often rhetorically lumped in with mass-shootings by our sitting President and other Gun Grabbers.
If this is right thinking, then the recent November rampages and January Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris this year were both mass-shootings as well. This isn’t likely to be a popular argument in France or Europe. Since they both involved illegal weapons, it wouldn‘t have the same political message. It would be a poor argument to link guns to terrorism anyway, considering the thousands of bombings carried out by Islamic radicals since 9-11. I would argue that guns are not the problem with violence in general either, or even the only problem when mentally disturbed individuals decide to kill a lot of people. This worldwide 2015 list of people killed by mass-violence that did not involve guns is my attempt to prove it.
1: Place, Oklahoma – Weapon, Car – Dead, 4 – Number of criminals, 1.
Soon after Adacia Chambers ran a red light and crashed through a police barricade into a crowd of spectators attending an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade in October, it soon became apparent that her actions were intentional. Her unusual behavior after the crash; her history of mental illness, and the number of people struck were the main indicators. She’s been charged with 4 accounts of 2nd degree murder and 46 accounts of felony assault for all the people injured. The lesser murder charge is explained by a lack of premeditation for the attacks as sources seem to agree she did it on the spur of the moment – that’s extra scary to me, as it makes one wonder how many mentally ill people are driving the roads of America on any given day.
2: Place, Oklahoma – Weapons, Knives – Dead, 5 – Number of criminals, 2.
Another attack in Oklahoma, only this one was carried out with knives by a pair of brothers in July. They killed their parents and three of their younger siblings, and critically wounded one of their sisters. They left the two year old unharmed. The family was reclusive and home-schooled their children. In a peculiar twist, the brothers were reportedly interested in carrying out a mass-shooting and wanted to outdo the attacks at Columbine high school that became so well known. It doesn’t seem they ever got their hands on any guns, but they still managed to carry out the worst crime in Broken Arrow Oklahoma history.
3: Place, Brazil – Weapons, knives – Dead, 8 – Number of criminals, hundreds.
In May a gang fight broke out in a desperately overcrowded prison in the Brazilian state of Bahia. It quickly turned into a full blown prison riot and then a hostage situation. Some visitors to the prison were taken hostage, and the convicts quickly turned it into a demand for better treatment by the authorities. Luckily, a surrender was successfully negotiated and the prison was turned over the authorities once again. Even so, eight people were killed in the riot, including one that was decapitated.
In an environment where weapons are supposed to be completely under control of the government, deadly prison riots are not all that uncommon. In 2012 a different gang fight broke out between the Zetas and other convicts in a prison in northern Mexico, but this one didn’t end so warmly and ended only after the deaths of 44 inmates. It turns out the riot was assisted by corrupt guards and was merely a cover for the escape of members of the Zeta cartel.
4: Place, Mediterranean Sea – Weapon, drowning – Dead, 12 – Number of assailants, at least 15.
When a boat full of Nigerian migrants coming to Europe for a better life began to sink in April, it’s not surprising that people began to pray. Muslims on the boat became angry at one Christian for refusing their demands that he stop, and he was quickly thrown overboard along with many of those who had tried to help him. Many Christians saved their skins by forming a human chain to keep themselves from being thrown over as well. Fortunately, a ship that was most likely the Italian coast guard arrived soon after the incident began.
Thousands have died this year crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa and the Middle East, trying to reach greener pastures in Europe. One might think of these as purely accidental, but they are undeniably some of the collateral damage from people fleeing several conflict zones.
5: Place, Xinjiang China – Weapons, bombs and knives – Dead, 16 – Number of terrorists, at least 28.
Ethnic Uighur terrorists launched another one of their savage knife attacks on a coal mine in Asku in September, also using explosives. They killed 16 people according to some reports, including five police officers. Accurate information from China about these events can be difficult to get, and reports of the casualties vary. The Chinese authorities claim they killed 28 of the thugs in the manhunt that followed the attacks. Many of the Muslim Uighur minority in China’s western Xinjiang region feel they are being overwhelmed by the majority Han moving in and taking up their living space. They also feel abused by the government.
Attacks by these militants are not limited to western China though. In an attack in March of last year, eight terrorists with knives managed to slay 29 civilians and injure 140 at a train station in China’s southern city of Kunming, getting 4 of their own shot dead in the process. This article’s image is one of many recently taken showing Chinese security forces standing guard back-to-back, appropriately protecting themselves and their weapons from the hands of these blade wielding fanatics.
6: Place, Egypt – Weapons; rowdy soccer fans, tear gas, and a human stampede – Dead, at least 30.
Sometimes milder violence without the intent to kill can still lead to a disaster if it involves enough people. This was demonstrated perfectly in February when a throng of soccer fans without tickets insisted on shoving their way into a match. Accounts vary, but at some point fans climbed a fence, blocked traffic on the street and lit a police vehicle on fire. One of the vehicles blocked on the street was reportedly carrying the Zamalek soccer team most of the trouble makers were there to cheer for.
Hardcore fans of the Zamalek’s appear to claim on the internet that a small opening was made for them to enter the match, but were tear gassed as they began to move through. This is supposedly what caused the human stampede and the multiple deaths. Accounts are sketchy, but at least 30 deaths are reported. It was not as bad as the soccer riot in 2012 that killed over 70 in Cairo, but it was a bad riot by any measure.
7: Place, Mozambique – Weapon, poison – Dead, 75 – Number of killers, ?
People attending a funeral in northern Mozambique in January helped themselves to a traditional home-made beer called pombe that is drank normally from jugs and brewed in a large barrel. For some reason, the main batch of the beer was poisoned, which killed 75 of the funeral attendees and sickened about 200. There isn’t agreement on what poison was used, but there does not appear to be any dispute that it was poison. The investigators have no leads or possible motives.
Suddenly, having to find a bottle opener for my own sealed bottle of Corona doesn’t seem to be such a terrible thing.
8: Place, Turkey – Weapons, suicide bombers – Dead, 102 – Number of terrorists, 2.
In Ankara this October a protest organized by the Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey and several other groups to voice discontent over conflict between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers Party was struck by a pair of suicide bombers that were soon connected to the Islamic State – 102 were killed and about 400 were wounded.
One of the suicide bombers was the younger brother of the man who carried out the Suruc bombing in July that killed 33. In that bombing, people were organizing in southern Turkey to travel to Syria to help rebuild the town of Kobani after Kurdish forces had recently driven out Islamic State fanatics there. The Islamic State terrorists seem intent on punishing any public support of their Kurdish enemies in Turkey.
9: Place, France – Weapon, passenger jet – Dead, 150 – Number of killers, 1.
When a suicidal German named Andreas Libitz decided to end it all and take as many people with him as possible, there wasn’t a vast selection of gun shops available for him. Unfortunately though, he was a co-pilot for Germanwings airline. He had been declared “unfit to work” by a doctor, but Libitz simply kept this information from his employer. On a flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf in March Libitz simply waited for the pilot to use the restroom and locked him out of the cabin. When he took the controls and put the plane into a descent, the pilot and some of the passengers tried to break down the armored, terrorist-proof doors, but had no luck. The terrifying decent lasted ten minutes before the plane struck a mountain in the French Alps killing all 150 on board.
Since then many nations have adopted regulations to prevent this sort of thing by requiring that two authorized people remain in the cockpit at all times on large aircraft.
10: Place, Egypt – Weapon, bomb on a plane – Dead, 224 – Number of terrorists, ?
On Halloween, a Russian Airbus A321 was flying north to St Petersburg from a resort in the southern Sinai when it crashed killing all 224 on board. The Islamic State group immediately claimed they brought the plane down, but it took time for Western governments to confirm that a bomb was responsible. The Islamic State group later released a photo they claimed showed the simple bomb that was used. The photo showed a used soft-drink can; a small detonator, and a switch.
Experts now believe it was a time-bomb that brought the plane down. IS claims they originally wanted to target a plane of a country participating in the US led coalition against it in Syria and Iraq, but changed their target at the last minute since Russia had recently joined in the air campaign against the so-called Caliphate.
Gun control supporters want you to believe that America has a gun problem that is unique in the world, but the only thing that truly sets us apart is our Second Amendment and the powerful lobby group known as the NRA. The US murder rate isn’t as insanely high as some Gun Grabbers try to imply. A chart on Wikipedia sums up recent global homicide studies conducted by the UN. Up to date information is difficult to come by, and the statistics for the homicide rates of any given country on the chart can be dated anywhere from 2009 to 2013. The US homicide rate is listed for the year of 2013 as being at 3.8 per 100,000, with the region of Europe as being at 3.0 – not a striking difference. It certainly doesn’t match the statistics put out by Gun Grabbers, who oft like to put out deceptive charts comparing the US murder rate to countries like Norway; Denmark, Japan, and other nations mainly in Western Europe. Other nations that are left out are nations in Eastern Europe like Russia; Estonia, Lithuania and a thong of developing nations that have a higher homicide rate than the US.
One of the newer tactics of the Grabbers is to cite all gun related deaths separately, whether they are homicides, suicides or accidents. In this case the US is not in the lead either, despite the undeniably large amount of guns in the country. This is confirmed by another mainly UN study despite what gun control supporters have put out there. The US doesn’t come close to the top in our number of homicides; suicides, accidents, or even gun deaths. It makes one wonder why American guns are such an issue to people around the world.