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John Fund: The facts about mass shootings

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 5:28 a.m. MDT

A sign showing the town seal and a black ribbon is posted on the door of an antique colonial home in the historic district near the funeral for six-year-old student shooting victim Jack Pinto in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (Associated Press) A sign showing the town seal and a black ribbon is posted on the door of an antique colonial home in the historic district near the funeral for six-year-old student shooting victim Jack Pinto in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (Associated Press)

Our take: In the midst of an ongoing national debate about gun control, columnist John Fund took to the National Review Online website to suggest that the conversation is looking in the wrong direction, and should instead be focused on mental health and "gun-free" zones.

A few things you won't hear about from the saturation coverage of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre include the fact that mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, Fund wrote.

"In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

"Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. We would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones, which ban the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals, don't work."

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