RE: Which Do You Value More: Freedom or the Well-being Freedom Brings?
Let me put out two figures:
Gun deaths (homicides and suicides, intentional and unintentional) in 2014: 33,594
Courtesy of: Pro-Con
Total deaths in the US in 2014: 2,626,418
Courtesy of: CDC
Now, let's do the math. What's 2,626,418 into 33,594? 1.28%. In other words, of the over two-and-a-half million people that died in 2014, just over 1% of them died because of intentional or unintentional use of a firearm, by themselves or by another person. If you exclude suicides from the original firearm figure (which I'd argue you could do since suicidal people that would follow through are likely to follow through with some other means of suicide), that percentage drops to .4%
The percentage of deaths caused by firearms used by another person on the victim in 2014 was .4% (11,008 total homicides). That's it. By contrast, the percentage of deaths attributable to, say, motor vehicle collisions was 1.2%. Even if you include suicides in your calculation of deaths by firearms, they're roughly in the same category of danger.
My question is this: what's the issue? Are tragic deaths perpetrated by people who use firearms any less tragic because they account for just over 1% of total deaths? No. Is this a pressing concern? Also no. Given that the rate of gun ownership exceeds the number of owners by a significant margin, I'd say that the level of safety exercised by the overwhelming majority of gun owners is unquestionable.
Moreover, given that this is a question concerning what to do about mass shootings, why does any of this have any bearing? We've seen multiple instances of mass killers us vehicles and other methods to kill large groups of people as well (primarily in areas where firearms are either heavily restricted or illegal for possession and carry by civilians). To say that addressing gun ownership will somehow limit the reach of someone intent on killing a large group of people for whatever end is short-sighted.