The Reality of American Violence

There is a powerful and pervasive narrative about violence in America that goes something like this:

The United States has lots of guns, permissive gun laws, and lots of gun violence. Other countries have fewer guns, more restrictive gun laws, and far less gun violence. Therefore, if the United States wants to achieve lower levels of violence, it should enact stringent gun control policies.

It’s easy to see how this simple, straightforward narrative could be compelling. But it’s wrong. A more thorough examination of the narrative reveals it to be…