They still tell us “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Someone looking at statistics about gun related deaths might find the US eleventh highest in the world. That’s bad, but, using their methods, the US has a fraction of the rate of the very highest country. Countries ahead of the US on World Atlas’ list are countries dominated by criminal gangs. Another study ranks the US not quite as bad, but the story is the same.

What is it that leads the US to be ranked so high? We are not dominated by criminal gangs?  Cities that used to have high murder rates no longer do.   We are not in the midst of a low level civil war. The University of Washington’s found the US death rate from guns was the 31st worst in the world almost tied with Iraq.

Some at the NRA, if there is anyone left there, would say high rates of death from guns are the price of freedom, the freedom to own guns.  More sensibly, we need to consider these deaths as problem to solve. There are two parts to the problem – the accessibility of guns and a culture that encourages their use. If we make some progress on background checks, red flag laws we make guns less accessible. Reduced accessibility may help change the culture.

The culture is, however, deeply ingrained. The New York Times reports that studies find that misogyny underlies mass killings. That’s a aspect of our culture we have to change for many reasons. Reducing the number of mass killings is a pretty good reason.