Amid the marches, protests and calls for gun control emanating from the Parkland students in the aftermath of the school massacre there six weeks ago is this fact — we're living in the safest generation from gun violence since the 1960s, Ken Cuccinelli wrote in a column for the Washington Examiner.
"So, if we can at least agree that we would all like to reduce violence in America, especially violence that victimizes children, then let's at least try to start with the facts," wrote Cuccinelli, former Virginia attorney general and gubernatorial candidate.
Citing FBI stats, Cuccinelli says the facts are clear.
"In raw numbers, America went from suffering more than 1.9 million violent crimes in 1991 down to less than 1.3 million violent crimes in 2016, despite our population growth during those 25 years. This includes going from 24,700 murders in 1991 down to 17,250 by 2016," Cuccinelli writes.
That's not likely to deter or assuage the students from Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and administrators were slaughtered on Valentine's Day, nor the families of victims from Newtown, Connecticut, or Columbine, Colorado, sites of other school massacres that account for 43 of those murders during that same timeframe.
"When a crime does not happen, there is nothing to report. So we only get a steady drumbeat of the violence, crimes, and tragedies … (calamity is interesting, placidity is boring)," Cuccinelli writes.
"When a discussion is sparked by a tragedy like the mass shooting at Parkland, it's easy, and even understandable, that emotions can dominate the discussion. But if we want real, long-term results — less violence and safer children — then while we comfort those who are in pain from the recent tragedy, we must focus on what works," Cuccinelli writes.
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