We've heard it too many times to count, from people all over America, that these kinds of things - mass shootings - won't ever happen in their hometown. As the team at Mother Jones has shown us with the map below, "these things" can happen almost anywhere.
As we noted recently, the availability of guns isn't the only factor in America's gun violence problem. It is the component that's been the most lied about though, often through the vast propaganda tools of the lobbying group that is the NRA.
So as a public service, we've collected and corrected some of the most common lies about guns, and provided the correct information, below.
Lie: Mass shootings don't really happen that often. It just seems like it because of the media.
Truth: The number of mass shootings has actually risen significantly over the last 30 years.
Since 1982, there have been 62 mass murders carried out with firearms, across America, where 'mass murder' is defined as a single person killing four or more people in a single incident (other than the killer).
Lie: The assault weapons ban in the U.S. did nothing.
Truth: The assault weapons ban did, in fact, limit unexpected mass killings.
Using the more accurate standard used for "mass killings" used by Mark Follman at Mother Jones, and Princeton researcher Sam Wang - where crimes that involve armed robbery or gang violence are not counted - statistics show the assault weapons ban did make a significant difference. As Wang's research noted, "Since the expiration of the gun ban in 2004, the number of shootings per year has doubled, and the number of victims per year has nearly tripled. Three of the bloodiest four years [since 1980] occurred since the expiration [of the ban]."
Lie: "If there had been someone there [at a massacre site] who was packin', those people would still be alive!"
Truth: Armed civilians do not stop mass shooters.
As Mark Follman of Mother Jones notes, "...not one of the 62 mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years has been stopped this way."
Lie: More guns will actually make us all safer!
Truth: More guns actually mean more murders.
As the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found, where there are more guns - in America and in other, similar rich nations - both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.
Lie: Gun-loving Americans don't support gun control or gun safety laws.
Truth: In general, responsible gun owners support effective, smart gun safety laws.
According to a poll taken by noted GOP pollster Frank Luntz for the group Mayors against Illegal Guns, and published in Think Progress by Zach Beauchamp, "...gun-owning Americans, including National Rifle Association (NRA) members, overwhelmingly support a raft of common-sense measures typically described as 'gun control.'"
That includes 87 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners who support requiring criminal background checks on gun owners. 80 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 79 percent of NRA gun owners also support requiring criminal background checks on gun shop employees.
Lie: Obama is the worst President for gun-loving Americans, ever.
Truth: 2012 has been a record setting year for gun sales.
As of August 1, 2012, there are nearly 130,000 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States - which means there are currently more stores selling guns than groceries in the U.S.
Lie: German Jews would have been able to stop Hitler, before World War II, if they'd been armed. But Hitler banned guns in 1935, and took all their guns away.
Truth: No, Hitler didn't ban guns in 1935. There was NO gun ban law enacted in Germany in 1935. There was a gun law enacted in 1928, before the Nazis came to power, and five years before Hitler's rise to power. That law didn't outlaw guns, though. It just restricted guns to law-abiding citizens, who had a reason to own one. Yes, Jews in Germany under Hitler were prohibited from owning guns. But there were only a half million Jewish Germans in 1933, out of a total population in Germany of 67 million. A few thousand guns would not have stopped the rise of Hitler, in large part because Hitler and Nazi's most effective weapon wasn't guns. It was propaganda.
Lie: Having a gun in my house, in case of a home invasion/for protection makes my home safer.
Truth: As multiple studies have proven, having a gun in your home actually increases the risk of homicide, suicide, and accidental death. A gun in the home makes the likelihood of homicide three times higher, suicide three to five times higher, and accidental death four times higher. Further, according to a scientific study in the 'Annals of Emergency Medicine', an estimated 41 percent of gun-related homicides and 94 percent of gun-related suicides would not occur if no guns were present.
Lie: Every gun sold at a gun show has to go through a background check.
Truth: Only guns sold by dealers have to go through background checks. A 1997 National Institute of Justice survey found that around 40 percent of all firearm sales are private sales and therefore take place without any kind of background check. Since many of these private sales happen at and around gun shows, the loophole is known as the 'gun show loophole.'
If you're looking for even more facts on guns, check the links below.