A shooting occurred Tuesday afternoon that is sure to rock the nation and reignite the gun-control debate. At roughly 3:30 in the afternoon, an unidentified gunman entered the Clackamas Town Center in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area and opened fire on the crowd. Three people have been reported dead, including the male shooter.
Wearing an old-fashioned hockey mask, the gunman entered the building through the rear entrance in a Macy’s. Witnesses stated that the gunman was wearing body armor and carrying an assault rifle – the police have not released the model of the weapon yet – with which he may have fired up to 60 shots.
Handguns account for almost one death per 100,000 people in the state of Oregon: as a point of comparison car accidents in the Portland area account for 6.8 deaths per 100,000 people. Sure, assault and other rifle totals may inflate the gun death rate, but statistics show that people die far more frequently by getting behind the wheel than by offending the local drug dealer, or wronging a jealous spouse. While gun-control advocates are sure to pounce on this anecdote as yet another reason to limit our rights, the Portland shooting actually shows very little by way of the numbers.