Mark Follman

Mark Follman

National Affairs Editor

Mark Follman is the national affairs editor at Mother Jones. He is a former editor of Salon and a cofounder of MediaBugs. His reporting and commentary have also appeared in the New York Times, The AtlanticRolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and on Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR's All Things Considered and Fresh Air. Since 2012, his in-depth investigations into mass shootings, child gun deaths, and the financial costs of gun violence have been honored with multiple journalism awards.

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7 Myths About Gun Violence in America, Debunked

| Thu Jan. 7, 2016 8:18 PM EST

On live television Thursday evening, President Barack Obama will hold a town hall meeting about gun violence. He will take questions from participants who support tighter gun laws and from others who want fewer restrictions on guns. It's a prime-time moment for separating fact from fiction—so here's a shortlist, with the data to back it up. Review it, tack it to your wall, and feel free to share it with anyone who thinks the gun debate is just a matter of defending constitutional freedom:

No, keeping a gun in your home does not make your family safer.

No, there were not hundreds of mass shootings last year.

No, mental illness is not the main cause of mass shootings, and no, mass shooters do not "snap."

No, mass shooters do not deliberately target "gun-free zones."

No, ordinary citizens with guns do not stop mass shooters.

No, criminal shootings by black people are not the leading cause of gun deaths—suicides by white people are.

No, there are not "millions of defensive gun uses" by Americans.

Yes, mass shootings are occurring more often.

Yes, gun violence is a public health crisis, with profound costs for the whole country.

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