Shooting Down Fake News About Guns
Some media lowlights from 2017 and a reminder to stay vigilant in the new year too.
The New Year, as with every year, will require vigilance on the part of Liberty-lovers. In particular, we expect the Second Amendment will remain under assault by those who claim to love safety. Much of that assault comes from a dishonest Leftmedia propaganda machine dedicated to advancing Democrat policies of gun control. What better way to do that than to fill papers, airwaves, TV news and websites full of fake news meant to scare people? Courtesy of Emily Miller, author of Emily Gets Her Gun, here are a few such stories from 2017.
Some stories are spun from pure ignorance, which is, unfortunately, typical of those who would regulate firearms they know nothing about. Whether it’s New York’s Carolyn McCarthy spouting off about barrel shrouds, or former Press Secretary Josh Earnest being unable to define an “assault weapon,” ignorance somehow becomes policy preference.
Hilariously, Miller recalls USA Today’s infamous list of accessories for AR-15s. That list, published after the Texas church shooting, included a “chainsaw bayonet,” which spawned a whole slew of parodies like our own. Incredibly, USA Today’s article still has not been corrected.
But ignorance pales in comparison to deliberate deception. For example, many stories include no pro-Second Amendment view in counterpoint to leftist anti-gun rhetoric. In CNN’s report about the crazed socialist who attempted to murder Republicans, the reporter saw fit only to interview (by email) the president of the anti-gun Brady Campaign. Likewise, NBC’s story about the fifth anniversary of Sandy Hook bemoaned that no new gun control laws had been passed since then — all because the Left failed to unite against the supposedly all-powerful NRA. There was no alternative point of view offered from the plethora of gun-rights groups that stand with the NRA, nor was there a mention of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s deep-pocketed support for gun control.
Then there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Leftist reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta have a bad habit of citing debunked data on mass shootings. According to Acosta, “Since Sandy Hook there have been at least 1,552 mass shootings, with at least 1,767 people killed and 6,227 wounded.” He got his information from the anti-gun “Gun Violence Archive” rather than actual FBI crime data or even the Congressional Research Service. Miller responds, “In fact, the number of people killed annually in mass shootings has been an average of 23 over the last 30 years.” That discrepancy is largely because of the definition of the term “mass shooting.” While anti-gun groups count all kinds of things to inflate their statistics, the FBI defines the term as an incident in which four or more people are killed outside the home.
As for the supposedly centrist Economist, its story about the Texas church shooting lamented that an AR-15 was used — a gun that “was prohibited in 1994, but legalised in 2004 when America’s assault-weapons ban expired.” Why did it expire? The article doesn’t say, but it’s because it was ineffective and unconstitutional. If The Economist had checked with the FBI, readers would know that of 11,004 gun homicides in 2016, just 374 were committed with rifles of any kind. They might also know the good guy NRA instructor in Texas used an AR-15 to stop the massacre.
In short, as always, beware fake news about guns in 2018 as well.