Their goal: Teach people to despise guns and gun owners
We all know how to sell something. We also know how to discredit an idea or action. All we have to do is ignore its benefits and inflate its costs. Are those lies exactly? A comedian can lie to us, but we don’t go to a comedy club to hear the truth. Here is how the mainstream media and anti-rights politicians teach us to hate guns and to despise gun owners ... and yes, they lie about it.
Tell half the truth about armed defense. The easiest way for the media and gun-prohibition-politicians to blame gun owners is to show us the harm that criminals do with guns and to ignore the lives saved when honest citizens use their firearms. The mainstream media tells us about the horrific murderer who used a gun. The news ignores the common events of armed defense that happen every day. It is hard to overstate this since the media bias isn’t a few percent, but over a thousand-fold. That level of distortion is commonly called a lie.
We can test that right now. See if you can remember a time when the news told you about a murderer who used a gun. Of course you can, but do you remember when the news media showed you an example of armed defense where the good guys and good gals stopped the attacker and saved lives? That happens more than 4,600 times a day and yet you can’t remember seeing more than one or two news stories about it. It is easy to blame guns and gun owners for murder and robbery when the mainstream news media hides half the story.
Misrepresent gang activity as firearms accidents. If you look, you will find more and more stories of young men engaging in violent crime. We now see 12-year-olds as part of armed carjacking gangs. It is easy to assume that when a 11, 12, or a 13 year old gets shot that it was a firearms accident. That might be true in a small rural town but 12 year olds are part of violent gangs in our failed cities.
It is certainly true that many youngsters are shot as innocent bystanders but that isn’t a “firearms accident” at all. We have to make the clear distinction between a firearm accident and involuntary manslaughter. The great news is that both the number and the rate of real firearms accidents have been falling for years. Firearms education prevented accidents.
Mix suicides in with homicides. The largest fraction of gun-related deaths are from suicide. Long ago we passed laws that made suicide illegal. Notice that someone who is willing to take their own life is not concerned with breaking the law. We passed “red flag” laws that take firearms from gun owners. We took their guns but we didn’t offer them mental health counseling. We’ve also seen some states impose mandatory waiting periods of 3 to 14 days before you can pick up the gun you bought.
The claim is that mandatory waiting periods will reduce the rate of suicide. We are told that we might impulsively use the next gun we buy to commit suicide, but you would not use the firearms you already have in your home. You read that correctly and waiting periods for existing gun owners don’t make sense.
Suicide is a real problem that deserves more than an imaginary answer. The number of suicides rises and falls each year, but we have not found clear evidence that gun-control laws reduced the rate of suicide. I have seen the large and sustained effort that firearms manufacturers, ammunition manufacturers, gun shops, and individual gun owners have put into mental health counseling for gun-owners in crises. They helped establish and fund programs like Walk-the-talk America and Hold My Guns.
Confuse gun owners with criminals. We don’t see the rate of crime drop after states impose gun-control laws. The reason is obvious since honest people obey gun laws but criminals are the ones who commit crimes. Unlike us, criminals don’t use gun shops to get their guns. Criminals get their guns the same place they get their drugs. They buy them on the street from other criminals.
The news media tells us that making it harder for honest citizens to get guns will somehow change the way criminals behave. That is magic rather than reason, but the media tells us that honest gun owners are to blame for what criminals do with guns.
Blame gun owners for mass-murderers. Honest gun owners are blamed each time a mad-man commits murder in a “gun-free zone” where the victims are disarmed by law. We were told that we need to have mandatory background checks to stop mass murderers. We were not supposed to look at that statement too closely since mass-murder is pretty much a one-and-done career. When we looked, we found that some mass murderers did have a criminal record that should have disqualified them from having a gun. That prohibition scheme doesn’t work when prosecutors don’t prosecute criminals.
What surprised us is that the crazy mass-murderers actually told us why they wanted to kill. We’ve read their journals and their manifestos. They want to be famous and will kill to get what they want. The news media is all too eager.
We were not told that 49-out-of-50 mass murders occur in gun free zones. We’re not shown that honest gun owners stopped 104 attempted mass-murders in the last seven years. Where we were allowed to go armed, we stopped more than half of the attempted mass-murders in the last few years. If that comes as a surprise to you then you know that the mainstream media has been lying to you. Armed citizens are the cure rather than the disease that caused public-violence and celebrity-murders.
Call out gun owners as an emotional threat. We’ve seen politicians question our right to defend ourselves. The news media and anti-rights activists demean not only guns and gun owners but the people who tolerate them.
We’ve talked about facts, but we haven’t talked about feelings very much. There is a reason for all this animosity directed at gun owners.
Gun owners are guilty of wrongthink. Questioning the effectiveness of gun-control laws undercuts the utopian fantasy of gun-control. We think we are discussing facts but we are actually shattering their dreams. We are considered a threat since we ask ordinary people to question the utopian vision of gun-control.
It is comforting to think that getting rid of guns would get rid of violence. Some politicians and activists are strongly attached to that fairy tale. Unless we shout our support for gun-control, we are considered a threat since we make the utopians feel insecure.
How dare you put your safety and the safety of your family ahead of my comforting fantasy!
We talked about facts, but if you want to make someone uncomfortable then question their dreams. That explains the vitriol thrown at ordinary citizens who want to protect themselves.
Facts matter to those who are influenced by facts. Dreams matter to those who live in dreams. I will not call my virtue a vice simply to make other people comfortable. Life is too precious for that. I have dreams of the future too, and so do you.
Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.
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