By Will Ricciardella
The tragic shooting at Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas has yet again sparked a national “discussion” of gun control and it’s efficacy.
Many in the media cling to their ideological vision that gun control is the only way to prevent gun violence in contravention of experience and data. But this does not preclude them from occasional honest moments.
Here are four articles from the left leaning news outlets that challenge the gun control myth:
“Although well-meaning — supporters genuinely want to keep military-style weapons ‘off the streets’ and guns out of the hands of suspected threats” Bouie wrote in 2012 for Slate. “Both measures are wrongheaded.”
He admits that banning “assault weapons” is futile considering there is no proper definition of the term, making prohibition impossible. Most envision the term “assault weapons” to mean rifle, but as Bouie notes, “out of 73 mass killers from 1982 to 2015, just 25 used rifles of any kind.”
“Of the 43,000 Americans killed with guns since 2010, just a fraction — 3.5 percent — were killed with rifles.”
There are claims in the media, that the increase in the number of firearms in the U.S. inevitably leads to more violence. Goldberg, writing for The Atlantic in 2012, points out that most never take into account the actual data or the amount of crimes thwarted by an armed potential victim or good Samaritan.
“[I]t is, in fact, possible to assess with some degree of accuracy how many crimes have been stopped because the intended victim, or a witness, was armed” he writes.
Studies show that as the amount of guns per person in the U.S. increased, violent crimes decreased. “In the 1990s, Gary Kleck and a fellow criminologist, Marc Gertz, began studying the issue and came to the conclusion that guns were used defensively between 830,000 and 2.45 million times each year.”
“I AM a New England liberal, born and bred” begins Cronin in a New York Times piece from 2013. “I am also a Texas resident and a gun owner. I have half a dozen pistols in my safe, all semiautomatics, the largest capable of holding 20 rounds.”
Cornin’s views about guns changed after he and his family were stranded trying to escape Houston before Hurricane Rita hit in 2005. Millions of others were trying to do the same in one of the largest evacuations in history.
“By 2 in the morning, after six hours on the road, we had made it all of 50 miles” writes Cronin. With many stranded on highways, gas stations empty and markets picked clean his “Northeastern liberal sensibilities, while intact on other issues, had shifted on the question of gun ownership.”
“Here I was with two tiny children, a couple of thousand dollars in cash, a late-model S.U.V. with half a tank of gas and not so much as a heavy book to throw. When my wife wouldn’t let me get out of the car so the dog could do his business, that was it for me.”
In the subsequent days since the Las Vegas shooting, many in the media have criticized, if not blamed entirely, all gun owners as a whole. “[C]alling gun owners “a bunch of inbred rednecks” doesn’t do much to advance rational discussion” concludes Cronin.
“Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me” writes Libresco, a statistician in The Washington Post, on Tuesday. Like many today, she was “frustrated” by the National Rifle Association (NRA) blocking gun control measures like banning “assault weapons.”
“Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way” Libresco confessed.
True to her roots as a statistician, she was unable to ignore the hard data. “[T]he case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence” acknowledges Libresco. Some in the media compare mass murders in the U.S. to mass murders in other countries as proof positive gun control works.
After researching the very strict gun laws in Britain and Australia, Libresco came to the conclusion “that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be.”
“As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference.”
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