This is Part III in a series of takes examining the gun control movement in the United states, you can find Part II here. I appologize for the delay in getting this part up, been a busy couple weeks.
As was stated in Part II, anti-gun people tend to be very unreasonable, when questions get asked or inconvenient truths get pointed out they usually flip out, throw out a couple personal insults and say I (or the person who pointed out the truths) is a ticking time bomb and is a perfect example of someone who shouldn't be allowed to own guns. Look through the comments section of any gun-related article from a mainstream media outlet to see my point. But lets narrow the focus a bit, personal insults are far from the only problem of the anti-gun organizations...
Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun groups have produced and funded several studies over the past two years that seem to promote gun control, problem is they're all loaded with problems in the data.
One of the studies is constantly ongoing, it is keeping track of the number of "school shootings" since the Newtown Massacre on December 14th 2012. Last I checked, the number was at 95. The problem with this one lies in what exactly constitutes a "school shooting", in this case, it is any incident in which a firearm is discharged on or near school property, the circumstances of each incident are completely ignored. Of these 95 incidents there are cases of legitimate self-defense, accidental discharges, gang activity, suicides and other incidents that have nothing to do with the school itself, they just happened to take place there. One such example is a man who lured family members to a school, where he shot them. Another incident is the case of a teacher who committed suicide in an empty classroom and another incident, supposedly at the University of Houston, that nobody (neither the school nor local police) can actually verify happened. The point of course, is to make people think there is a Newtown-type shooting happening once a week or so, this is hardly the only example of anti-gunners using colorful language to influence public opinion ("assault weapon" anyone?).
When the number was at 74, CNN ran a story shrieking about how out of control "gun violence" is in this country. Curiously, I can't locate the original article from CNN, however I can find the article from the following day where they had to quietly correct themselves. Obviously, they did their best to soften the fact that the figure they cited was bloated by 500%, but even their revised number is high as this article demonstrates. And of course "legitimate news media" like Daily Kos was not happy about CNN admitting their wrongdoing and slashing the number by 80%.
That is far from the only example of fudged data from Michael Bloomberg's groups or any gun control group for that matter however, take a look at the strongest evidence that background checks on gun sales works. The "strongest evidence" that background checks work eh? Well if that's the case the whole concept of background checks should be scrapped entirely. Why hone in on one state? There are 17 to choose from, what makes Missouri special? Why not study all of them? Most likely because Missouri was the only example that told the story Michael Bloomberg wanted people to hear. The homicide rate rose 17% in the 5 years following the repeal of the universal background checks law, that's not good... Until you see that the murder rate rose 32% in the 5 years leading up to the repeal, curious that the study didn't mention that isn't it?
In their newest report, Everytown has attempted to convince Vermonters that large amounts of guns are being bought by prohibited persons online. Problem is, they claimed to examine listings from private sellers who are not subject to background checks, but at least six of the listings they use in their study are from a lisenced dealer, who if he were to sell to a buyer he got via the internet, would have to do a background check on. The dealer in question is actually suing Everytown over the lies within the report. Additionally, the report never actually says any firearms actually changed hands, just that some people, who may or may not be prohibited from owning firearms, inquired about buying them.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF ANTI-GUN LIES AND FALSEHOODS
Anti-gun advocates are well known for using a type of psychological warfare, be it calling the AR-15 an "assault weapon" or dancing on the graves of dead children the entire movement is based solely on emotion. Their strategy has included intentionally trying to decieve the public into supporting their legislative efforts, take this 1988 quote from a one Josh Sugarmann:
"Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi- automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons."
So let me get this straight, you want to tell people that an object is something that it is not so they'll support banning it? In that case, there's a Kenyan living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the country illegally, let's start drumming up support to get him deported. The past couple years have seen a dramatic public-education on the subject of semi-automatic versus fully-automatic firearms, so much so that this lie is nearly completely universally known as just that, a lie. Granted, on rare occasions I STILL see people having a stroke over "automatic weapons" (see the video in Part II), seems the deepest corners of the far left still refuse to exit their caves...
There is a nearly endless supply of lies told by anti-gun activists and politicians, so many that you would need to hire a good size team of full-time watchdogs to keep track of them all. For the sake of time, I will not go into quite as much detail on these other examples, however feel free to ask as I am more than willing to elaborate.
There was a story in the news recently about a baggage handler for Delta Airlines smuggling guns to New York City via airplane from Atlanta. As some may know, Georgia recently enacted a new gun law that loosened restrictions on where those who have licenses to carry concealed firearms can actually carry their concealed firearms. Once the worker was taken down and the story broke the anti-gun group Mom's Demand Action tweeted this:
I work at an airport, I can tell you that the only people allowed past TSA checkpoints with guns are law enforcement and pilots, Georgia's new gun law doesn't change that, it only lets people with valid concealed carry licenses to carry on the "public side" (ticket counter area that is before the TSA checkpoint) of airports.
"The NRA fear mongers" or some such variation of this often-toted line. The NRA simply points out that there are dark corners of the world where bad people fester and they use modern and current examples, it's not hard to see how this can be seen as fear mongering by anti-gun activists since they tend to be liberal and liberals usually have a eutopic mindset. Even if you don't consider this a lie, it's impossible to refute its hypocrisy. Anti-gun activists are always talking about how dangerous people can get guns and that some guns can kill a lot of people in such a short time or some guns can kill people from a mile away or that people carrying guns, even if they're licensed to do so, can't be trusted to be a good guy... This isn't fear mongering? This isn't trying to scare people into accepting more restrictions on guns?
"The UK and/or Australia have far fewer murders than the US" That's true, but it's always been that way, since LONG before the draconian gun laws those two nations enacted in the 1990s. Once they imposed those gun laws there was no noticible increase in the rate of decline of homicides in either country, however there has been a massive decline in homicides in the US as gun laws have been loosened over time. 49% decline since 1993 as every state has adopted a concealed carry law, the Clinton gun ban expired and the number of guns in civilian hands has doubled.
"Gun ownership in the US is declining" Some polls do seem to show this, but walk into any gun shop and ask the sales people how many new customers they've seen in the past year or few years, the answer will be contradictory to the polls. On another note, why does this even matter? When did we impose usage limits on civil rights? I'm willing to bet most of us have never had our houses searched by Police, does that mean we can just ignore the 4th Amendment? With the growing distrust of government these days doesn't it sound reasonable that not everybody is going to admit to a random stranger on the phone (with the NSA listening) that they own guns?
"Nobody wants to take your guns" Dianne Feinstein does, Michael Bloomberg does, Barrack Obama does, the list of people who want to take my guns is long, just because they don't flat out admit it doesn't mean they don't want to (Though Feinstein did admit it back in 1995). Additionally, how many times do you see an anti-gunner say "if there were no guns, this wouldn'tve happened"? I've seen it countless times, makes you wonder, how are there going to be "no guns" if you don't come and take mine? This ties in with registration, there are only two reasons to register something, so it can be taxed, or can be taken. Yes, we did register machine guns with the 1934 National Firearms Act and they haven't been taken, but they were banned from being newly manufactured for the civilian market in 1986, sounds a lot like the UK, where all guns (sans shotguns) had to be registered in 1920, then later shotguns had to be registered, then in the 1990s most of them had to be turned in "or else". In other words, gun confiscation is a long-term thing, in the words of Janet Reno "Waiting periods are only a step, registration is a step, the prohibition of private firearms is the goal".
"The 2nd Amendment only applies to a militia or the National Guard" Supreme Court disagrees. "The right of the people" is contained in the 2nd Amendment, it is also contained in the 1st and 4th Amendments and in those Amendments it refers to the public at large does it not? Why does it mean something different in the 2nd Amendment? Short answer: It doesn't.
I could go on and on until the cows come home, but I'm trying to keep you reading, so I'll stop there.
In Part IV, we will discuss crime rates and trends as well as trends within the gun community and public opinion. We will also summmarize the series and conclude.