A Manufactured Crisis
If You Can't Find A Crisis...Make One Up
All things being equal, it would seem gun control advocates have a valid case for their agenda of watering down or weakening the 2nd Amendment (as I've explained before: there is no 2nd Amendment regarding gun rights, it is actually Article II...MAJOR difference. I use the term 2nd Amendment generically).
All things being equal, it would seem we have a gun violence crisis on our hands.
But all things are not equal. The numbers don't support a crisis.
What to do? There is no gun violence crisis, so we make one up.
How do we do that? We sway public opinion, we play up the emotions, we skew the numbers. We use certain terminology, we play up what favors us, downplay or ignore what doesn't. We fudge the facts, sneak a lie or two into this report or that one.
We demonize gun owners and organizations like the NRA. We beatify Gabby Giffords and Americans For Responsible Solutions. We parade every victim we can find before every camera and microphone we can get our hands on.
We cry, we scream, we shout down the opposition. We insult and slander. We deflect, misdirect and obfuscate.
We manipulate public opinion polls by asking "loaded" questions- questions designed to elicit certain answers.
We make people think we have a crisis, ergo we have a crisis where none exists.
A manufactured crisis is better than no crisis at all, right Rahm?
Surprise! Gun Crime Is Down.
According to a Pew Research Center poll published May 7th in the USA Today, gun-related homicides dropped 49% between 1993 and 2010, although 56% of Americans believe the opposite.
Nonfatal gun crime dropped 75% over the past twenty years, while 84% of those polled believe that in recent years gun crime has either increased or stayed the same.
According to the USA Today article:
"The public doesn't get its feelings out of crime statistics," said Alfred Blumstein, an urban systems professor at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. "The public gets its feelings from particularly notorious events, and what the press talks about."
And what the press is talking about is "the epidemic of gun violence."
Problem is, there is no "epidemic."
Free Press or Propaganda Apparatus?
It is a never-ending source of amazement to me how the media can be so blatantly biased and believe nobody'll notice.
The American media has long been liberally biased, most certainly on gun control. Which is why it amazed the hell out of me that the USA Today published the Pew Center's findings without putting some sort of spin to it.
More common are articles like the AP's "US Gun Debate Overlooks Daily Violence," on Yahoo News May 29.. Although the article cites some numbers indicating gun violence is down, they downplay those numbers while playing up the emotions.
The tone and purpose of the article leads the reader to feel rather than think. What you are to feel is we have a gun violence crisis on our hands.
According to the article nearly 24 people per day die from gun violence. That's 24 people out of the total population, which is how many millions?
Of course, the article doesn't point out that 94 people per day die in auto accidents. Any calls for car control? Didn't think so.
And what about the 38 stabbing deaths daily? Anybody for knife control?
On the other hand with 69 people dying daily from illicit drug-related causes, many of these same gun control advocates want to relax drug laws. Explain that one to me.
Crisis? What Crisis?
Folks, I don't do this sort of stuff without doing my homework first.
I've been digging through the numbers, reading all the articles, researching the statistics since day one.
I have reams of paper with handwritten notes, stacks of newspaper articles, piles of crime reports, and more than a day or two's experience in emergency services (all phases: Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement).
I don't take anybody's word for anything- I've learned not to over the years.
I dig into issues, I research them, I try my damnedest to look at all sides before I come down on one side or the other.
I want facts not emotions to decide issues. Truth, not propaganda.
I'll be truthfull with you: There is emotion and propaganda aplenty on both sides of the gun control issue (as with any issue).
But the facts do not favor gun control advocates.
There is no "epidemic of gun violence," no "southern white gun culture," and no "gun violence crisis."
Sorry to be a wet blanket.