Voice of America was established in the 1940s as a way to counter propaganda radio broadcasts from Axis powers, which used English speaking announcers (nicknamed “Toyko Rose” and “Axis Sally” by the U.S. soldiers who were the targets of their broadcasts) in an attempt to demoralize Allied fighting forces and spread disinformation among the troops. During the Cold War the VOA beamed its broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain, and since the fall of the Soviet Union the government agency, funded by Congress to the tune of more than $200-million each year, has been used to provide news and information to countries around the globe, including efforts aimed at those inside Iran, China, and Russia.
At the moment, however, Voice of America is providing propaganda of its own to its audience, delivering a pro-gun control message that bemoans the lack of restrictive gun laws in the United States. On Sunday, the government broadcaster released a story as part of its “Learning English” website declaring “Mass Shooters Used Limited US Gun Laws,” and the piece itself is just as biased as the headline.
The suspect in the Boulder, Colorado, shooting had been convicted of attacking a classmate. He could still buy a gun.
The man accused of opening fire on three businesses in the Atlanta, Georgia, area bought his gun just hours before the attack. He did not have to wait.
They are just the latest U.S. mass shooting suspects who were easily able to get guns due to limited guns laws and background check failures.
Since the two most recent shootings, President Joe Biden has called for stronger gun laws. He is urging expansion of background checks and a ban on assault weapons. But many Republicans oppose the measures.
The VOA’s Alice Bryant adapted the story from an an Associated Press piece that we flagged last week for its anti-gun bias. As I wrote about the original AP report:
The framing of the AP story suggests that, if only gun laws were changed, these murders wouldn’t have happened, leaving out any discussion of how any changes might impact those Americans who want to exercise their right to keep and bear arms and have no desire or intent to wantonly murder innocent people.
The story then goes through a list of individuals responsible for mass shootings in recent years, detailing how and why they were able to purchase a firearm. In the vast majority of cases, the answer is simple: they weren’t prohibited by law from doing so. The Boulder shooting suspect, for instance, was convicted of a misdemeanor offense back in high school and was sentenced to probation. The suspect in the Georgia killings of eight people had no previous run-ins with the law, and like the Boulder suspect, purchased his firearm after going through a background check.
In fact, in the list of 19 mass shooting suspects (and those convicted of their crimes) dating back to 2012, the AP found that 13 of them were legally eligible to purchase a firearm, and passed a background check before doing so. Two cases involved killers stealing firearms that had been legally purchased by parents, two cases involved individuals who were prohibited from legally owning guns but were able to pass a background check because of failures by government agencies to submit the disqualifying information to the NICS system, one case involved a straw purchase of a firearm, and one case involved a man who purchased a gun through a private sale.
Just like the original Associated Press story, the VOA version provides absolutely no evidence that more gun control laws would have prevented these attacks, and fails to acknowledge any of the gun control laws already on the books; like Colorado’s ban on so-called high capacity magazines and a “red flag” firearm seizure law put in place in the state last year.
Keep in mind, the Voice of America Learning English service is designed for people who are not native speakers, and it’s delivering anti-gun propaganda to folks who are most likely completely unaware of the gun control laws that are already on the books. It would be nice if there was at least some balance to be found anywhere in VOA’s reporting, but of course the agency hasn’t run any stories about the failures of gun control in preventing these types of attacks.
No, instead your tax dollars are going to distribute anti-gun talking points to a worldwide audience. The Voice of America seems to have an editorial position opposed to the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. Maybe it’s time for pro-2A members of Congress to start asking some questions and demanding some answers for the agency about why embrace of a pro-gun control ideology.
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