Social media is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it enables us to stay in touch with friends and loved ones despite vast distances. You can see how your sister’s kids are doing even from the other side of the nation or even world. On the other hand, social media amplifies a whole lot of stupid. Between Facebook and Twitter alone, we see plenty of examples of dumb, especially when it comes to the gun debate.
Here are a few examples of the burning stupidity running rampant right now.
This is impressive because it lies on both sides of the equation. Let’s start with the bottom one first. It’ll be quick.
You see, all I have to do is show a single state that doesn’t require an ID to vote to prove it wrong. In this case, California clearly states, “In most cases, a California voter is not required to show identification to a polling place worker before casting a ballot.” If you’re not required to show ID in all cases, then it might as well be none. Especially since the page goes on to say:
However, if you are voting for the first time after registering to vote by mail and did not provide your driver license number, California identification number or the last four digits of your social security number on your registration form, you may be asked to show a form of identification when you go to the polls.
In other words, if you make up a four-digit number and say it’s part of your SSN, you’re good to go.
This one is already wrong, but let’s look at the top at the states where you can supposedly buy a so-called assault rifle without an ID.
When you purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer–the kind of sales that make up the vast majority of firearm purchases–you’re required by federal law to show a photo ID. Those states highlighted in red may not have a requirement, but that’s not the same as implying you can buy a gun with no photo ID in those states. That’s not how it works. Anywhere.
But that’s not the only stupid we see. I first saw this one following Las Vegas, but it’s popping up again.
My latest video via act.tv is about how Japan deals with gun violence. There's much to learn from them. #GunControlNow
Posted by Social Good Now on Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Now, this one is a bit more understandable, except they’re downplaying cultural factors which are huge. For one thing, Japanese citizens are culturally conditioned to accept the role of the government as overlord and master. It’s something that has gone on for centuries, so they’re fine accepting such tight burdens on firearms.
They’re also an island. That status makes it a bit more difficult to smuggle arms into the country, something that wouldn’t be an issue here in the United States with our porous southern border. That makes gun control far easier.
And let’s also note that while they can claim less than ten firearm fatalities per year, this is a nation with one of the highest suicide rates on the planet. I’m sorry, but there’s something about this nation that tells me we should be very wary of trying to emulate them.
Of course, the stupid isn’t confined to Facebook. Oh no, not at all. Twitter has its fair share.
— WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) February 16, 2018
Um…what is an “enhanced background check,” in the first place?
I mean, of course there isn’t such a background check…because they don’t freaking exist. But there is a background check when you buy a gun at Cabela’s or any other licensed gun dealer. While the NICS isn’t perfect, it’s still a background check system that’s been in place for decades now and there haven’t been complaints until Sutherland Springs.
Why now should there be such a creature as “enhanced” background checks?
It’s possible he’s talking about the same kind of check performed on concealed carry permit applicants, but at that point, you’re getting into delaying people from exercising their Second Amendment rights. A right delayed is a right denied, after all.
As sad as it is to say, there are far more of these misleading posts floating around.
They’re designed to trip people up, to make people think things that simply aren’t true. Unfortunately, many people take what they see on Facebook at face value; they like their news in soundbites and in the form of memes that are easily shareable but lacking any real substance. As a result, you get a whole lot of dumb in the mix.