Missouri Media Blaming Gun Laws For Violence

Everywhere you go, you tend to find violence exploding in this country, The violence surge isn’t isolated to one or two places; just about every major city has seen an increase. Almost no one is reporting a reduction in violence over the year, and that’s despite months of people being locked down in their homes. That suggests that when they got out, they made up for lost time.

In Missouri, they’re having the same problem as most everywhere else. That’s not surprising. St. Louis, for example, is a city that’s been plagued by violence in recent years.

Yet, it seems that once again, the media has to trip over themselves to lay at least some of the blame on gun rights.

To understand the full scope of gun violence across the state, The Kansas City Star interviewed experts, gathered information about dozens of shooting victims from families and obituaries, and analyzed data from police and the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun incidents across the country. Because no complete official record exists, the numbers are preliminary, sourced from thousands of media outlets and public agencies.

The effort was undertaken as part of the Missouri Gun Violence Project, a two-year, statewide solutions journalism collaboration supported by the nonprofits Report for America and the Missouri Foundation for Health. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has also been a part of the collaboration.

In an extraordinary year, the people across the state grappling with violence — criminologists, health care professionals, violence interrupters, law enforcement officials — say the coronavirus pandemic’s disruptions aggravated gun violence, putting individuals more at risk and hampering prevention efforts.

But even before the pandemic, Missouri was primed to see worse violence after more than a decade of rolling back gun restrictions and a longstanding lack of trust between police and the most at-risk communities in the state’s largest cities.

Yet the publication acknowledges that the violence in Missouri is primarily driven by St. Louis and Kansas City, their two largest municipalities.

The problem I have is that if gun laws were the problem, then why wasn’t the problem more spread out? Why wasn’t it a problem for much smaller communities? These towns were under the authority of the exact same gun laws, after all. If the gun laws were responsible, then you’d think you’d see an uptick in violence across the board.

Before 2020, you didn’t.

In 2020, most people did acknowledge that the pandemic played some kind of role in the increased violence. It would be impossible not to acknowledge that fact simply because it’s right in front of our eyes.

But elsewhere, we didn’t see the problems being associated with gun laws anywhere else until the pandemic. If lax gun laws are the culprit, then we should see an increase across the board, and we simply don’t.

What that tells me is that it’s not the gun laws that are the problem. Again, if they were, the problems would be everywhere and they’re simply not. No, the problems reside somewhere in the cities themselves.

Yet the media prefers to scapegoat gun rights and gun ownership because it’s convenient and their readers lap it up. Heaven forbid they ever try to look a little deeper at the issue.

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