Journalism Student's Foolishness Deserves Response

This morning, I took a gander at what was floating around about guns and gun rights today, and I came across an opinion piece at the University of Houston’s school newspaper’s website that was…well, it had me laughing so loudly in the pre-dawn hours that no one in my house actually needed an alarm clock today.


Yes, this is a student publication, but this is something from an individual who will go on to make their living talking about things, and if this is any indication of the care this student, journalism junior Dana Jones, takes in getting facts right, she might need to retake a few classes.

The pandemic of guns in the United States is the problem of a nation, not a particular sex.

Oh, boy. We’ve only hit the first sentence and we can already see the tone.

First, a “pandemic” is an epidemic that has spread throughout the globe. Officially, there’s a set number of countries an epidemic needs to hit to be considered a pandemic, but you know what that number is? Hint: It’s greater than one.

In other words, there cannot be a “pandemic of guns” in the United States.

Second, there is no problem with guns. There are problems with bad people who happen to use guns, but those people won’t suddenly become angels of goodness and light simply because they have guns.

Moving on…

The Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to bear arms, gets renewed attention and focus every few months because U.S. murder rate is so high. In 2017 alone, there have been 11,000 gun-related homicides.


The U.S. murder rate is so high that it’s been dropping almost every year since 1980. During that time we’ve seen a drastic increase in concealed carry and the increasing popularity of modern sporting rifles that many journalists prefer to call “assault weapons.” We’ve also seen an expansion in the number of locations where concealed carry is legal in some states.

In other words, we’re seeing more guns on American streets, and a reduction in homicides. Hmmmmm.

But Jones continues:

In 2016, there were 477 mass killings in the United States. In this case, a mass shooting is defined as an incident involving four or more injuries or deaths. That is more than four people getting murdered or hurt by guns every single day. As of press time, there have been 319 mass killings in 2017.


Of course, Jones uses Mass Shooting Tracker to support that number, which is hardly fair. After all, that particular site uses a very…liberal definition of “mass shooting.” If four or more people are shot in a single incident, they count it. This includes criminal cases such as gang shootings where there is more than one gunman. They even count an accidental shooting of a bystander by police in their data.


In other words, it’s about as reliable as gas station sushi.

At this point, we’re halfway through Jones’s opinion piece and we’ve found so much complete and utter BS that there’s not really any point to continuing to eviscerate the poor girl’s arguments.

However, nonsense needs to be addressed, even if it comes from a college student.

Violence in the United States is a problem. Even with a dropping violent crime rate, just one act of violence is too many. Yet going after the one implement that can allow a physically weaker person to protect themselves from a bigger, stronger attacker won’t do anything in the overall scheme of things.

Instead, it’s beyond time for these anti-gun crusaders to focus on trying to find the actual causes of violence rather than pretending guns are somehow responsible for what people do with them.

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