Once, the media at least tried to look like they weren’t taking sides in any kind of debate. They presented news and, for the most part, let people come to conclusions for themselves. Sure, the media leaned left, but they at least made an effort to appear neutral.
These days, they make no such pretenses.
When it comes to guns, they seemingly trip over themselves to shape a narrative that is decidedly anti-gun, including by asking non-experts what to do about gun violence in Chicago.
Lisa: There was an absolute explosion of gun violence this past summer. Why has it gotten so bad and what role has Covid played in it?Father Pfleger: The more hopeless and desperate people become, the more apt they will be to act it out. We’ve seen this huge explosion of people (across America) buying guns, so I think that has trickled down to other communities too. I mean, everybody has a gun now. I’ve had people who have never owned a gun tell me, “Brother Mike, I know how you feel about them, but you know, the reality is that I gotta protect myself and if there is going to be a race war, I gotta be ready.” And so the gun proliferation has gone on steroids — and I think on top of that, where you have communities where you have more trauma, more depression, more frustration, it’s been acted out more in gun violence.Pam: I’ve been dealing with gun violence issues since 2006, when my son Terrell was killed. I’m an activist; I’m always in the streets trying to help moms and dads. This is the first year that it seems like every day I’m talking to another mom about having to bury a child. There were so many kids under 10 years old. There was one child who was killed and the parents had to have a press conference to defend their character because people assumed that the mother had gang ties. The mother was coming from the laundromat and somebody shot into the car and shot her baby in the chest. That’s what happens in our community; when people get shot, we’re always having to defend ourselves. “Was it gang-related, was it a drug deal gone bad?” It’s just wrong.
Now, I’m not going to dip into what happened with the child in question because I haven’t followed that story.
However, I will address the suggestion that the increase in firearm sales is somehow responsible for the increase in violence in Chicago. It ain’t.
While Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is notorious for blaming Chicago’s violence problem on states like Indiana, the truth of the matter is that very few of those increased gun sales had anything to do with criminals trying to get guns. Those are law-abiding citizens buying firearms to protect themselves during particularly uncertain times.
Since these folks also clearly are part of the “defund the police” crowd–it’s a topic of discussion later on where they try to justify it–they’re part of the reason gun sales remain high. No one wants to trust a defunded police department. You can say you want those funds reallocated so they’ll work better, but none of the programs being considered will yield instant results, meaning crime will likely increase as there will be fewer cops on the streets. In such a situation, do you really think people aren’t going to want guns?
Criminals, on the other hand, get their guns off the black market. There’s been no evidence of an increase in black market sales, though. Why is that? Well, it’s likely because the criminals already had their guns.
However, the folks Lisa Ling spoke with wouldn’t really know much about that. They’re activists, not experts. They found a narrative that works for them and CNN is giving them all the amplification it can.
Yet there is a solution to crime in Chicago, though I don’t expect CNN to cover it. That answer is making it easier for people to defend themselves. In Illinois, House Republicans are trying to reform the FOID system that is plagued by delays these days.
Four GOP state House lawmakers on Wednesday voiced complaints from their central and southern Illinois constituents who say they have waited months after applying for new or renewed gun ownership licenses without an update from the Illinois State Police amid an unprecedented volume of applications this year.
Reps. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, CD Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis and Mike Marron, R-Fithian, repeated their criticisms of the Firearm Ownership Identification card and concealed carry license systems during a virtual news conference.
The group discussed reforms they have suggested in the past which have stalled in the General Assembly.
In theory, the FOID is supposed to prevent criminals from buying guns. If it works as advertised, then reforms that speed up the process should be a net benefit to the citizens of Chicago.
If it doesn’t work, then it’s time to scrap it. (Spoiler: It doesn’t work as advertised, as we can see from Chicago’s history.)
Regardless, it’s past time for CNN to quit asking activists how to solve problems when they don’t have a clue what they hell they’re talking about.