Progressive Calls For Accuracy On Guns Really About Narrative

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The media battles you see waged between places like us and sites like The Trace aren’t just a war of words about guns, they’re a war of facts. Each side has data and information that drives them and the other side tries to debunk and dispute that data. It’s the natural order of things.

Remarkably few people intentionally get the facts wrong. They may cherry-pick data, but that’s usually more a case of confirmation bias than an outright attempt to lie.

Unfortunately, it seems that a progressive group doesn’t seem to believe anyone on this side of the debate on guns, or a number of other issues, actually tries to get it right.

A coalition of progressive advocacy organizations are urging journalists to challenge charged rhetoric in a document they’re describing as “guiding principles” to cover so-called culture war issues without amplifying misinformation.

Groups who specialize in immigration, gun reform, LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights banded together in the effort, saying it was frequently difficult to counter the volume of misleading statements on a one-on-one basis.

The coalition came out of a report released by the organization previously known as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, now known as Naral Pro-Choice America, which found just 11% of news reports about abortion “featured a real woman’s story”.

Groups said similar situations have played out across immigration, gun violence prevention and LGBTQ+ rights. Naral Pro-Choice America partnered with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the National LGBTQ Task Force and the immigration advocacy group United We Dream in the effort.

“In a world where there is so much misinformation, and so many new voices who can proactively get misinformation out there, we thought it was important to highlight the way misinformation is getting out there,” said Brian Wesolowski, communications director for the Giffords Law Center, a gun violence prevention advocacy group.

In gun violence prevention, Wesolowski said the media often failed to note large majorities of Americans support proposals such as universal background checks. In another example, large majorities of both gun owners and non-gun owners oppose allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or training, according to Pew.

“The gun rights movement has gotten far more extremist,” said Wesolowski. “The voices we’re seeing in so much news really [are] just not a reflection of the majority of Americans.”

And yet, how relevant is that polling?

Plus, let’s be honest here, I’ve seen plenty of them mention this polling. Do you know what we don’t see get mentioned, though? Polling suggesting that more than half of all Americans believe we have enough gun laws on the books already, that they don’t support gun control.

If polling matters, then maybe it should all matter and not just the ones that agree with your position?

But that’s really what this is all about, at the end of the day. It’s not about accuracy, it’s about advancing an agenda under the guise of accuracy. They don’t want the whole truth being reported, just their truth.

Remember that with many on that side of the aisle, the truth is relative, so they can justify it by talking about “their truth” as if that somehow negates the objective reality we can see around us. For them, their narrative is the truth and so anything that doesn’t advance that narrative is a problem.

Note how they blast stories on abortion that don’t feature “a real woman’s story?” Ever notice how rarely stories about gun control feature a real gun owner’s story? How rarely they describe a real case of self-defense?

In other words, stories by people are only relevant when they advance the agenda leftward. Any other time, though, and the media should totally ignore them.