Article on gun policies can't get facts straight

AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar

The media likes gun control. We know this and, while we dislike it, we also accept it as the status quo.

However, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to point out factual issues with their so-called reporting. It’s one of the true joys in my life to do so.

Take a story from out of Wisconsin bemoaning how gun control wasn’t passing enough. It was funny to me considering what Cam wrote yesterday about how well Wisconsin’s gun control is working out.

Well, this story has its own built-in comedy, though none of it is intentional. It’s hilarious because, in the first four paragraphs, I found three factual…distortions.

There have been 599 mass shootings across the country so far this year. Gun violence has been more frequent in the last five years than it has in any other five-year period since 1996.

That number of mass shootings? That’s a distortion thanks to the Gun Violence Archive, which routinely uses a completely different definition than most people would. It counts the number of people shot, as opposed to killed, so when people hear there are 599 mass shootings, they’re thinking things like Parkland or Buffalo, not your random drive-by.

Next paragraph:

On Oct. 18, 14 schools across Wisconsin faced active shooter threats, including districts in Milwaukee, Racine, and Stevens Point, among others, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This may well be factually accurate, but it’s inclusion here a distortion in an effort to advance a narrative.

You see, “active shooter threat” may mean an armed gunman in the building hunting people to murder. It may also mean “a kid outside has an airsoft and people are freaking out.”

Using the Gun Violence Archive, it would appear there were no mass shootings at Wisconsin schools on that day. But they track mass shootings. Education Weekly, however, tracks all school shootings. Guess what doesn’t show up on that date or in those locations at all?

That’s right. No shootings.

Mentioning “active shooter threats” without at least admitting no one was harmed seems like nothing more than an attempt to scare people in Wisconsin; make them believe gunmen are everywhere when there doesn’t appear to be much of anything going on.

Last but not least, we have a politician running his trap.

Despite gun violence becoming more prevalent, policies have stagnated, according to senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee).

“At a policy level and a statewide level, there have been zero policies passed to actually address these shootings,” Larson said. “If anything, there’s been open flirtation with eliminating permits for concealed carry and just letting anybody who wants to carry a concealed gun to do so.”

Uh, didn’t Congress just pass a bipartisan measure that was supposed to address these kinds of things?

I mean, I know it won’t and you probably know it won’t, but people like Larson usually won’t admit they know it.

But maybe his “policy level” doesn’t include federal law. If so, that seems a strange position to take, especially since the author opted to include so-called mass shooting totals that include incidents throughout the nation.

Is this a state problem or a national one?

Look, I stopped reading at this point. If they couldn’t get the basic facts right and without distortion in these first few paragraphs, what hope did the rest of the piece have?

Yet this is what we get from the media these days.