Op-ed completely misrepresents guns in US

Op-ed completely misrepresents guns in US
Firing a Sig Sauer P226 Handgun

The Second Amendment is clear. The right to keep and bear arms is one that should not be infringed upon.

However, many people ignore that and instead insist on guns being an unmitigated evil. They present those who support gun rights as vile, opportunistic, and greedy.

You see, no lawmaker actually thinks gun control is bad, they’re just on the take.

A prime example of all of this comes from a recent op-ed on the topic. Let’s discuss some of those points, for a moment.

The mass shootings in Virginia and Colorado again call attention to the nation’s gun problem, but how deeply guns are embedded in everyday life can be seen from other random news reports:

• When NBA player Taurean Prince of the Minnesota Timberwolves was pulled over in suburban Dallas for an expired registration, he informed the officer he had two handguns in the car.

• Security guards at a bonfire party held at an Enfield, North Carolina, horse ranch confiscated 27 guns that people tried to smuggle in. “These weapons were found in the bottom of coolers, these weapons were found in boots, these weapons were even found in hats,” the host said.

• A report on the Transportation Security Administration noted that so far this year TSA has confiscated more than 4,600 guns, about 87% of them loaded. It’s on pace to pass last year’s record of 6,000 guns confiscated.

Ah, yes, clear signs that guns are a huge issue.

Well, it might be if you don’t know the whole story, and since these are presented without links, so I had to do a little looking. First, Taurean Prince was arrested for weapons charges, but those charges were dropped in part because Prince wasn’t actually a threat. The only thing illegal about those guns was that he was arrested on drug charges and you can’t own a gun if you’re using illicit drugs.

The TSA numbers look right, but they’re missing context. For example, 640 million people fly in the United States each year. These numbers are little more than statistical noise, just 0.000009375 percent of people flying (using the 6,000 number for my calculations).

And as for the thing with the horse ranch and all these guns being found, well, I can’t find that particular story anywhere. I did find one about a shooting at a similar gathering, but that suggests the targeted clientele of these bonfire parties is more of an issue than the guns.

Further, this is a prime example of cherry-picking.

See, the author presents these anecdotes as evidence that guns are this huge problem, but he leaves out a lot, namely, any defensive gun uses.

There was, as an example, a self-defense shooting in a road rage incident in Tennessee.

Or what about the 23-year-old woman in Chicago who defended herself from four carjackers?

What about the Kansas man who shot a home invader?

Now, I get that he didn’t present those stories because they went against the narrative he’s trying to make, but even his own examples don’t really prove what he’s trying to prove.

And then it gets even worse.

Second Amendment zealots say that people, not guns, kill people. But when a nation has more guns than people — 393 million guns and 326 million people — the prevalence of guns is going to lead to the demise of people through intentional shootings, accidents or suicides. The toll is more than 110 people every day, including five deaths per day in North Carolina.

Except that North Carolina has a population of 10.55 million, so five deaths per day aren’t nearly as scary as the author wants us to believe.

It’s still an issue, mind you, but he neglects to tell us how many are killed with knives, clubs, etc.

In fact, you only get to those five deaths per day if you include suicides, which he has to do since about as many people were killed in car accidents per day in North Carolina.

How it got this way is a complicated story about muskets, militias, the National Rifle Association and members of Congress who value campaign contributions over their constituents’ lives.

And this is when he pissed me off.

See, I can take the cherry-picking. That can even be excused as an artifact of what kind of search terms he used. I can even tolerate his misuse of statistics since he may well have never considered looking for context.

But this whole “value campaign contributions over their constituents’ lives” is nothing but a bald-faced lie routinely perpetrated by those who refuse to accept anyone disagreeing in good faith.

Instead, he just presents this as if it’s a simple fact, pretending it’s just too complicated for a simple op-ed.

The truth is that absolutely none of what he said is accurate. Muskets are irrelevant, especially since rifles existed when the Second Amendment was ratified and were used during the Revolution. The term “militia” is a misdirection since it’s not particularly relevant to our rights. The NRA has played a role, but in defending our rights from jackwagons like this, and they’re not the only group to do so.

And then we have that last part that I find so infuriating.

Never mind that anti-gun groups have outspent the NRA in the last few election cycles. Are those lawmakers bought and paid for? Do anti-gun politicians value their campaign coffers being full more than they care about the lives of their constituents?

These asinine claims are generally predicated on the idea that we all really think gun control works. We just don’t want it for some other reason, which is simply not the case.

But what would this jackwagon know about it? He’s already decided all he wants to decide about us. He wants gun control and no insistence that it won’t work will dissuade him.

More than that, though, he’ll pretend those arguments don’t even exist, that we’re all just shills for an industry that’s simply not that big.

And this is why so many of us are distrustful of the media.