Joy Reid doesn't get to use "fear mongering" claims anymore

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The word “joy” usually means happiness to some degree.

When you use it as a name, you capitalize it, but parents often hope their own little Joy will embody that attribute.


Unfortunately, sometimes it results in a person who uses alarmist fearmongering to scare people into thinking the way she wants them to.

I’m talking, of course, about Joy Reid.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Monday responded to the latest U.S. mass shooting — the killing of eight people at a Dallas-area mall — with a damning critique of the Republican response to gun violence.

“We are all literally on a Russian roulette lottery, just waiting for it to be our turn to run screaming from gunfire,” said “The ReidOut” host.

“If you managed to not get dead in a mall, at a restaurant in the Walmart or another store, at a concert, at church, in school, in third grade, at high school or in college, or even inside your own home, consider yourself lucky,” she continued. “Because America is a shooting gallery.”

This was followed, of course, by Reid criticizing Republicans and Second Amendment advocates.

The implication here–and it’s not really an implication so much as a clear statement–is that it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught in a mass shooting, that every American is just ticking the days until they’re running for their lives like those caught at the outlet mall in Texas.


Fear, she suggests, is only natural because it’s going to happen.

Except, that’s not true.

Mother Jones isn’t exactly a right-wing news organization. It never has been and never will be. They have a database of every mass shooting since 1982.

In that time, do you know how many mass shootings this leftist publication has found?


That’s fewer than four per year on average, though I’ll be the first to admit that averages aren’t helpful since we see them a lot more regularly than we used to.

Yet fear is useful for trying to push for gun control. Facts aren’t so much.

How many times, though, have you seen the gun industry accused of fear-mongering? How many times has it been accused of trying to scare people into buying firearms?

Well, here’s the real fear-mongering.

Reid would have a nation of 330 million people believe that because of 144 incidents since 1982, we’re all going to die in a hail of gunfire.

The truth is that most Americans will be born, live their lives, and die of old age without ever being around a mass shooting. It’s not any “matter of time” before they are–not unless you’re assuming immortality and “on a long enough timeline” or something like that, anyway. It’s just not going to happen for most of them.


Even if you take more garden-variety violent crime into account, the numbers go up, but not nearly as much as Reid would seemingly like you to believe.

But fear pushes people to seek security. Being afraid means you’ll forfeit your rights in the name of safety. We’ve seen this a thousand times at least, which is why Reid is pushing this nonsense.

She should be ashamed of herself, but I’m not sure she’s capable of feeling shame.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member