Editorial cherry picks data to make anti-gun point

Editorial cherry picks data to make anti-gun point
AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

Whenever someone claims there’s no media bias to be found among the mainstream media, particularly in print, I challenge them to find even a semi-large newspaper that will post editorials on the Second Amendment that aren’t anti-gun with even semi-regularity.


They can’t, of course. That’s because the leadership of most newspapers except for fairly rural locations are, in fact, anti-gun.

The Buffalo News, for example, just published an editorial that is unapologetically so.

If it’s true that our choices define us – and also understand that doing nothing is a choice – a recent News story shows that residents of this state have cause to be thankful they live here and not in the armed camp called Texas.

Both states suffered terrible tragedies last year. In Buffalo, 10 Black residents were murdered by a racist teenager while, only days later in Uvalde, Texas, another teenager massacred 19 elementary students and two teachers. Both killers used AR-15-style rifles, the preferred weapon of American mass murderers.

In New York the response was prompt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and state legislators saw the weaknesses in the state’s gun laws and moved to tighten them. Among them was New York’s red flag law which, had it been implemented against the shooter, might have avoided a terrible tragedy.

Except the killer skirted the gun laws in place by simply going outside of New York’s jurisdiction, something that Hochul’s efforts are powerless to prevent again.

But what about Texas? We all know they’ve had mass shootings, of course, but there’s more to the editorial’s anti-gun argument here.


Gun laws make a difference. Along with a more even-keeled culture, New York’s laws help this a much safer state than Texas is, as stark statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document. For 2021, the most recent year available, New York’s firearm injury death rate was 5.4 per 100,000. The rate in Texas was nearly triple New York’s, at 15.6 per 100,000. Similarly, while New York’s homicide rate was 4.8 per 100,000, the Texas rate was almost double, at 8.2 per 100,000. Those number tell a tale. The adoration of guns is a predictor of death.

Is it a predictor, though?

The two states with the lowest violent crime rate are Maine and New Hampshire. Both have pretty good gun laws, at least for now.

Meanwhile, California is just one place below Texas in regard to violent crime rates, this despite having even more extensive gun control laws than New York has.

Let’s also not forget that California also has more active shooter incidents than literally any other state.

Why did none of that make the editorial?

It didn’t because the editorial board opted to cherry-pick the data that proved their point.

Looking at the list of states by violent crime rates, you can see that while states seem to group a bit based on gun laws, there are too many in the mix that doesn’t fit such an explanation for anyone to assume that it is, in fact, the result of gun laws.


There’s a lot more involved, which the editorial board could have at least acknowledged the fact. They didn’t.

Why? Because the editorial isn’t about informing the public. This wasn’t journalism, it’s propaganda. They’re trying to push an anti-gun agenda by pretending that by comparing and contrasting two different states, you’ll be convinced. It can work, too, otherwise, we wouldn’t see it so much.

Yet the truth is that the issue is far more complex than “anti-gun rules good.”

But when your media is so vehemently against the Second Amendment–this editorial referred to a very plainly-written amendment as “murky” after all–what do you expect?

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