Emotional Plea for Gun Control Misrepresents Facts

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Gun control advocacy groups often like to employ people who have been impacted by violence to sell anti-Second Amendment efforts. Their trauma makes them sympathetic in many ways. People find it difficult to dismiss them because it feels mean to them.

After all, these folks have been touched by horrors most will, hopefully, never experience.

Anti-gun politicians who can claim to have been impacted by violence are even better, in their minds, because they can also introduce legislation.

But that doesn't change the facts. The truth is that there's little research supporting any form of gun control and that's despite the fact that there's mountains of gun research claiming otherwise. That's because most of is is absolute garbage.

Yet at Newsweek, we've got one of those emotional appeals, and there are some issues with it.

This past December, I attended the celebration of life service for Di'Mesha Wright, when it was interrupted by gunfire. Twenty-three-year-old Di'Mesha was killed by a shooter using an AR-style rifle to shoot through the front door of a home. Di'Mesha was holding her 7-month-old baby when she was shot. As we gathered to remember her and pray for her family, we heard shots ring out. People ran from the aisles and sought cover. And an already painful day was made even worse.

Truly, we no longer have time to properly mourn before another shooting takes place. During that service in my home church, I felt so demoralized. It was and is devastating. But we owe it to the victims and their families, as well as our country, not to be desensitized and defeated.

As President Joe Biden said during his State of the Union address, the families torn apart by gun violence have a clear message for us all. Over and over again, from Newtown to Parkland to Uvalde, they pled with elected officials to act. When I meet with constituents in Northeast Ohio, I hear the same thing. People are tired of feeling unsafe in places of worship, at the movie theater, or when they drop their kids off at school.

All of this is normal from an anti-gunner. Yes, what happened was awful, but it was newsworthy in part because it was unusual. Shootings generally don't happen like that.

There's a pattern to violence, where someone is shot and someone else retaliates, but that usually takes longer. Yet the author, Rep. Shontel M. Brown, likely knows this. She's just pretending this is an all too common occurance for sympathy.

Yet where she proceeds from here makes it clear that she knows she's being manipulative.

The former president of the United States, now the presumptive Republican Party nominee, responded to a mass shooting at an Iowa school by saying we just have to "get over it." Well, I refuse to do so. It is time for Congress to pass universal background checks and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. It is time to close the loopholes that make a mockery of some of the few checks that we have. We also need to get the most dangerous and destructive weapons off the street. Assault weapons have become the weapon of choice for mass shooters, due to their ease of use and lethality.

First, the article she links to in order to claim that "assault weapons" are the "weapon of choice" for mass shooters doesn't actually support any such thing. It makes the claim that they're becoming the "weapon of choice" but that's a claim that's been thrown around for years and yet, handguns are still used more often in mass shootings.

And we've addressed this claim before here at Bearing Arms, so do enjoy.

Second, universal background checks, magazine restrictions, and assault weapon bans don't really have all that much support, though Brown tries to pretend it is.

From 1994-2004, we enjoyed a limited assault weapons ban in this country, and it made a difference. According to one analysis, the likelihood of mass shootings decreased by 70 percent during that periodwhile the share of assault weapons in guns recovered by police declined. Was it perfect? No. But it helped reduce the number of assault weapons in circulation—and that made us all safer.

Except for two things.

First, there are also plenty of studies saying the assault weapon ban accomplished absolutely nothing, which means Brown is cherry-picking her studies.

Second, the lack of weapons recovered by police doesn't say squat about their availability. AR-15s became the most popular rifle in the country beause of the assault weapon ban. Plenty of people may have thought about getting an AR-15 but never did. At least, not until people like Brown sought to ban them, which prompted many to rush out and buy them.

Then people bought ban-compliant versions of the weapons at an insane rate.

There are more guns in circulation than ever before because of the ban. They just weren't ending up in criminal hands because they weren't on the shelves for as long, meaning bad guys had to content themselves with the handguns they generally preferred anyway.

What Brown doesn't note, however, is that their appearance at mass shootings seems to also coincide with media reports about how deadly they were and how no one should be able to lawfully own such a thing. The press made them sound like insta-kill doomslayers and the potential mass shooters started listening.

Most of these people are evil, not stupid, so they picked up what was being put down and that's what they turned to.

Brown never mentions that because as an anti-gun politician, she needs the media to manipulate people into supporting gun control. 

She also never mentions that the Bruen decision likely makes any such bans untennable. The same can be said about all of her other proposals as well.

Whether she likes it or not, gun control isn't just something you can pass because you really, really want it. It has to be constitutional and most of the measures people like Brown want just aren't.