Anti-Gunners Missing the Point So Much It Has To Be Intentional

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The surgeon general's advisory calling gun violence a "public health" crisis was always going to rile up the anti-gunners. That's why he did it, because Vivek Murthy knew he didn't have the authority to accomplish literally anything else.


And, to be fair, that's precisely what he did. He did what he set out to do.

I was genuinely surprised that guns didn't come up in the presidential debate since Murthy set his announcement at the perfect time for that to happen, yet it didn't. Then again, it's not like President Joe Biden covered himself in glory as it was. Throwing in guns might well have made everything worse.

But earlier today, I came across an op-ed written by LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian where she opines on the good doctor's thoughts, and in it, she misses the point so hard that it has to be intentional.

Hey, cheer up: The news is not all bad.

The federal government acknowledged for the first time last week that gun violence is an urgent public health crisis.

You already knew that, of course. We all knew it. But thanks to the gun lobby’s stranglehold on our political class, it’s been nearly impossible to focus the federal government’s attention — and money — on this shameful and uniquely American problem.

Actually, we don't all know this because no one has actually made a cohesive argument that it is any kind of public health crisis. We've just had declarations from people that it was, but remarkably few trying to make the case. After the lies surrounding the last public health crisis--COVID, for those who have incredibly short memories...or are Joe Biden--you need to back up your assertions on public health. We're not taking it at face value.


Violent crimes involving firearms spiked up during the pandemic, but have been dropping year over year, approaching pre-pandemic levels. Even at their worst in this century, they're a far cry from the gang-violence-infused numbers we saw in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It's hard to believe that now it's a public health emergency when it wasn't back then.

So no, we don't know any sort of thing.

Moving on...

That’s why the “Surgeon General’s Advisory on Firearm Violence” is so encouraging.

In fed-speak, an advisory is the equivalent of sending up a flare; it is reserved for a situation that, as Surgeon General Vivek Murthy put it, requires “the nation’s immediate awareness and action.”

About damn time.

In the past few years, firearms have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents. Almost 60% of gun deaths are suicides, and over the past decade, young adults have experienced what Murthy described as a “staggering increase” in gun suicide rates.

“We don’t have to continue down this path,” Murthy said in introducing the report, “and we don’t have to subject our children to the ongoing horror of firearm violence in America.”

First, firearms haven't surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death among anyone...unless you refuse to count anyone under the age of one and include 18- and 19-year-old adults as "children and adolescents." Car accidents still kill more actual children. It's only when you include the age categories most likely to be involved in gang violence, either as a participant or simply a target for failing to show someone's idea of proper respect that you start to see what is commonly reported by people like Abcarin.


Then we have suicide, which is perpetually annoying, to say the least.

Suicide is a mental health issue, not a gun issue. Take the guns from the equation and they'll find another way to take their own life. 

"But guns are more effective at suicide, so we need to act because other methods are survivable and we know people who survive don't often try again."

Yeah, guns are effective for that tragic outcome, but nearly half of all suicides are carried out with other methods. Removing guns from the equation doesn't suddenly mean we won't have suicides.

Japan, for example, has very strict weapons control laws--they don't just control guns, after all--and yet their suicide rate is currently about the same as ours. It's not the guns that are the problem.

Yet this isn't new information. This all has been part of every rebuttal of these claims since they were first made. Time and time again, people like Abcarin have made these claims, well before Murthy officially jumped into the gun debate, and had this as part of the response.

They keep missing the point and doing so to such a degree that it has to be on purpose. They have to be trying to ignore it at this point, which isn't surprising because the LA Times and most other major publications aren't remotely interested in running the reality. The editors and fact-checkers at these publications aren't remotely interested in actually being factual when they can, in turn, push a narrative.


And yet, these folks also wonder why trust in the media is so freaking low.

It's a mystery, ain't it?

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