NPR: How’s That Gun Control Workin’ Out For Ya, Russkies?


Tax dollar-supported National Public Radio – known for its fair and balanced reporting like Miley Cyrus is for her conservative and demure wardrobe these days – apparently got its back up when Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee chairman let slip the dogs of snark in the aftermath of the Washington Navy Yard shooting. Taking note of another whack-job running amok in a gun-free zone, Alexei Pushkov took to the Twitters to quip in cyrillic, “A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington — a lone gunman and seven corpses. Nobody’s even surprised anymore. A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism.” Criticism from a commie? Not up in here! That was about all the anti-Americanism the swaggering, big-shouldered flag-wavers at NPR could take . . .

So they did what any bunch of red-blooded patriots would do; they unleashed Corey Flintoff, their take-no-prisoners muckraking enforcer, and gave him the task of debunking Pushkov’s gratuitous slam on Uncle Sam.

There are fewer than 13 million firearms in circulation in Russia, compared with an estimated 300 million in the United States. That works out to about 9 guns per 100 people in Russia and closed to 100 guns per 100 people in America.

The most recent homicide statistics for Russia show that there were 21,603 killings in 2009.

According to the FBI, the United States had 13,636 homicides in 2009 with a population that is more than twice as large. More than 80 percent of those killings were gun-related.

So despite having about 1/11 the number of heaters in civilian hands, the one-time workers’ paradise has more than three times the gun-related homicide rate. Take that, cossacks!

Just to reiterate, this NPR we’re talking about here. They look at gun rights and civilian firearms ownership with the same affection and admiration they did Ronald Reagan. But there’s just no holding Flintoff back once he’s on the loose. How hard is it to get your hands on a boomstick back in the (former) USSR? Corey has the gorey details.

It’s illegal for Russian citizens to own automatic and semi-automatic guns. It’s possible to apply for a handgun or shotgun license, though citizens are required to provide reasons such as hunting or target shooting.

Applicants face strict background checks, including criminal history, a full psychological evaluation and a medical exam. They must pass a test on firearm laws and safety.

Each weapon is then registered by the police during a home visit. Police take bullet patterns, test bullets and cartridges so bullets can be matched if the gun is used in a crime. A license lasts five years, after which applicants must go through the whole process again.

In short, Putin’s playground is pretty much a Feinsteinian utopia. Yet somehow, the Russian Federation never gets mentioned by the Gun Control Industrial Complex when they compare the US to other lands with strict gun laws. Probably just an oversight. Oh well. At least it’s good to know we have NPR on our side now, right? Who’s up for an open carry meet-up at their new headquarters building to show some 2A solidarity?


  1. avatar Austin Hunt says:

    Pravda had an editorial urging Americans to keep our guns. I tried to post the link but couldn’t . Good article if gave some history behind gun control in Russia. If you Google Pravda Guns you will get it

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      Favorite quote:

      “Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question. They hate guns in those whom they have slated for a barrel to the back of the ear.”

    2. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

      That is a fantastic article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    ” Miley Cyrus is for her conservative and demure wardrobe these days”

    Cheesecake links back?

    By the way, I know she is 20 now, but I used to watch Hanah Montana shows with my daughter sometimes. I can’t help but feel like I should put myself on some list for having viewed those pictures.

    To the point: We can pick any single country we want and look at firearm ownership rate vs. murder rate, and all these comparisons will be meaningless without the general context of all other nations. Except, of course, as a hearty STFU to certain Russians.

    1. “I can’t help but feel like I should put myself on some list for having viewed those pictures.”

      No worries. Our friends at the NSA have already taken care of that for you. Your tax dollars at work.

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        The NSA: The only part of the government that listens.

        (not mine, but funny enough to repeat)

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          That’s good.

    2. avatar NEIOWA says:

      ” Miley Cyrus is for her conservative and demure wardrobe these days”

      Cheesecake links back?

      Cheesecake would not be the word you are looking for. Really, drop Swedish supermodels for Miley Cyrus? Someone need to have their headspace and timing adjusted.

  3. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

    Ha! Last sentence of this post FTW.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Good to see Sonny puzikas can find work after accidently shooting one of his co workers.

  5. avatar jeff says:

    NPR can’t even be bothered to tell the truth about Russian gun law.

    Semi-auto rifles are not illegal in Russia but fall under a different licensing class for “hunting.”

    The entire product line of Izhmash and Molot is available in Russia – if you play by the onerous rules.

    1. avatar Roy says:

      Getting a fact incorrect isn’t the same thing as not telling the truth.

    2. avatar cynical bastard says:

      No pistols unless you are REALLY well-connected, either.

    3. avatar int19h says:

      Not quite – 5.45 is still banned as a “military cartridge”.

      And yes, the rules are very much onerous. You have to own a shotgun for 5 years before getting any kind of rifle (even a .22 rimfire! yes, this means that all shooters in Russia have to start on shotguns…)

      1. avatar Ren says:

        Yes, but you can get a shotgun like that:

        I’m pretty sure it would be illegal in US since the barrel looks shortish.

        1. avatar Vhyrus says:

          iirc, russia doesnt have a barrel length restriction, only an OAL restriction, so 14″ barrel shotties are totally kosher there.

    4. avatar Ren says:

      I was going to mention that. From my understanding, you can own semi-auto long arms as long as they’re limited to 10 round magazines and if it does have a folding stock, it has to have a thingo which prevents the gun being fired with the stock folded.

      Another thing, you need to have a “genuine reason” to get a firearm. We got the same crap here in Australia, except the HUGE difference between us and Russians is that they accept self-defense/protection as a genuine reason.

      IN fact, I think I’d much rather have Russian Laws than current Oz ones, even if it means waiting 5-years for a rifle.

  6. avatar bontai Joe says:

    A get together at their HQ????? The neighbors will be able to HEAR the knickers get into a twist if the folks at NPR see a herd of open carry folks outside in the parking lot. I listen to NPR because I want to know what my enemy is thinking. They might be ok with busting some Russian balls, but they are not in any way going to support private firearm ownership here in America.

    1. avatar Bruce L. says:

      Open carry get together? Didn’t we do that at Starbucks?

      1. avatar Not So 1337 says:

        And didn’t it totally backfire?

        1. avatar Will says:

          Guys meet sarcasm. Sarcasm meet guys. Nice of you two to finally meet each other.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    RIA Novosti is far more fair and honest than National Democrat Party Pubic Radio. No, that’s not a typo.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I agree, Ralph. And as Pushkov elbowed the ribcage of so-called “American Exceptionalism”, by coincidence today’s VETERANS TODAY featured and article about the ridiculous myth of “American Exceptionalism”.

      In short, the author, Paul Balles, exhorts us to stop talking about (non-eixistent) American exceptionalism, and ACTUALLY BE EXCEPTIONAL.

  8. avatar Jamie Lill says:

    Really! Realllyyyyyyyy!!!!!!

  9. avatar In Memphis says:

    Ill try this again.

    Why is NPR taxpayer funded?

    1. For the same reason we have government employee unions. NPR supports government, so it gets government support. Neat, huh?

      Besides, as Nancy Pelosi said over the weekend, there are no more cuts to make.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Because… the arts!

    3. avatar Pwrserge says:

      To be entirely fair, only a small part of NPR funding comes from .gov

      1. avatar Ben in UT says:


        It’s less than 5%. $400 million annually, the equivalent of about 10 hours of military operations in Afghanistan.

        1. avatar A-Rod says:

          +2, And I have never felt guilty about my tax dollars or donations going to NPR – National or Nashville Public Radio. Bash NPR all y’all want but it’s better than the Fox News OPINION piece link in the article.

        2. avatar Ben in UT says:

          Written by a senior executive from the Heritage Foundation, no less. Shameless.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          But that’s 8 hours the poppy fields will be left unprotected.

        4. avatar A-Rod says:

          I have no problem with NPR. If I wanted state funded radio or TV I would tune into Fox News. NPR said years ago to the Republican Party “If you want as much airtime and coverage as the Democratic Party then you need to shell out matching funds.” But I guess if Fox News started giving the DNC as much coverage as the RNC then the DNC needs to do some matching funds too. Fairs fair.

        5. avatar Anon in CT says:

          That’s BS – sure that’s how much the funds fund to NPR DIRECTLY, but a lot of their other “revenue” comes from local affiliated paying for content. Which local affiliates also get federal grants.

          If I am wrong, and it’s such a small amount, then why not cut it to avoid the appearance of impropriety?

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        True. They don’t call it “National Petroleum Radio” for nothing.

      3. avatar rosignol says:

        Kind of.

        Some miniscule percentage of NPR’s budget comes directly from the feds. A big chunk of the rest comes from college-affiliated ‘student stations’ who need content to fill airtime. Where do those ‘student stations’ get funds? For a lot of them, it’s Education grants… which come from the feds and state governments.


  10. avatar Ben in UT says:

    Citing an article about the liberal leanings of NPR…written by FOX News. Niiiiiiice.

    I admittedly listen to NPR regularly and am hardly a liberal. The main reason I listen is I find it’s one of the few media outlets without an overwhelmingly partisan bias.

    Perhaps a better citation would be one to a 2004 peer-reviewed study of media bias by political science and economics professors at UCLA ( They found that its ‘liberal bias score’ “is approximately equal to those of Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report, and its score is slightly less than the Washington Post’s. Further, our estimate places it well to the right of the New York Times, and also to the right of the average speech by Joe Lieberman.”

    Obviously, I’m a listener, so my opinion is biased, but I think it’s a legitimate news organization that deserves respect. Public media (and education) is one of the few successful investments the federal government has ever made.

    Edit: Further thoughts.

    Can anyone suggest a less “liberal” news source that actually does investigative journalism? That focuses on the arts and sciences, presents multiple perspectives on stories, and is as efficient with its budgets?

    1. avatar Matt says:


      1. avatar David says:

        I agree with you Ben, NPR at least attempt to shoot things down the middle, spends more time trying to assemble a complete thought rather than an 8 second one liner the corporate media does, and aren’t playing to a particular crowd. Liberals have plenty of places to stroke their ego.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      The CBC. Buy a shortwave, or better still, they have an app for the iPhone or iPod Touch. They also have a website that I haven’t explored much, but you probably can listen to broadcasts there.

      Mind you, they aren’t altogether dissimilar from NPR, but I feel they’re a little more fair and honest, and there’s a LOT of cultural stuff, albeit from a Canada-centric point of view. The app also lets you listen to locally-produced programming from individual affiliates, from Charlottetown to Kamloops, from Fredericton to Victoria.

      Ten years ago I might have said BBC, but they’re terrible now, and probably were years before I actually realized it.

      1. avatar Ben in UT says:

        Sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out, thanks.

      2. avatar Austin Hunt says:

        We get CBC on cable here in Seattle. I would say they are to the left of NPR to be honest. Great hockey coverage but being government supported they are liberal. But I am a recovering liberal that watches Fox since they have more Ivy League and top school grads and top law school grads than any other network. MSNBC hates that fact.

    3. avatar ChuckN says:

      Because a political “science” professor from UCLA isn’t going to be biased,
      right? Newsweek has fallen and both Time and U.S. News are not far behind
      due to no small part that they are biased.

      Seriously, I’d wager money that this exceptional fluke of a report by NPR
      has more to do with NPR not wanting to allow still more embarrassment
      befall their messiah than a desire for truth.

      1. avatar Ben in UT says:

        Do you understand the concept of peer review? Dozens of professors from universities around the nation reviewed this piece and checked that the methodology was sound, it was absent of bias, and that it wasn’t too far reaching in its conclusions. Do you have a study which counters this one, or are you disagreeing just because you don’t like the conclusion?


        Sorry, this post came across with a bit of vitriol, and for that I apologize.

        1. avatar BobC says:

          “Do you understand the concept of peer review?”

          I do, having participated from both sides. Your description sounds like something I would have read in Boy’s Life back in the 1950’s. The thing itself falls far short of your idealized fantasy. Academia rates higher for petty vindictiveness and tribalism than just about any other section of society.

          A number of folks from Woodrow Wilson to Henry Kissinger have noted that academic politics are far more vicious than in the general population. A familiar quote (from Henry) is:

          “ACADEMIC politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small”

        2. avatar ChuckN says:

          I do understand the concept. As one who has also
          co-authored research appearing in academic journals
          and participated in peer review, I am quite familiar
          with how studies are published. Getting anything in a
          journal is as much a trial in politics and popularity,
          as solid research. What you may not know about
          academic journals is that just because an article is
          peer-reviewed does not necessarily mean that all the
          reviewers signed off on the study. It also doesn’t
          mean that the reviewers had any area expertise. The
          only way for the reader to know is for the journal to
          publish a list of the reviewers and their responses
          (which rarely, if ever happens). It is also not unheard
          of for a journal to cherry pick its reviewers or their
          responses. To say that any research is acceptable
          because it has been peer-reviewed is on par with
          Hostess declaring that since10 out of 10 Drs agree
          food is good for you and because twinkes are food
          they too must also be good for you.

          I do have a few issues with the study itself and question
          how valid the conclusions are. The methodology
          Groseclose uses is problematic. For starters, the data
          collected was not a catalog of how many times a media
          outlet publishes/broadcasts stories that are liberal or
          conservative. Instead it measures how many times a
          think tank (lib or con) is cited by politicians and news
          agencies. Gloseclose did try to include contextual quotes
          but he does state this was not always possible. As
          Gloseclose acknowledges in the study anomalies
          can and did show up.

          Second, the scoring used to catalog the data were
          numbers from the Americans for Democratic Action
          (ADA). Not exactly a bastion of impartiality.

          A quick read through their political stances of various
          issues, easily show a decidedly liberal viewpoint. The
          ADA has a vested interest in downplaying the liberal
          leanings of legislatures in order to make them more
          palatable to the general public. Since he relies so
          heavily on their rating system, this leaves a large
          opening for Gloseclose to misinterpret the ideological
          extremities of those citing think tanks.

          Lastly, the study was done in 2004. Since then many
          MSM members have become more openly biased.
          So, nine years ago Groseclose may have made a
          decent assessment of bias in media, but that doesn’t
          mean his conclusions hold true today.

          I do apologize to everyone for this lengthy diatribe.

        3. avatar Ben in UT says:

          Chuck, thanks for the really interesting reply, and sorry again for the condescending tone of my above post.

          I may have to re-evaluate my position and do more reading.


    4. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      “Can anyone suggest a less “liberal” news source that actually does investigative journalism?”

      Alex Jones, he’s certainly ‘less’ liberal than NPR.

      Oh, I do crack myself up sometimes….

    5. avatar Roscoe says:

      @ Ben:

      “I admittedly listen to NPR regularly and am hardly a liberal. The main reason I listen is I find it’s one of the few media outlets without an overwhelmingly partisan bias.”

      Agreed! I mostly look to for info, but have come to see NPR as a good source of information; and NPR is much more indepth in it’s reporting which probably does not hold the attention of low information viewers.

      As an alternative source, NPR is considerably better than the National big three NBC ABC CBS and their ilk, who’s socialist leaning reporting mostly consist of repeating and rephrasing liberally biased sound bites from Democrats and other progressive liberal statists.

    6. avatar Closet Gun Nut says:

      @ Ben, check out I think you will like it.

  11. avatar anon says:

    Ben in UT, I think you are very wrong. For example, they always detail the sufferings of illegal immigrants but never focus on the crimes illegal immigrants do. 45% of federal prisoners are illegal immigrants but that never comes up. They are not close to be unbiased.

    1. avatar Ben in UT says:

      The statistic I just read was about 25%, but that’s probably irrelevant; you’re right, illegal immigrants appear to commit more crimes than the average American citizen. I haven’t heard any stories about illegal immigrants personally, just as a matter of national policy, but that’s just my experience.

      This sounds a bit dickish, and for that I apologize, but I’d be interested if you had any other sources to support your position other than anecdotal evidence. In contrast, whenever I turn on FOX News, programming mostly consists of interviewers baiting guests into giant yelling matches that end in disgusting amounts of Republican party rhetoric that’s twisted into easy-to-digest bits like “socialism is everywhere” “Obamacare is bad” and “immigration is terrible for America” (coming from someone who generally votes Republican).

  12. avatar anon says:

    Ben in UT, I forgot to throw in my other comment. I ahve nothing against illegal aliens, they usually work hard for low wages, fruits, veggies, construction, etc. They will take on any job and we have to come with a way to get them in as citizens. Plus, we need their contributions in terms of taxes and social security.
    NPR does many subtle, subliminal messaging and the idea that they get little from the federal government is alot of crap. They get alot, I know they talk about 5% but if so, why do they whine when threatened with losing it?
    But they are good maoney managers, cutting 10% of their staff as they move into a new 200 million plus headquarters, the last 2 deparing CEO’s got over 500k as a parting gift, not bad. . . we alll contributed to that one.

    1. avatar Ben in UT says:

      Personally, I’m much more concerned about the $500 million Planned Parenthood receives from the government (and then donates a significant portion of that to political candidates which supports their ideology).

      I listened to an interview with an NPR journalist who, when asked to comment her opinion on the topic, answered, “it’s not my job to have an opinion, it’s my job to present all the facts of the story and let the listener decide.” That’s the kind of journalism I want to my government to support. Obviously, there aren’t many other organizations that have the same ethos.

      Thanks for the comment.

  13. avatar Ing says:

    I wonder what it tells us about the state of our national news media that the one org that has its own line-item in the federal budget is the most likely to report things as they are and least likely to just kneel down and kiss the scepter.

    It may not be the bastion of objectivity we’d like it to be, but at least NPR does better than the cultural propaganda, celebrity omg, and pointless shouting matches that pass for news on the fully commercial networks.

    Now if only they’d do a similar report about the reality on the ground in the gun prohibitionists’ beloved England…

  14. avatar KCK says:

    What in the heck is with all those side by side DB’s??? Hardly the land of AK’s favorite weapon for war, murder and mayhem.
    Anybody know what this photo is from?

    1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      Click on it. It will take you to the source.

  15. avatar peirsonb says:

    NPR? Unbiased? That’s just plain delusional. I listened to an entire week if them defending Obama’s “You didn’t build that speech.” They’re not the National People’s Radio for nothing.

    On the flip side, Fox is EASILY just as biased, if not more, in the opposite direction.

    For both, just like in every other aspect of life, it boils down to money. Emotions get more readers, listeners, and viewers than just plain facts.

    I can’t think of a single news source that is completely neutral one way or the other…..the closest I’ve personally come Is BBC world news. And in fairness I haven’t listened to them enough to say for certain.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:


        I stand corrected.

  16. avatar GS650G says:

    “Each weapon is then registered by the police during a home visit. Police take bullet patterns, test bullets and cartridges so bullets can be matched if the gun is used in a crime. A license lasts five years, after which applicants must go through the whole process again.”

    I’d love to know if any of that registration nonsense actually solved a single crime.

  17. avatar -Rob says:

    I have no issues with bias by news organizations or news personnel. They’re free to think what they want, support what they want, and knock down what they want. I DO have an issue with being forced to pay for that, however.

    All of NPR’s supporters should imagine how they’d feel if 5% of Fox News’s budget came from the taxpayer. Even a dime coming out of taxpayer pockets would likely be too much… so… that’s all most of us on the other side are saying: pay for it yourself, then do whatever you want.

  18. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Actually, NPR is supported by grants, foundations and listeners; the government provides nothing.

    Back during the Bush administration, NPR did a series on the Patriot Act (so dearly beloved at the time by many hereabouts, and still adored by some) and Uncle Sam ordered them to stop under threat to pull government funding — a whopping three percent of NPR expenses.

    NPR told ’em to pound sand and marched on with their support of the ENTIRE bill of rights, rather than only those of which the Busheviks provisionally approved, and without government strings.

    They ARE fairly balanced. Hell, since their mantra isn’t to only report sensationally bad news, they were for a time the only reporter of good news from Iraq. Since they’re no Limbaugh, a lot of y’all call ’em names. Yeah, Limbaugh is as balanced as a morning star, so you know.

    Mayhap you should take off your red earmuffs and listen once in a while. Talk of the Nation sure listened when I called in pro-gun following Newtown…

    1. avatar Thesophist says:

      Good. Then you’ll join the calls to cut off public funding of NPR since the govt provides nothing.

      1. avatar David says:

        The funding helps keeps the lights on at the local stations, especially the rural ones that don’t have the wealthy funding base to rely on. So yeah, your tax dollars help keep the remote corners of our great nation informed which is in the public interest.

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