Here’s How the Associated Press Frames the “Gun Debate”


The Associated Press has a well-deserved rep for being anti-gun rights, spreading their disdain to the news orgs who republish its work throughout the United States (e.g., ABC). In the run-up to the presidential election, the AP shows its lack of journalistic integrity with its article WHY IT MATTERS: Guns. Here’s their take on the “debate” over gun rights:

THE ISSUE: The right to bear arms is fundamental to the U.S., carved into the Constitution and seemingly embedded in the national DNA. But after a seemingly endless stretch of violence, Americans are confronting how far those rights extend, propelling gun issues to the forefront of this year’s elections.

Catch all that? The right to bear arms (what happened to “keep and”?) is “seemingly embedded” in the national DNA. Not embedded. Seemingly embedded. And speaking of unseemly bias, what about the term “seemingly endless stretch of violence”? What does that mean — save the usual anti-gun “feelz” about “growing gun violence”?

Do Americans have the right to have AR-style firearms, the long guns with a military look used in the past year in several mass shootings? Should they be able to buy magazines that hold 10 or more bullets? Can those on a terrorist watchlist, but not charged with a crime, be allowed to buy a gun? Should every gun buyer have to pass a background check?

At least AP writer Lisa Marie Pane (by name and by nature) didn’t use the term “assault weapons.” Her anti-gun rights bias is inherent in the phrase “allowed to buy a gun.” As if Americans only have a right to keep and bear arms if the government “allows” it.

And how about this for cherry-picking?

A recent AP-GfK Poll found the highest levels of support for restrictions on guns since the question was first asked in 2013. That’s a sharp departure from the past two presidential election years, when gun issues were largely absent from the campaigns.

That would be the same Joyce Foundation opt-in poll (actually a survey) thoroughly debunked and discredited by TTAG and anyone else familiar with duff data (GIGO) and statistical manipulation. And here’s the kicker:

In a world that feels increasingly violent, whether at home or across the globe, America’s cowboy culture and the Second Amendment are under the microscope. Voters are asking what will make them safer, more guns or fewer?

“Feels” again. And what’s that about America’s “cowboy culture” if not a diss against American gun owners? More proof that the mainstream media is in the tank for gun control, however subtle they try to be.


  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    The right to free speech does not spill over to the right of freedom of the “press”. You cannot use the megaphone of mass media to shout down or over my free speech. You cannot also let it harbor falsehood, especially purposefully, and when it occurs you throw it out in totality, and it never recovers protected stature, and that’s for paper, radio, tv, internet, what-have-you. Thereby AP has waived their right to “freedom of the press” decades ago, and needs to hang it up and go home quietly. I won’t help someone shut them up, shut them down and hunt their crew. But I will stand by with a camera and interview those taking part.

    1. avatar NonLinear9 says:

      “The right to free speech does not spill over to the right of freedom of the “press”.”

      It most certainly does. Re-read the 1st amendment, slowly this time.

      “You cannot also let it harbor falsehood, especially purposefully, and when it occurs you throw it out in totality, and it never recovers protected stature, and that’s for paper, radio, tv, internet, what-have-you.”

      Nope buddy, that’s not how it works in the USA, thank God. Your argument for censoring press that “harbor[s] falsehood” is exactly the argument used by every tin-pot dictator and absolute monarch throughout history for restricting press freedom. Please take that totalitarian, Stalinist bullshit to some other, less-free country where they’d be happy to have you.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        “Amendment I
        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” –

        [?] They are separate freedoms (contained in the First Amendment) no matter if you can’t read too fast. Further, they are protections FROM Congress. And, likewise, if you
        s l o w l y (I don’t know why, just do it)
        read to the end up there, you’ll get the notion that the Founders were trying to protect the CITIZENRY’s freedom with the Media’s freedom, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. the Media is blessed with protections from the U.S. Government, NOT to just have “free speech”, OR BECAUSE THEY ARE ANY MORE NOBLE A CLASS OF HUMANITY THAN THE CITIZEN POOL THEY ARE DRAWN FROM, but rather to protect the citizenry from a secret and tyrannical government. Anything else is just mostly just revenue generation and bs from the look of what it’s turned into..
        Your free speech is protected FROM government. But it is not unlimited, and you can “say what you want” but you don’t necessarily get to say it in front of my 12 year old. The same with the Media’s First Amendment rights, I can chuck-it at will, (the First Amendment does not say that “Media” has access to my home to go see if there’s “news”) and I don’t have to support it one whit if someone is merely [again] using (mass) “media” to shout my free speech down. That goes treble for when they are trying to spread falsehood. I cannot retain protections under the 1st Amendment for Slander, and known falsehood is actionable. There is given even more leeway to “media” type companies and personnel that the average citizen does not typically enjoy, and, if you see them hiding behind it, then yes, you chuck-it.

  2. I don’t see Europe, Canada, Japan or Australia turning despotic.

    Again Australia has had no mass killings after Port Arthur.

    Norway has only had one mass killing and everyone here goes into a crap-storm about how gun control doesn’t “work”. Despite the fact Norway is considered one of the richest, economically stable and safest countries in the world.

    Same with Singapore!

    I don’t see Norway or Singapore turning into tyrannical hellholes.

    Minor incidents in Europe DON’T compare to the hundreds of mass shootings that happen here everyday in the US.

    You’re not really “free” if you believe you need a gun to protect yourself when it’s statistically more likely to murder
    a loved one or commit suicide than stop a criminal threat.

    Not to mention John Lott is a fraud. He is notorious for cooking stats and biased research.

    I challenge this website to compose how many mass killings versus the US and Europe and Other nations with strict gun laws.

    1. avatar ACP_arms says:

      “Not to mention John Lott is a fraud. He is notorious for cooking stats and biased research.”
      Like Mom’s Demand Action, Mayor’s Against Illegal gun’s and The Trace are not biased themselves.

      1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

        He cited some studies in his book that had acknowledged methodological flaws. Of course, he was up front about that, and no study is perfect (which is why it is folly to rely on any single study for just about any important question). So, some studies out of the hundreds he cited are not perfect, but most results are pushing in the direction of fewer guns fewer murders. But his critics have used that to falsely dismiss all is arguments. Which is all they can do. Hold your opponent to ridiculous standards to which you don’t hold yourself. Same old same old from leftists.

      2. avatar LIbertyToad says:

        RE: “Not to mention John Lott is a fraud. He is notorious for cooking stats and biased research.”

        Nonsense. Funny stuff.

    2. avatar Uniform Whiskey says:

      I’ve been to Australia many times, and repeatedly been told by the citizens there that they envy the freedoms that Americans have.

      I’ve been to Singapore many times, and repeatedly been told by the citizens there that they envy the freedoms that Americans have.

      It’s cute to quote cherry-picked progressive talking points, but get out and spend some time in other parts of the world and really pay attention to how strongly the people are held in the grip of the government “for their safety”. If it makes you envious, move. Freedom isn’t for everyone, and it sure as hell isn’t safe. There isn’t anywhere else for freedom-loving people to go. Statists have a vast selection of options.

      1. avatar Reggie Browning says:

        Yeah. I went to France this summer actually, and received my very first pat down ever, to get into a music festival at Paris. Not only that, I was forced to throw my bottles of water away twice, to gain entrance to both the Eiffel Tower, and the Music festival because full bottles of water could be used as weapons if you throw them, and they were searching bags at the Eiffel Tower. I don’t think that’s an atmosphere of relaxation and freedom.

        1. avatar Sian says:

          Indeed. Europeans don’t complain about their loss of freedom, because they have been under the heels of monarchs, tyrants and dictators for hundreds of years, and the routine, daily indignities that they suffer under go simply unnoticed because it is simply how things are. They don’t know any different.

          When one of them comes to live in the States for a few years, they tend to not want to go back.

    3. avatar Binder says:

      It’s not the firearms, its a combination of the “war” on drugs and the fact that law enforcement and the government is way more restricted int the US than most any other country( which is kind of a good thing). As for tyrannical hellhole, give then another 30 years, It tends to go in cycles in Europe and the Far East.

    4. avatar Reggie Browning says:

      This website has debunked reports of “hundreds of mass killings every day” there aren’t even hundreds of murders total every day in the U.S. Even anti gun Hillary Clinton will tell you “86 people die every day from gun violence.” which is still slanted, but she doesn’t say “Hundreds every day”. If there were hundreds of mass shootings every day then there would be multiple hundreds more “deaths from gun violence” every day than 86.

    5. avatar NonLinear9 says:

      “Minor incidents in Europe DON’T compare to the hundreds of mass shootings that happen here everyday in the US.”

      Actually, the E.U. has a higher per-capita rate of deaths from mass-shootings, as well as a higher frequency:

      “I don’t see Norway or Singapore turning into tyrannical hellholes.”

      You don’t know much about Singapore, do you? I suggest you spend less time trolling comment sections and more time learning about the vast and wonderful world outside your door:

      1. Again…John lott is a fraud and that crime research link was DEBUNKED!

        The NRA-lead US leads the world in mass killings.

        I don’t see these countries turning into Orwellian nightmares.

        If you had paid attention.

        Norway and Singapore among various other countries don’t seem to have these kinds of problems happening to them everyday.

        Same for Canada.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          You couldn’t spot an Orwellian nightmare if it stuffed your head in a cage full of flesh eating rats.

        2. avatar Shire-man says:

          Singapore has more in common with North Korea than it does South Korea. Citing it as a example of utopia isn’t helping your point.

          And Oz has had plenty of mass killings since PA. They just haven’t been with guns. Well, most haven’t. Oz is now in the same place as Chicago where gang killings outnumber any mass killings but nobody pays any attention because they don’t qualify as feelz generators.

        3. avatar Wiregrass says:

          The US is already an Orwellian nightmare. You’re just so much a part of it you can’t see it.

        4. avatar Spartacus Khan says:

          Just repeating the same lies over and over doesn’t make them true. Saying John Lott’s research has been “debunked” doesn’t mean it has actually been debunked – this is just another anti-gun agitprop lie. It has not been “debunked” at all, and disagreeing with facts in no way whatsoever validates an opinion. It’s a similar talking point on anti-gun rights media networks to say the NRA “lies”, as if it’s an accepted fact, when no one ever actually points out anything they’ve said that isn’t true. Browbeating Americans with bullshit just isn’t going to work – it’s nothing but noise.

        5. avatar 10108 says:

          One word MUMBAI

          I suppose intermittent culling of innocent for a religion that demands submission is acceptable?

        6. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

          “Debunked” only in the sense that many people have simply agreed to buy into a fiction so they do not have to discuss the work. Utter crap.

        7. avatar Henry says:

          You know, outright lies don’t become true just because you type them again in capital letters.

    6. avatar Jomo says:

      You haven’t been paying attention. Europe and Australia are restricting people’s rights (especially free speech) at an ever increasing rate and the sorveillance state is rampant in Britain.

    7. Australia’s ban had no discernible effect on the homicide rate according to the gov’t’s own data.

      “you believe you need a gun to protect yourself when it’s statistically more likely to murder
      a loved one or commit suicide than stop a criminal threat” This is FALSE, due to a simple error in data interpretation, and a common misconception.

    8. avatar Treedodger says:

      By “minor incidents in Europe” may I assume you are ignoring the Paris attack in which 129 people were killed and another 350 or so injured or the regular mass genocide killings of thousands occurring in African Islamic states? We can also the ignore the multiple Germany mass shootings, Finland mass shootings or the many stabbings in Asian countries.

      As always, you are welcome to your opinion, but not your own facts, especially by purposeful omission.

      1. Well let me know when stabbing rampages where people actually die are an epidemic…They’re not.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          African genocide was with machetes. Majority of Btitain’s very high violent crime/murder rate is from knives. China has frequent mass stabbings (albeit with a billion people & no mental health facility). So once again you’re mistaken.

    9. avatar jmf552 says:

      Well if Lott is a fraud with his numbers, you are a greater fraud. You didn’t even do the barest research when you said in your post, “hundreds of mass shootings that happen here everyday in the US. Get your facts straight. The standard definition is a shooting where 4 or more people are killed OR injured. The US has in the range of 300 A YEAR, not hundreds a day.

      Also, you are welcome to move to Europe, Australia, Norway or Singapore. No one is stopping you. If you were really scared of gun owners, I would think you’d be there already. But you’re not, so again your are a fraud.

    10. avatar Danilushka Ozera says:

      I hate (actually I enjoy) to deflate your narrative, but mass shootings represent less than 1% of all homicides. According to the CDC, 80% of all gun homicides in the US in 2010 and 2011 (higher number of homicides in subsequent years) where gang-related. that’s right, if we didn’t have a huge inner city gang problem, US homicide rates would be just a fraction over those of the UK and Australia. Knife homicides are rampant the UK. Gun freedom Amarillo Texas has a lower per capita murder rate than the UK.
      So, sorry to have to keep repeating this to you, guns don’t kill people, people do.
      As Sheriff David Clarke of Millwaukee County says: it isn’t a gun problem, it is a people problem..”Fix the ghetto.”

    11. avatar M1Lou says:

      8 dead children disagree with your no mass killings since Port Arthur. A woman used a knife to kill them so try again!

    12. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

      How can we take you seriously when you cut and paste the same irronious bullshit every time you troll TTAG? Just go away so I don’t have to scroll past your slobbering gibberish.

    13. avatar junkman says:

      Australia is awash in violence in general & “gun violence” has soared because the criminals, who DO NOT OBEY LAWS! , are able to get what ever they please and feel unafraid in using it because they know they WILL NOT meet armed resistance because EVERYONE (civilians) are DISARMED–better get your facts checked before you go blowing out your same old shit–motor cycle gangs are smuggling in even Military Grade weapons–whenever something is outlawed, the out laws become VERY strong

    14. avatar Baz says:

      Ah, the “Peaceful paradise that is gun free Australia” myth raises it’s head again.

      Eleven Massacres since Port Authur in 1986 according to two seconds of research on google. Five with guns (that confiscation worked well, didn’t it?), three arsons, one blunt instrument, one stabbing and one where the weapon was not specified.

    15. avatar Sian says:

      “Minor incidents in Europe DON’T compare to the hundreds of mass shootings that happen here everyday in the US.”

      Hundreds of mass shootings everyday?

      Do you get tired of copypasting your insipid crap?

      “You’re not really “free” if you believe you need a gun to protect yourself when it’s statistically more likely to murder
      a loved one or commit suicide than stop a criminal threat. ”

      you’re not really “free” if your government decides you must be rendered unarmed for their own safety.

      “Not to mention John Lott is a fraud. He is notorious for cooking stats and biased research.”

      (Citation Needed)
      Many people have tried to “prove” John Lott a fraud, yet none of them have succeeded.

  3. avatar Reggie Browning says:

    It’s always funny when they say stuff like “America’s gun violence is looked at around the world with shock and bewilderment.” but for some reason they don’t say such things about much more violent countries. Somehow the U.S. is held to a different standard from other countries because it’s the wealthiest in the world as if that means it’s not allowed to have crime or any kind of poverty. People seem to think “Well, you’re better off financially than us. You must have the money to solve all your problems, yeah?” no. It doesn’t work that way. And if you think about it, if more guns meant more crime, then the U.S. would have the highest crime rate in the world… and it’s not even close.

  4. avatar Joe says:

    Such a widespread and fundamental misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment. It doesn’t “grant” anyone anything.

    1. avatar pg2 says:

      That’s right, there seems to be a widespread misunderstanding of the Constitution in general.

  5. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    Ultimately, the Democrats are not taking anyone’s guns because they know that would lead to a civil war and everyone understands that leftists cannot be civil about anything. ?

  6. avatar M1Lou says:

    I love how these people use the word “allowed” all of the time. The problem is they do not believe in natural rights. They believe rights come from the government and what they “allow” you to do.

  7. avatar Porter says:

    A . P . = Associated Propaganda. – You must not only SAY 2 + 2 = 5 ……. you must BELIEVE it . ( per Orwell ).
    Conditioning 101 . Divide & conquer. We are treated to the endless repetition of exactly ‘ How ‘ we should think and act. We are conditioned to ‘ go along ‘ or be cast out. ” Why you’re not really one of THOSE TYPE PEOPLE are you ? ” . well pilgrim ..? .. ( I embrace the name of Deplorable Cowboy ) . Aldous Huxley called the mindless , conditioned lives of : Betas , Deltas , Alphas as ” Dynamic Conformity ” in his non-fiction ” Brave New World , ‘ Revisited ‘” // Call Congress , control of the last platform for free speech , the internet , will be lost October 1.

  8. avatar pg2 says:

    Question: What does AP actually frame accurately? There seems to be articles here almost daily where the authors seem surprised by or taken back by one of the mainstream press’s propaganda vehicles taking a shot at the 2A. Time to move past this and understand the medias role in conditioning the public to accept surrendering their individual rights, whether its guns or other individual liberties.

  9. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

    Not like the media will ever take credit for helping excite the growing racial division that’s contributing to the growing sense of danger in this country.

  10. avatar Matt says:

    The entirety of recorded history is “a seemingly endless stretch of violence”. I’m sure that even “stretches” into prehistory.

    We are being told that something that is really more human than American is our fault as Americans.

  11. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    We need a sign:

    “Please don’t feed the trolls” for someone here who doesn’t understand statistical analysis, peer review and challenge or actually reads the news. (Hint: Trace is not a news organization.)

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