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Sadly, far-right politicians and media figures have habitually stoked fear and manufactured moral panics as a political strategy to amp up their base. And it’s having an effect: For decades, Gallup polls have consistently found that Americans believe crime is going up, whether it is or not.

The cost of this paranoia-propaganda machine? Real human lives — and poor policy choices that continue to make America an unnecessarily dangerous place to live.

Fear boosts TV ratings for Fox News and clicks for right-wing websites. It elects “tough on crime” politicians, sells guns, and contributes to the proliferation of “stand your ground” and permissive concealed-carry laws. Violent media scares people into answering their doorbells with guns drawn.

None of these things enhances safety.

Contrary to what the gun lobby says, more guns do not keep people and communities safer. Nearly 30 studies rounded up by Scientific American have linked more guns to more crime — not less. Another recent study shows murder rates are much higherin “tough on crime” red states than “soft on crime” blue states. That’s been true every year since 2000.

Evidence keeps piling up that dire warnings and more guns don’t make Americans safer. What compounds the disaster is that this rhetoric continues to be weaponized against reforms that actually could save lives. …

The recent rash of shootings are horrific at an individual level. At the social level, a critical lesson here is that a climate of fear — and those who benefit politically or financially from it — gives us bad laws, bad politics, and bad behavior that endanger us all.

It’s time for that to stop. It’s time to turn away from the fearmongers and toward solutions that work.

—  Svante Myrick in Armed and Afraid: The High Price of Fear

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  1. “It’s time to turn away from the fearmongers and toward solutions that work.”

    And yet, he neglects to discuss any of those supposed “solutions that work.”

    Unless he’s blaming LEO for crime — the only “solutions” discussed are those that “reform” the police:

    “When I was mayor of Ithaca, New York, we got much tougher about screening police applicants. Our city council approved a complete overhaul of our police department to prioritize unarmed responses. And the city halted no-knock warrants for suspected drug crimes.”

    Huh? No confiscation of firearms from legal owners? No installing additional onerous requirements on law-abiding citizens?

    No, those things are unsaid — but in the language of the leftist, they’re understood as the only “solutions” that these anti-liberty types ever demand.

    • Not so fast svante myrick…The democRat Gun Control trinity bill clintoon, b.h. obama and joe biden are the biggest Gun Salesmen in US History. With threats of Gun Bans, Confiscations and atrocities like Waco, Ruby Ridge. etc. citizens get visions of themselves being defenseless like Jim Crow Gun Controlled Black Americans and Gun Controlled Jews in nazi germany, etc. Such threats and concerns prompt citizens to purchase firearms because the circumstances warrant it.

      In other words svante myrick…Take your obvious disdain for citizens exercising a Constitutional Right and go pound sand.

        • You were right, she cuts in line!

          Would hate to run up against her in the old high school cafeteria lunch line

        • consistently.

          perhaps sadly, all it does is make me more prone to just scroll on past and not read what she writes. it’s most often not relevant to the comment she’s (supposedly) replying to in the first place. and it’s pretty much the same talking points every single time. she comes across as pretty much one-dimensional.

          not to diss on a pro-2A advocate … but this behavior becomes tiresome from anyone.

        • Oh, c’mon, guys — you’re going to read all of the posts anyway.
          Who cares in what order?

        • gipper loves ao…You two busy bodies with your panties in a wad should contribute more than what amounts to an exchange of beavis and butthead text messages.

          There’s Reply below my posts and at any time you think you can debunk what I say feel free to click on it. Any other attempts outside of that are a display of ignorance and a geniune waste of space. Futhermore you two circle jerk cut in line lovebirds…There is a time stamp on replies.

        • no one…Congratulations you made it a threesome and at the same damned time you gave svante myrick a pass…When the day comes you post something with teeth to Defend The Second Amendment I’ll let you know.

        • pretend your at the (turkish) deli, waiting for a pound of sliced head cheese.
          they’re starting to catch on…

        • “You were right, she cuts in line!”

          That’s OK, I believe women should be put on a pedestal, all the better to look up their skirt… 🙂

        • jr….you have more ways to remind me you are a bigot than biden has ways to remind America he is an idiot.

          That said…Months and months have past and I am still waiting for you to present a firearm that has more quality and bang for the buck than A Made In Turkey Sar9 which I have 3 all tweaked to run by yours truly.

          BTW…I’ve come to the conclusion the men folk who watch this video are not watching the firearm…

        • I’ve come to the conclusion the men folk who watch this video are not watching the firearm…

          What else would they be watching? Looks like a dude with a ponytail that runs like a girl wearing tac gear and shooting at stuff, nothing “attractive” or “sexy” about that video, might be different if she lost the hat and was wearing a “little black dress” with fish nets or thigh high boots… On the other hand I have no problem with your Sar9, everyone has the right to shoot whatever gives THEM the confidence to enter the fray… Fortunately, I don’t share Geoffs proclivity for voyeurism, I prefer to take in the whole picture as I already know what’s under the skirt, I’m more interested in how it’s packaged…

  2. Obvious cherry picking by Svante Myrick. What matters is who gets shot the most, not just a roll up of every body no matter if they are bad guys or not.

    “The consensus is that no more than five to ten people in a hundred who die by gunfire in Los Angeles are any loss to society. These people fight small wars amongst themselves. It would seem a valid social service to keep them well-supplied with ammunition.” Jeff Cooper.

  3. Why does Gracie keep copying and pasting propaganda pieces from the other side here on TTAG (without any additional comment).

    Sure, we regular readers won’t be mislead by them, but in a way she is kinda promoting their agenda.

    If TTAG wants to post anti gun propaganda, they should at least add some comments mocking the article, or showing why the article is absurd and untrue.

        • I’ll disagree. TTAG is not an in-depth, investigative news organization. I see it as more of an “aggregator” site that gathers stories from other sources and presents truncated versions here.

          Not always, though — the recent piece about SIG’s troubles was a well-researched, thorough piece, but that type of story is the exception rather than the rule. TTAG is not staffed to produce that type of content on a regular basis and needs to keep more content in rotation to attract eyeballs. At least that’s MHO.

        • @Man with no name Correct, TTAG is not a hard hitting journalistic source for rock solid information, but they did a very creditable job on the SIG piece. I for one love SIG firearms for the ruggedness, dependability (model specific sometimes) and features. I also hate SIG marketing, as they tend to do their new model Q.C. at the consumer level. That’s fine for TV’s and Toasters, not so for firearms your life depends on.

    • I think it gives us an un-edited insight to what these people think.
      Also, allows us to draw our own conclusions without TTAGs bias or slant. If they did that, then they would be no better than WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC or NPR.

    • I call it the morning “chum in the water” article. We sharks dive right in to rip apart the lies of the gun grabbers. Gets our blood pumping and it gets TTAG lots of clicks. Pure manipulation on TTAG’s part, but who cares?? 😂🤣

      • Been here about 10 years. TTAG is a forum for discussion. Plenty of pro-gat,anti-gat & neutral good folks & trolls. And it’s BIG. Don’t like all that? Most regulars likely don’t care. Go whine on fakebook…

        • There was more editorial content back in the Robert Farago days. That was because that was the way he wanted to run the site, I believe, but it was also because the internet was a different place. It was the blog era, and longer content was more in fashion.

          Now longer form content has gone audio/visual and lives in the podcast world. People will digest three hours of Joe Rogan talking to someone, but 1,000 word posts are pushing it.

    • they should at least add some comments mocking the article,

      Probably don.t want to get sent to “moderation” jail…

    • What’re you doing down here at the bottom with us peasants Debbie? I had to scroll like 3 thumb flips to get way down here

      • aq…I thought it was ao…my bad. Per my reply to you and your butt buddies above there is a reply time stamp. At least I don’t batch when text messaging bozos like you push my posts way down below your off 2A topic gibberish. You really need to stick to finding something to say that debunks my posts or like I said…take up knitting.

        • rosie greer does needlepoint.
          rosie palm’s too busy.
          palmela handerson crochets.
          one trick ponies as well.

        • “rosie greer does needlepoint.”

          Just because dogs chase cars, doesn’t mean they know how to drive… 😉

  4. Fear?
    Try facts: “In a study released by WalletHub Wednesday, researchers found that Memphis, Tennesse; New Orleans, Louisana; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, DC; and Detroit, Michigan are suffering from the biggest homicide rate problems.

    All five cities are led by left-wing mayors.

    After comparing the rise in murder rates in 45 of the country’s most populated cities between 2021 and 2023, scholars noticed that killings were rising faster in Democrat-led cities than in their Republican counterparts.

    • “Another recent study shows murder rates are much higher in “tough on crime” red states than “soft on crime” blue states.”

      The problem is the blue metro areas in those red states. TN and VA are both R-governor red states with a few large D-mayor urban ghettos whose crime stats skew the state number.

      Monkeying with the numbers is what anti-2A advocates do. “Figures lie when liars figure.”

      • They’ve been obfuscating the issue with that same line for years because they know the ignorant masses will keep buying it hook, line, and sinker. They know their audience.

      • Same with Texas, 30 million people, but the 4 largest cities are 30% of that, and those are Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, all liberal clusters of people who think like Californians without a soy lattes. Most liberals could not survive a week in rural Texas on their own without the support of 100,000 of their like minded comrades. Rural Texas is what keeps Texas as Texas.

        • people who think like Californians without a soy lattes

          That’s not possible, no self respecting progressive liberal would be caught dead in a city where you can’t get a “Soy Latte”…

  5. “early 30 studies rounded up by Scientific American have linked more guns to more crime — not less.”

    They obviously haven’t published any of Trent Lott’s work.

    “Another recent study shows murder rates are much higherin “tough on crime” red states than “soft on crime” blue states. That’s been true every year since 2000.”

    Blue cities in red states. And no mention of which “identity group” is really pulling the triggers and causing the most harm.

    More misdirection, dishonesty, and gaslighting. These people lie constantly, which confirms they do not care about the victims of the real perps who pull the triggers. They just want us disarmed so they can take our property, freedom, and lives.

  6. Gun grabbers hit you over the head with a hammer while telling you they don’t hit you over the head with a hammer. Pure gaslighting.

    • Firearm sales have remained strong since Covid hit. It was all about the lunacy of the left and coming out of the closet openly telling everyone they WILL take the guns. Before all that started happening we were in the Trump Slump. Most of the American public were comfortable enough under Trump that they never needed protection. It’s the constant fear mongering from Democrats that has everyone so freaked out. It’s even affecting the way we are seen by other countries across the planet.

    • For God’s sake, the left’s despicable lies and projection just makes me want to vomit.

      Unfortunately, YOU are not their target… The people they are trying to “scare” are already afraid of us…

  7. He and ‘Scientific’ American (I have an engineering PhD, and a lot of the tripe they publish ain’t science) have it backwards.

    Not ‘more guns means more crime’.

    More crime means more people need guns.

    • Just out of curiosity, what kind of engineering?

      And it’s just mind-blowing how the academy have dynamited their credibility in recent years. It’s incredibly frightening, because we still need to train people to build bridges, skyscrapers, airplanes, dams, and all kinds of things that will kill people if done incorrectly. Not the kind of thing I want entrusted to the “feelings” crowd.

      However, that’s what’s happening. The hard sciences and engineering resisted longer than the soft sciences, but the DEI plague is coming for them now as well. It needs to be stopped, but I don’t know if they will.

  8. Fear mongering absolutely IS spiking gun sales. That much is completely true. But it is not from the right. It’s coming from the left. Leftist Democrats are the ones going nuts over the mere sight of guns. A kid can’t even eat a poptart into the shape of a gun without sending them into a frantic panic.

    • They actually believe in being armed if you have the correct politics. They write articles saying black people have to buy guns so whites won’t lynch them. They write sympathetic articles about the trans mafia having to arm up to protect themselves from Christians.

  9. Go look at the demographics that are driving current first time gun sales. They are NOT “far right” or likely even “center right.” They are people who traditionally vote for Democrats.

    Yeah I bet there’s plenty of those right leaning people buying stuff, but hey most of them have what they want/need and then some. If anything ammo’s what they are/should be buying.

  10. Fear mongering? You mean like we’re always on the cusp of the world ending if we don’t “do something” about the “climate crisis” in the next 10 years? It’s weird how it’s always within the next 10-12 years no matter what year it is. It’s almost like they’re lying to us.

    • Funny thing, in 1970 “Scientists” claimed that we would be facing a new ice age by 2000, oooooops, only “ice age” I’ve seen is some Disney animated movie… Thirty years was the standard back in day, now everything is 12 years, even nearly five years after AOC first “warned” of the point of no return (based on some UN bullshit report) they are still using that 12 year number which moves THEIR goalpost from 2030 to 2035… Pretty neat trick as long as your core target audience has the attention span of a two year old…

      • Maxx, Carl Sagan was one of the main promoters of global cooling/ice age due to nuclear winter.

        Sagan and other lefty scientists strongly believed we and the Soviets would nuke each other.

  11. the fearmongering the past few years has been by the left over a “deadly” virus and a shot that couldn’t do no harm.

    and record number of guns and new gun owners are the result.

    reasonable people see that tyranny and the left letting criminals run amok is a serious threat.

  12. Sadly, far-right politicians and media figures have habitually stoked fear and manufactured moral panics as a political strategy to amp up their base. And it’s having an effect: For decades, Gallup polls have consistently found that Americans believe crime is going up, whether it is or not.

    The recent rash of shootings are horrific at an individual level.

    So is crime going up, or not? Hmmmm???

    Most of us know that violent crime was on a steady AND precipitous decline since the peak in the early 90s. And that downward crime trend has coincided with an equally steady upward trend in gun ownership. Until very recently, with an uptick in crime rates (though still about half of what it was in the 90s).

    Correlation does not prove causation. But correlation can DISPROVE causation.

    • In other words, while we cannot positively assign causation that “more guns equals less crime”…

      We CAN absolutely DISPROVE causation (via an inverse correlation) regarding the claim, “more guns equals more crime.”

        • Dude,

          “. . . they believe in science . . . ”

          No, no they don’t. They CLAIM to believe in science (and not one in a hundred could accurately define what the “scientific method” actually is). I agree they don’t understand it; they don’t even understand what science IS. What they “believe in” is “consensus” and “credentialism”. They wouldn’t know science if it fell out of the sky, landed on their face, and started to wiggle.

        • @Dude and @Lamp…
          Speaking as someone whose entire education and career have been based in actual science, I have a pat answer:

          “No. I don’t BELIEVE in science. You can BELIEVE in ghosts or unicorns or religious doctrine. But Science is not a matter of faith. Nor is Science a matter of consensus. Nor is Science ever “settled.”

          Science is a methodology by which we seek the explanation of and truth about…. all things. Then we repeat the process again and again (in virtual perpetuity) to confirm our findings. It is never settled. It is not up for a vote (consensus) like American Idol. And, no… I do not BELIEVE in Science. I practice and invoke scientific methodology, research the peer-reviewed literature, all while retaining and exercising my ability to think critically.

        • Then we repeat the process again and again (in virtual perpetuity) to confirm our findings. It is never settled.

          You mean it’s NOT “we found a bunch of guys who will agree with US (for money)”??

        • To be fair, even scientists have a long and storied history of piling on a narrative that SEEMS to be descriptive of actual reality, and getting fat and lazy (even Einstein famously dismissed Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” with, “God doesn’t play dice with the Universe” – well, yeah, he kinda does. Or, more accurately, He lets us get complacent that we’ve FINALLY figured it out – then gives us just enough advancement to find out it “doesn’t work at this level”).

          Gravity was a theory . . . until it wasn’t. The earth being the center of the universe was a theory . . . until it wasn’t. Nothing can go faster than the speed of sound/light was a theory . . . until it wasn’t.

          All “science” that is currently used for, oh, I dunno, actual real-world applications, “works” at a certain quantum level . . . and doesn’t, if you move up or down an order of magnitude. It’s cynical, but my personal take is that God finds it humorous to f*** with us. A real world implementation of Han Solo, “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky!”. I think he gets a chuckle out of letting us think we’ve “got it all figured out”, then lets us find out, “oops, no we didn’t”.

          God gifted us with brains, free will, and curiosity, to see what we’d do with these tools. Every time we think we have it “figured out”, we get a wake up call.

          Socrates said that the key to wisdom is to question everything you THINK you know. He could not have imagined how right he was.

    • “So is crime going up, or not? Hmmmm???”

      Right? Then again, these are the same people who have spent decades simultaneously insisting that firearms are so incredibly lethal they have no place in society and also that guns are basically useless for self defense. If I ever encounter a set of left wing talking points that aren’t dripping with cognitive dissonance I’ll know I’m dreaming

      (Not that the left has a monopoly on cognitive dissonance, but it does seem to be more aggressive and more pronounced on their side)

  13. Interestingly Switzerland used to have the most guns per capita but the anti gun lobby in usa has spurred sales to astounding levels. The crime rate in Switzerland is tiny.

    • Richard,

      Couldn’t POSSIBLY have anything to do with the VERY homogenous population of Switzerland, the culture, etc., could it?? Chiraq is a flaming s***hole (as are St. Louis, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Memphis, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, NY, Detroit). Run by Dimocrats for over 40 years, high crime and murder rates, people moving out in job lots, high unemployment, low to non-existent job creation. And the OVERWHELMING majority of the crime is being committed by feral yoots in the inner cities.

      And we continue pouring BILLIONS of dollars annually into these dysfunctional s***holes . . . and they continue to slide deeper into disfunction. Leftist/fascism is a mental disease.

      • Short answer is, yes.
        When I talk to people and they say “guns cause crime”, I ask them why crime demographics are so profound along age, race, gender. They kinda panic. One called me a Nazi.

  14. democrats are oblivious to anything that works, is fact or makes sense. Their policies have failed for decades, their crime rates and taxes have soared and they can’t tell the difference between a vagina and a penis.

  15. This article is such hypocrisy. The biggest fearmongers in America are the gun-control lobby, which includes the Democratic Party and all of the mainstream media. Every day on the nightly news, the MSM engages in fearmongering, lies, and propaganda.

    The propaganda is done mostly by weaponizing language:
    Gun control is called “gun reform” or “gun safety” or “common-sense gun safety laws.”
    Homemade guns are called “ghost guns.”
    All black guns (except for the tiniest handguns) are called “assault weapons” and “assault rifles” or “assault-style rifles” and “weapons of war” and “military-style assault weapons” just because they’re black (and Democrats think black means “scary” but swear they’re not racist!)
    Safety features on guns are renamed “military-style assault weapons features” — for example, handguards are renamed “barrel shrouds.”
    Adjustable stocks with two inches of adjustment are called “collapsible stocks.”
    Overly large handguns that are way too big to conceal are ironically called “concealable assault weapons” even though an AR-15 pistol is obviously not concealable!
    Gang violence is called “gun violence.”
    All crime is called “gun violence.”
    Suicide is called “gun violence.”
    Accidents are called “gun violence.”
    Even justified self-defense shootings are lumped in with “gun violence”!

    If Republicans followed the lead of Democrats in using deceptive language, then Republicans would talk about abortion as “abortion violence,” call abortion bans “abortion safety laws” or “abortion reform laws” or “common-sense abortion safety laws.” Hmm, maybe it’s time to start using terms like “Common-sense abortion safety laws,” give Democrats a taste of their own medicine!

  16. “It elects “tough on crime” politicians, sells guns, and contributes to the proliferation of “stand your ground” and permissive concealed-carry laws. Violent media scares people into answering their doorbells with guns drawn.”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing

  17. That, is the biggest load of Observational Bias Influenced Bull Schit I’ve read in several years.
    Whomever ever this Svante Myreck is, I’d like to ask him/her/it, if they could shove their head any farther up their a$$ and still type.

    The Commiecrat Left has lost their F**king Minds.
    This garbage masquerading as scholarly proves our Institutes of Higher Learning need a Triple H Enema (High, Hot and a Hell of a Lot) to flush this schit from the system


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