For more than three decades American citizens have been assaulted. That assault comes not from firearms, but by a branding campaign started by Handgun Control, Inc. (now, after half a dozen rebrandings, known simply as the Brady) that sought to change the way Americans view firearms to make it easier to impose an outright ban on those that look particularly scary.
The spearhead of that assault has been the myth of the “assault weapon,” a firearm supposedly so deadly and dangerous that it needs to be removed from the streets with all possible speed. Anyone who was paying attention recognized this deft bit of propaganda for what it was: a fabrication designed to instill fear and generate votes.
Now, after years flag-waving for the campaign to force Americans to believe in this horse hockey, the New York Times – yes, the Grey Lady herself – has published an article titled “The Assault Weapon Myth” in which they finally come clean . . .
The article opens strong:
OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.
That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.
But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
All completely true, and things we’ve known all along. Rifles of any kind make up less than 2% of the total number of firearms used in the commission of any crime (and “assault rifles” an even smaller percentage), so it makes sense that banning a firearm that is rarely used in the commission of a crime would have little to no impact on reducing crime. It’s a blatantly obvious logical conclusion, and one that the Times has assiduously ignored for decades.
It’s nice to see the “paper of record” finally doing some research rather than parroting the latest garbage spouted by the civilian disarmament industrial complex. The real glimmer of hope, though, comes at the bottom of the article. For most of the piece the Times attempts to rationalize their constant drumbeat for advocating for the now-acknoledged useless ban, rolling out old chestnuts like “the American people wanted it” (they don’t) and “‘assault weapons are used in mass shootings so they are more dangerous” (Virginia Tech — I rest my case). It seems like the paper is finally admitting that guns really aren’t the problem after all.
More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of guns, can reduce gun violence.
David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, argues that the issue of gun violence can seem enormous and intractable without first addressing poverty or drugs. A closer look at the social networks of neighborhoods most afflicted, he says, often shows that only a small number of men drive most of the violence. Identify them and change their behavior, and it’s possible to have an immediate impact.
Working with Professor Kennedy, and building on successes in other cities, New Orleans is now identifying the young men most at risk and intervening to help them get jobs. How well this strategy will work in the long term remains to be seen.
But it’s an approach based on an honest assessment of the real numbers.
For as long as I can remember, gun control activists in New York state have treated firearms as if they were talismans of evil. They believe that every gang banger and mass murderer is in fact a good kid trying to get out. It was only the addition of a firearm that caused them to snap and commit their heinous crimes.
The fantasy that simply removing guns from the equation – as if that were possible – would solve all of the city’s problems is a pervasive one, and continues to this day. It’s strange to see people who view themselves as intellectuals believe that demonic objects can force individuals to commit crimes. Yet that’s the pervasive New York gun control mentality.
While it’s definitely an appealing concept and makes a solution to the perceived problem seem easy to implement, removing guns does not in fact reduce the crime rate. Crimes are not caused by guns, and so limiting access to them is ultimately ineffectual. Against all odds, it seems the Times may have finally realized that the root cause of crime isn’t an evil object that forces otherwise good citizens to break the law. There’s more to the story, and focusing on the contributing factors is a better expenditure of effort than “quick fix” solutions that have been proven not to work.
It’s elating to finally see the New York Times – that paragon of liberal conventional wisdom – actually examining the facts about guns and arriving at a logical and reasoned conclusion rather than simply screaming that we need to ban these satanic tools of death and destruction. I sincerely hope that this new fact-based reporting will catch on. Pardon me, though, if I don’t hold my breath.