Gun control advocates use false comparisons of unrelated numbers to argue for civilian disarmament. Here’s a good example, drawn from a recent article about the SHOT Show published in Britain’s far-left newspaper the Guardian. Reporters Rupert Neate and Mae Ryanin — ejected from SHOT after they’d entered without authorization — begin with Sex, guns and ammo: inside the world’s largest gun industry trade fair with off-the-cuff remark from an economics professor . ..
“People are buying guns as part of the American dream of freedom and liberty,” said Brauer, who is based at the Hull College of Business at Augusta University. “And also, the hope and the dream of being able to use guns in self-defence.”
The reporters would have their readers believe that Americans’ gun buying habits indicate a desire to kill. As TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia pointed out underneath our Quote of the Day, the desire to be able to prevent a tragedy does not translate to the desire to participate in a tragedy. People buy fire extinguishers to prevent their house from burning down. That doesn’t mean that they want to put out a fire in their house.
Neat and Ryanin continue their obstinate obfuscation:
People very rarely get to live out that dream, with FBI data showing that gun owners are 78 times more likely to kill themselves than they are to carry out a “justifiable homicide”, which the agency describes as “the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen”.
Studies by criminologists indicate that the FBI Uniform Crime Reports only include about 20 percent of justifiable homicides. Equally, Neat and Ryanin ignore the tens of thousands of defensive gun uses — per year — which don’t result in a perpetrator assuming room temperature.
Neat and Ryanin then compare that select, small slice of justifiable homicides caught by the Uniform Crime Reports to an unrelated number: suicides. The underlying, unstated assumption is that guns cause suicides. Suicides are an individual choice that doesn’t depend on others’ actions; they are not caused by guns. If guns are less available, many effective substitute methods are available to individuals who wish to end their life.
The reporters could have as easily compared the number of fatal accidents involving firearms (about 500 a year) with defensive gun uses, thus making the case for the utility of firearms in preventing crime and for self-defense. Their choice indicates their agenda.
“Framing” a news article to advocate for a political agenda is not journalism. It’s agitprop. The NSSF was right to ban the mainstream media from the SHOT Show floor. They were right to eject these trespassing “reporters,” determined as they were to use the American firearms industry as their whipping boy. The Truth About Guns thanks the NSSF for SHOT all-area access. We did our best to earn our credentials by living up to our name.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.