When a group or organization seeks to establish any social policy, it helps tremendously if that group remains honest in their endeavor. If its members are forced to lie, tell half-truths or use manipulative tactics in order to fool the masses into accepting its initiative, then the initiative at its very core is not worth consideration. Propaganda is not simply political rhetoric or editorial fervor; it is the art of deceiving people into adopting the ideology you want them to espouse. It is not about convincing people of the truth; it is about convincing people that fallacy is truth.
Nothing embodies this disturbing reality of cultural dialogue more than the ill-conceived movement toward gun control in America.
It isn’t that gun control proponents are impossible to talk to in a rational manner; most gun control activists have an almost fanatical cult-like inability to listen to reason. It isn’t that they are so desperate to paint themselves as “intellectually superior” to 2nd Amendment advocates; intellectual idiocy is a plague upon many ideological groups. What really strikes me as astonishing is the vast and embarrassing lengths to which gun grabbers in particular will go to in order to deny facts and obfuscate history.
I have seen jaw-dropping acts of journalistic debauchery and blatant disregard for reality since the gun debate exploded in the wake of Sandy Hook. I have seen past precedents rewritten in order to falsely diminish gun rights arguments. I have seen dishonest and volatile tactics used to misdirect discussion and attack the character, rather than the position, of those who defend the 2nd Amendment. I have seen gun grabbers use unbelievable acts of deception that border on clinically sociopathic in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
A perfect example has been the assertion by gun control proponents that despotic regimes do not disarm their populations before committing genocide. This primarily stems from the rationalization that the Third Reich did not exactly introduce gun control measures, rather it used measures that were already in existence. Gun grabbers are willing to cherry pick historical references in defense of Adolf Hitler in order to get their way. Sadly, they seem to forget that Hitler’s gun control policies of 1938 disarmed the Jewish people as his “Final Solution” was being implemented. Apparently, gun grabbers do not count the Jews as German citizens victimized by disarmament.
The Nazis did deregulate some firearms as gun grabbers argue, but what they don’t mention is that this deregulation was designed to benefit only those citizens who proved to be loyal to the Nazi Party. Hitler was happy to arm those who swore fealty to the Reich.
In one of the latest instances of gun grabber duplicity and disinformation, I came across an opinion piece by Henry Blodget, the CEO and editor-in-chief of Business Insider and a regular on Yahoo’s “Daily Ticker,” entitled “Finally A Gun Is Used To Stop A Crime Instead Of Killing Innocent People.”
Blodget is primarily an economic analyst, as I am, and is not exactly an unintelligent louse. He is well aware of the proper methods of research and how to present a debate point with tangible evidence. He should know better than to publish a piece with so many inconsistencies and broken pretenses. However, it presents an important opportunity to examine the cognitive dissonance of media gun grabbers and their attempts to influence the populace.
Blodget is asserting that private firearms ownership is not a practical means of self-defense, that instances of self-defense are rare and that this view diminishes the “need” for 2nd Amendment protections. He goes on to proclaim:
“In practice, unfortunately, the guns that good guys own to protect themselves from bad guys too often end up killing the good guys’ kids or wives or the good guys themselves (either via suicide, accident, or, in some cases, because they’re grabbed by the bad guys and used against the good guys). Or, as in the case of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the guns kill people who the good guys think are bad guys but who aren’t actually bad guys…”
Blodget never actually qualifies any of the notions contained in this statement. He never provides any statistics on wives and children of good guys being shot. Also, I was not aware that the Trayvon Martin case had already been decided and that Trayvon was found not to be the aggressor. Does Blodget have a crystal ball?
Blodget starts off his anti-gun tirade very poorly with several unqualified statements that he never answers for. This is highly common among gun grabbers; they feel so righteous (overzealous) in their cause that they feel no regret in spouting baseless conclusions with the presumption that their audience will never question their logic.
Blodget then focuses on a single event as an example of the “rarity” of successful gun defense. This instance involved the death of a teen who held a gun on a reserve police officer and high school basketball coach. The coach pulled his own personal weapon and fired in defense. Blodget uses some strategic omissions in his description of the event. For instance, he fails to mention that the coach was 70 years old, and that perhaps owning a gun was indeed his only practical means of protecting himself and his players against two young thugs, one of whom obtained a firearm illegally (as most criminals do. According to the FBI, only 8 percent of guns used in a crime are purchased legally at a gun store).
Blodget also uses the smiling image of one of the attackers at the top of his article, as if we should feel sorry for him. Perhaps I’m just coldhearted, but the death of a violent offender at the hands of his intended victim does not bring a tear to my eye.
The fact that he uses this particular instance of gun defense was, of course, strategic. A teen died, and both the attacker and the defender were armed with guns. He means us to see the event as a tragedy caused by the very existence of civilian firearms ownership. Blodget somehow overlooks the thousands upon thousands of other self defense stories out there in which gun ownership saved lives…
What about the story of student Chris Boise, who used an AR-15 to ward off two armed assailants breaking into his apartment. The criminals ran at the sight of his weapon:
What about an Atlanta mother of 9-year-old twins who shot and killed an assailant with a previous record of battery breaking into her home. A police officer on scene after the event noted that “she handled her first shooting better than he did…”
How about the 1997 incident at a High School in Pearl, Mississippi, in which a 16 year old murdered his mother, then went to school with a rifle and opened fire (sound familiar), shooting several and killing two. The student was subdued by the Vice Principle, who had to run to his care to grab his .45 Colt (Note that when a staff member of a school is armed, the body count of these attacks goes way down):
And why not mention the man who entered a Golden Food Market in Richmond, Virginia opening fire at employees and customers, only to be shot down by a conceal carrying citizen:
These are just a few of the numerous instances of gun defense across the U.S. that the mainstream media likes to ignore. Blodget had all of these examples at his disposal. He could have written a fair and honest editorial, but he didn’t.
After Blodget presents his carefully picked gun defense story, he then makes these three points:
“First, and most importantly, the gun used for protection in this case would be perfectly legal under the proposed new gun-control laws. The proposed laws ban military-grade assault weapons and massive ammo clips, not handguns. And assuming the coach did not have a criminal record, he would still be a legal gun owner.
The bottom line is that no mainstream politician in the current gun control debate is talking about banning the kind of gun used in this incident…”
To which proposed gun law is Blodget referring? Many gun grabbers are suggesting that the New York SAFE Act model be applied nationwide. The SAFE Act makes any weapon that can hold magazines of more than seven rounds illegal. Some lawmakers, like Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), have openly suggested a total ban of all firearms that includes confiscation. So, depending on which laws are passed, the coach may not have survived the attack unless, like the criminal, he obtained a weapon illegally.
“…Second, the coach was a trained police officer. He knew very well how to carry, handle, and use his handgun. And the fact that he used it effectively under the extreme shock and pressure of being robbed at gunpoint shows how well trained he was.”
The coach was a reserve police officer, but this is irrelevant to the incident. Aspiring police officers qualify in the firearms segment of their training using a mere 50 to 60 rounds during scenarios that are taught in even the most rudimentary civilian courses, which often use hundreds of rounds during qualifications. Police officers do not get magical training. In fact, many officers are forced to attend civilian-run training facilities in order to get more time and more complex experience. Civilian combat weapons enthusiasts are often far better prepared for a violent situation than the average law enforcement official.
The reason Blodget fixates on the police status of the victim is because, like most gun grabbers, he is a statist. In his mind, a designated state official is given credence by the government and is, therefore, somehow a superhero with amazing gun-wielding powers that us poor civilian mortals could never hope to master. This naïve sentiment is displayed by many a gun grabber who has never actually owned or fired a gun in his life.
“Third, this incident could easily have turned out differently–as many similar incidents do. If the coach had been a bit slower or clumsier in pulling his own gun, the attackers could have shot and killed all three of the victims before they had a chance to defend themselves. (In the wild west, when everyone carried guns, it wasn’t always the bad guys that got shot.)”
Yes, and a comet could fall from the sky and roast the Earth. Hypothetically, anything could go wrong at any moment, yet, thousands of Americans defend themselves each year with a firearm without killing innocent bystanders or being too slow or clumsy on the draw. Why should gun owners abandon their rights just because some people cannot control their personal fears?
Finally, how much better are an unarmed victim’s chances of survival? Is Blodget really trying to insinuate being armed does not increase a victim’s ability to defend himself unless he happens to be a cop on a government salary? If faced with a gun- or knife-wielding attacker who threatened him or his family, would Blodget turn down the use of a firearm if available? Would he try to shoot the perpetrator, or would he fall to his knees and beg for mercy?
The only tangible evidence that Blodget uses to buttress his opinion that self-defense is not a viable argument for gun ownership is a single FBI statistic on justifiable homicides. Justifiable homicide is a gray area of law, and the number of instances recorded by the FBI in no way reflects the actual frequency in which guns are used in self-defense.
By exploiting this one statistic, Blodget knowingly disregards the fact that many gun defense situations do not end in the death of the attacker. He also disregards the number of criminals who run at the sight of an armed target, as well as the number of crimes that are prevented completely because the criminal is not certain whether his targets are armed.
Most police departments do not keep accurate records of attempted crimes which were thwarted by armed citizens. The only sources of such statistics are surveys held by various organizations and institutions. Blodget quickly dismisses the widely disseminated survey by criminology professor Gary Kleck, which shows that there are far more instances of guns used to thwart crime than guns used to perpetrate crime. Blodget claims that the study is “old and highly flawed because it used a small number of people as a test group”, all common assertions by gun control fanatics. The study was held in 1994 (hardly ages ago), and surveyed 5000 households.
A recent Reuter/Ipsos poll used widely by gun grabbers claimed that 74% of Americans support an assault weapons ban, yet their survey only involved 559 people with far less oversight than Kleck’s study. The hypocritical nature of the anti-gun mindset is revealed again…
Vehement gun control advocate and criminologist Marvin Wolfgang made this comment on Kleck’s study:
“What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator.”
He went on to say that a conflicting National Crime Victimization Survey (also used widely by gun grabbers) did not contradict the Kleck study, and that the argument of “too few participants” was unfounded:
“I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well. … The usual criticisms of survey research, such as that done by Kleck and Gertz, also apply to their research. The problems of small numbers and extrapolating from relatively small samples to the universe are common criticisms of all survey research, including theirs. I did not mention this specifically in my printed comments because I thought that this was obvious; within the specific limitations of their research is what I meant by a lack of criticism methodologically.”
According to survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology entitled ‘Measuring Civilian Defensive Firearm Use: A Methodological Experiment’, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year. This is a conservative estimate compared to Kleck’s 2.5 million, but it is still a far larger number than the amount of annual homicides by gun. The argument that gun murders outweigh gun defense is a defective one. Blodget knows it, which is why he dances his way around so many viable pieces of evidence. He is not interested in the facts, only promoting his own twisted worldview.
Violent crimes (assault, burglary, rape, etc.) have skyrocketed in countries like the U.K. and Australia where stringent gun control has been enacted, simply because criminals know that because of government controls the odds of running into an armed victim are slim. Gun grabbers like Blodget do not care about this, though. They are not actually interested in saving lives. What they are interested in is imposing their ideologies on the rest of us.
If the only drive of anti-gun advocates was a sincere concern for public safety, they would not feel the need to misrepresent the facts and lie outright in order to convince others. Those who use disinformation to their benefit are acting on much darker emotional impulses and biases, like fear and malevolence. Their goal is not to find the truth, but to “win”. Their goal is not to encourage understanding, but to destroy their political enemies.
The most enticing motive for the average yuppie within the gun control society is not their hatred of guns per say, but their hatred of gun culture. Being worshipers of the establishment, they do not like our defiance of socialization, collectivism, and the corrupt state in general. They do not like our methodologies of decentralization and independence. They do not like that we have the ability to crush their skewed arguments with ease. And, they do not like that we have the physical capability of denying their pursuit of power. Gun control is not just a war on guns; it is a war on traditionally conservative Americans, our heritage, our beliefs, and our principles. It is a war the gun grabbers will lose.