ERICK ERICKSON: The Normalization of Gun Violence Lies
It takes six months in America to get an X-ray, but you can buy an AR-15 immediately. That is one of the lies pushed by gun control advocates in the United States. It is easier to buy a gun in the United States than vote. Never mind that one needs photographic identification to do the former and, in still many places, not the latter. But again, this is a lie pushed by gun control advocates.
The very people who tell us Donald Trump is a fascist would have us hand over all our guns to him. The very people who demand Christians provide goods and services to certain weddings or be put out of business tell us we can trust them with our freedom if we give up our guns. The problem with gun control arguments in the United States is that so many of the gun control advocates lie. Having never touched a gun, let alone fired one, they make stuff up. We see this routinely in the news media.
After the tragedy in Las Vegas, the media declared the shooter was firing an automatic rifle. He did no so such thing. He used a bump stock, which is a device that causes a semi-automatic gun to increase its rate of fire. But, and this is important, it does not convert a semi-automatic gun into an automatic gun, though the media would have you believe that. It is also important to note it was the Obama Administration’s ATF that okayed bump stocks. CBS News, having failed at claiming the shooter used an automatic weapon declared the shooter had used “automatic rounds” in his gun. Such things do not exist.
Not only have the American media and political left lied about guns, they have also exaggerated mass shootings. According to their preferred statistics, mass shootings in the United States are common and increasing. In fact, they are rather uncommon and are decreasing. To show otherwise, the left includes homeowners protecting their property, hunting accidents, police shootings, gang shootings, home accidents, etc. You and I may hear “mass shooting” and think of an event like Columbine, Newtown or Las Vegas. The left hears it and thinks of a gang drive by.
More often than not, gun control advocates cite Australia’s gun confiscation program as a model for the United States. But what they leave out is that mass shootings were uncommon in Australia before guns were confiscated so the statistics are largely meaningless. Likewise, they ignore that Australia has no version of our second amendment. Then they lie and claim it is the American gun lobby claiming they want to confiscate guns.
The truth is far more complicated. Of the major mass shootings in this country in the last decade, a good many were jihadists and the rest were mentally ill young men. We still do not know the motivation of the Vegas shooter, but that has not stopped the left from proposing policy solutions that we already know would not have prevented the shooting.
Since the mass shooting in Newtown, the United States government has not done much to address mental health, but the left thinks policy makers should go straight to grabbing guns. They tell us that lone wolf jihadists are a new normal that we have to get used to and can never fully end, but they think they can end gun violence with a government program in defiance of the constitution.
Evil cannot be regulated away by the government. Likewise, guns cannot be confiscated short of amending the constitution. If it weren’t a gun, it could have been a bomb. If it weren’t a bomb, it could have been a truck. Evil seeks to harm through any means. What government can and should do is focus on dealing with the various scenarios from suicide to gang violence instead of wasting time on a one size fits all policy that flies in the face of the constitution. But to do that, the left must first stop making stuff up about guns.