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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Anti-gun media keeps putting up straw men in gun debate
In the debate over gun control, there are a lot of points that should be considered. While we’ve talked a lot about many of them, not everyone is familiar with things like the problem with gun control studies and whatnot.
Of course, those same studies have defenders. That’s fine. That’s a valid debate to have and we probably should have that debate.
What we don’t need is an anti-gun media putting up straw men in their fight for these studies.
hen an 18-year-old took a semiautomatic rifle to an elementary school in Texas last month and killed 19 students and 2 teachers, I was looking after my 10-year-old grandson. He knows I have spent most of my life trying to prevent gun violence.
I had to tell him we had failed — again.
The media is filled with reasons for this failure, including substance abuse, gang violence, mental illness and easy access to semiautomatic weapons. But I believe that at the root of our troubles lies a central myth that is killing us. Over the past decades, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has successfully set up a false dichotomy in the hearts and minds of American politicians and gun owners. They said you can have research into preventing gun violence — or you can have a right to guns.
It’s “either-or,” they said: You can’t have both.
Except, literally no one is saying that.
For years, federal law supposedly prevented studying guns at the CDC. We heard over and over again how they couldn’t study so-called gun violence because the law prevented them from doing it, but that simply wasn’t true.
What the law prevented was the use of federal tax dollars to promote gun control.
The CDC decided that meant they couldn’t do research at all, which tells us a lot about how good the actual research was.
Many of us, myself included, defended this law because we shouldn’t allow a taxpayer-funded agency to take a blatantly political position that involves the curtailing of our rights.
Yet as I pointed out numerous times over the years, they could still conduct meaningful, unbiased research into gun violence. They just didn’t.
The author talks about this “myth” about gun research, but the only myth is that there was any real opposition to actual, unbiased, scientific research in the first place. That’s the straw man the anti-Second Amendment advocates have propped up for years and that the media has run with without question.
No one has opposed research. No one will oppose research.
We opposed our tax dollars being used to push an agenda that would, if successful, curtail our constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Research, however, isn’t that. True, real, research is nothing but the quest for truth, but that quest needs to be impartial.
The CDC made it very clear that they were incapable of doing that.
If you want to blame anyone for the lack of federally-funded research, look to them, not the straw man you’ve built up so as to try and place responsibility on your ideological opponents.
There is a perpetuation of a myth here, but it’s not the one the author claims. Whether she’s disingenuous or just naive is unknown. Frankly, I don’t care which is which. What matter is that she’s wrong and she’s pushing a lie that many who push it know to be such.
I don’t have a lot of patience for those lies, either, nor should anyone else.
So, we call them out and make it so they don’t get away with them unchallenged. It won’t change their minds, of course, but there are others who don’t know what’s going on and it might help them make a more informed decision.