In an article published by the British rag ‘The Guardian’ the paper attempted to downplay the debunking of a fraudulent list of school shootings published by ‘Moms Demand Action’ anti-gun group. In response to the list being exposed as a lie, ‘The Guardian’ dishonestly claimed that gun rights groups were redefining the definition of ‘school shooting’. A reddit user posting under the screen name Frostiken explained with overwhelming detail just how dishonest anti-gun organizations are in pressing their agenda . As his response was so through in its indictment of these groups I felt it should be preserves. The original can be found here.
Is it really still unclear to many people just how intellectually dishonest the anti-gun groups are? They seriously do this every fucking time.
The Violence Policy Center put out a report on ‘how much money the NRA gets from the gun lobby’. They delivered their figure – ~$45 million – and said that that was it. What they didn’t say was that that $45 million was the TOTAL donations over 6 years. In fact, they didn’t even say that. The report says ‘between 2005 and when this report was published’, meaning you have to work to find the range they were talking about. Specifically, they wanted you to assume that the NRA was getting $45 million a YEAR, when the reality is that they get only about $8 million a year (NOTE: That $8 million is using the biggest number they had). What the VPC also conveniently excluded was that that $8 million was barely 3% of the entire NRA yearly operating budget, and that $150-200 million they receive simply from membership dues and voluntary donations.
They constantly try to conflate their numbers. Whenever they want numbers to appear really big, they say ‘gun violence’ and secretly include suicides, defensive gun use, justified shootings, and accidents. Let’s not forget when Bloomberg’s MAIG read off a list of ‘gun victims’ and included Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and cop-killer Chris Dorner. When they want to make things look really small, they only count specific things, like ‘murders with legally owned guns’.
When they wanted to make ownership of a gun for self defense sound dangerous, they used suicides and the language “your own gun used against you”. Nobody describes a suicide as having “your own gun used against you” to describe a suicide, but they worded it like that because that phraseology makes it sound like someone TOOK your gun and THEN used it against you.
When they wanted to make gun owners sound suicidal, they simply only looked at suicide rates with guns. Since people who don’t own guns don’t kill themselves with guns, therefore there was 100% “proof” that guns make you suicidal. They leave out the part where non-gun owners still kill themselves just as much, because they only are tracking “gun suicides”. Again, the point is to only give you half the information and let you jump to false conclusions.
When they wanted to make it sound like semi-automatic rifles – the only weapons ‘casually’ legal after their victory in 1986 – were ‘weapons of war’, so they invented the term ‘assault weapon’, because it sounds like ‘assault rifles’, which are casually known to most people as machine guns – which they had already gotten mostly banned.
The anti-gun groups wanted to show that kids were being killed and attach a huge number to it. So you know what they did? They expanded the casual definition of a “child” to include 15-20 year olds. In other words, the exact same age demographic that coincides with the group most likely to participate in gang activity. Who’d have thought! 20 year old ‘children’? I have to give you a link to this, because if I don’t you’ll think I’m making it up.
Intellectual dishonesty is the name of the game. I can find a lot of times where the pro-gun side has fudged some numbers and made things sound better than they may have been, but the anti-gun side has, for the last twenty years, lied almost every single time they’ve opened their mouths. With the formation of MDA / MAIG / Everytown, the shrill rhetoric has multiplied considerably.
This latest attempt to define ‘school shooting’ is only barely a stretch away from defining a school shooting as ‘any shooting anywhere that involved someone of school-age’ or ‘anyone who could hear a gunshot from school property’. Nobody hears ‘school shooting’ and thinks about two adults dealing drugs to each other on Saturday night in the parking lot and then shooting it out. Nobody hears ‘school shooting’ and thinks about a kid who commits suicide in the bathroom. ‘School shooting’ has a known meaning, and three people fighting in the parking lot and someone fires a shot in self defense is not anywhere near that. This is just the anti-gun groups trying to redefine words, like they did ‘assault rifle’.
Reddit’s anti-gun group has their own ‘mass shooting tracker’. Literally the first random source I clicked on was to a news report of two pre-teen kids pissing people off with a pellet rifle, and the second sentence was ‘nobody was seriously injured’. It’s probably still on their shooting tracker. Go ahead and look.
But the shitty part? It works. Look at how many people now spout out silly lines about the NRA being a ‘lobby for the gun industry’, because MotherJones spun that ridiculous VPC funding number. Look at how many people believe gun crime is out of control, despite early indicators that show 2013 to have the lowest homicide rates in recent history. Look at how many people believe we have no background checks already, believe that gun shows are exempt from most laws, believe that mass shootings are happening more frequently, believe that I can just buy a machine gun online and have it mailed to my door.
If you have to play this many silly word games and try to manipulate the data and constantly change definitions, waht do you think that says about your goals and motives? If they really had a point to illustrate, if their data was completely conclusive, there would be absolutely no need to keep these deceptive tactics up. I don’t see climate change scientists trying to tweak words and adjust meanings to fit their conclusions. You want to know who does? The anti-vaxxers, the climate change denialists, the marijuana prohibitionists, hell, people who want to prove gay sex causes hurricanes. This continuous decades-long campaign to mislead people is honestly the biggest reason I changed my stance on guns by 180 degrees. When I looked beneath all the stupid shit I had been told, I had repeated over and over, all the hateful garbage I had spouted at gun owners, from calling them small-dicked rednecks to murder-fetishists, I found that my beliefs didn’t fit reality whatsoever.
Make no mistake: the pro-gun side can be guilty of this own shit. I personally have never stated ‘more guns makes everyone safer’, because that can’t be proven either without resorting to the same numbers tricks. My stance is that if you want to take civil liberties away and infringe on my constitutional rights, you had better bring a lot of damn good evidence; and if your evidence requires that we first believe 20 year olds are now ‘children’, you have failed completely and lost my trust.
As a brilliant man once said, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me… you fool me once, you can’t get fooled again.” I have very little trust for our government, and part of that is because they lie to us constantly, and when caught in a lie, they just lie again to cover it up. So when the anti-gun forces say ‘nobody wants to take your guns’, why should I believe anything they say, when they can’t even publish a study about children being injured by guns without including adults to fake the numbers?
I don’t think anti-gun people themselves are all part of some evil deception. I think most of them are honest people who have their hearts in the right place, but at worst don’t fully understand the issue. The problem is, the anti-gun ‘institutions’ and organizations are the ones who are working to make sure they never understand the issue. I don’t have to align myself with the NRA if I don’t like them. There are plenty of pro-gun groups besides them. What groups are there for the anti-gun sides to align with that aren’t willing to engage in this dishonesty? I seriously can’t think of a single one.
Hell, look at the title of this post – ‘The gun lobby’s new tactic’. This tactic was exposed on CNN. CNN OF ALL PLACES, who for a year hosted a British blowhard whose entire job was to cry on air about guns. The other places this was exposed? Here on Reddit, in our subs. On pro-gun websites. On pro-gun forums. All over. But no, none of that counts – we’re just going to throw ‘THE GUN LOBBY’ onto this, because that’s the kind of intellectual dishonesty we’re dealing with here.
If you want to know why there can’t be an ‘honest conversation’ and ‘nobody will compromise’, this is why.