If FBI background checks are anything to go by, December 2014 was a booming month for gun sales. More than 2.3 million background checks went through the federal agency in the final month of the year, capping off a three month surge that many believe correlates to the civil unrest seen in Ferguson, NYC, and elsewhere in the country.
Of course, the news of the surge is being met with predictable hand-wringing from those on the left. Since there is no news of increased gun violence to go along with the increased sales, writers instead turn on their crystal balls and invent the news for themselves. In the Washington Post, the only person worth interviewing about the increase was Daniel Webster of the anti-gun John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “I would expect some uptick in gun violence,” Webster says. The writer, Todd C. Frankel, follows that up with the ominous paragraph:
He doesn’t know how soon it will happen. Or how big the increase will be. But he believes the additional gun sales will have tragic repercussions.
These kinds of “stories” are perfect when it comes to illuminating the liberal bias that infects our news. There was a surge in background checks. That’s it. That’s the story, whole and complete. But by choosing to focus on an accompanying burst of violence that may or may not happen, writers like Frankel make news where there is none. Many WaPo readers will walk away from the article remembering few details. Instead, they’ll remember a hazy sense of the story: More guns…more violence. And it serves to reinforce their anti-gun beliefs even though there’s literally no factual reason for violence to have been mentioned at all.
Concluding his article, Frankel writes, “It all adds up to the potential for a long, painful and unexpected legacy resulting from one gun death back in August.” But what is “it?” The opinions of one anti-gun liberal who literally makes a living out of demonizing firearms? The rise in crime in St. Louis from 2013 to 2014? Frankel throws a lot of stuff against the wall in his “report,” but none of it comes together to connect an increase in gun violence to the late 2014 surge in sales.
A Conversation Off the Rails
The national conversation about gun ownership, gun control, rights, and responsibilities is an important one, but it’s frustrating when our stewards of the media don’t play fair with the facts. These are the same liberals who insist that conservatives are out to lunch when it comes to scientific evidence on global warming, but they are not nearly so attached to logic and evidence when it comes to the gun debate.
If you ask me, a surge in gun sales can only be a good thing. The more guns in the hands of law-abiding American citizens, the more firepower there is for criminals to fear. On Wednesday, 12 people in Paris were shot to death by Islamic terrorists. France has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the West; unarmed police had no choice but to retreat from attack. What would have happened if the editor of Charlie Hebdo had a gun in her purse? Maybe it would have all played out the same. Maybe not. I don’t think the situation could have been made any worse.
Guns don’t commit crimes. They never have, they never will. I’m certainly sympathetic to efforts to combat violence in all its forms, and I’m more than willing to listen to reasonable arguments regarding gun control. But the left has abandoned reason in favor of myth and fiction, and they’ve abandoned “gun control” in favor of “gun banishment.” They rail against the “cold, dead hands” crowd, calling them fanatics and zealots, failing to realize that they created those strong positions with their own overreaching efforts.
Want to talk gun control? Let’s talk. But if you’re going to ignore the facts in favor of lies, then I have only four words for you: Shall not be infringed.