As NewsBusters has been reporting since last month's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the media have been on a rampage twisting statistics and reality to stoke panic in order to get Washington to enact stricter gun laws.
On Thursday, the folks at Reason published an article and a video entitled "5 Facts About Guns, Schools, And Violence" that should be must-sees for all Americans interested in separating the truth from the fiction (video follows with highlights and commentary):
1. Violent crime – including violent crime using guns – has dropped massively over the past 20 years.
The violent crime rate - which includes murder, rape, and beatings - is half of what it was in the early 1990s. And the violent crime rate involving the use of weapons has also declined at a similar pace.
2. Mass shootings have not increased in recent years.
Despite terrifying events like Sandy Hook or last summer’s theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, mass shootings are not becoming more frequent. “There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Northeastern University, who studies the issue. Other data shows that mass killings peaked in 1929.
3. Schools are getting safer.
Across the board, schools are less dangerous than they used be. Over the past 20 years, the rate of theft per 1,000 students dropped from 101 to 18. For violent crime, the victimization rate per 1,000 students dropped from 53 to 14.
4. There Are More Guns in Circulation Than Ever Before.
Over the past 20 years, virtually every state in the country has liberalized gunownership rules and many states have expanded concealed carry laws that allow more people to carry weapons in more places. There around 300 million guns in the United States and at least one gun in about 45 percent of all households. Yet the rate of gun-related crime continues to drop.
5. “Assault Weapons Bans” Are Generally Ineffective.
While many people are calling for reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons – an arbitrary category of guns that has no clear definition – research shows it would have no effect on crime and violence. “Should it be renewed,” concludes a definitive study, “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
Clearly, none of this is what Americans have been hearing since that awful day in December.
Ed Morrissey observed, "We have a violence-glorification problem, but that’s not something a law can fix or a government stamp out — nor should we wish to live in a society where it’s tried."
Indeed. How anyone doesn''t believe that all the violence Americans witness on television, movies, video games, and rap music hasn't had a huge impact on the culture is beyond me.
Yet as Reason pointed out, crime statistics in our country have been on a very positive trend for decades.
Sadly, facts are unimportant to the left and their media minions when they see an opportunity to advance their agenda.
As future White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said shortly after Obama was elected in November 2008, “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”
Such thinking ushered in 2009's disastrous stimulus package as well as 2010's ObamaCare.
Now, as a result of a horrible tragedy, the left are again mobilized to scare the nation into making snap decisions out of fear that will have likely no impact on the problem while damaging citizens' rights in perpetuity.
Rather than do some actual investigating akin to what Reason has done, the media have inflamed the situation with propaganda and falsehoods.
Once again, Americans have observed that the press are not an informative body. That's not their goal.
Instead, it is to impact policy by disseminating material exclusively designed to sway public opinion irrespective of the veracity of what's being presented.
So it is with today's media. Rinse, lather, repeat.