This is Part 2 of a running series of posts deconstructing popular, and incredibly stupid, posters that Progressives toss around Facebook with abandon and that, sadly, too many people think are actually wise and informative. You can see Part 1 here. If you haven’t already read Part 1, I recommend that you do so, because it has a useful introduction explaining why it’s important that we understand the mean-spirited, factually inaccurate games that Leftists play. Part 3 is the abortion edition.
As always, I’ll lead with the poster and follow with my comments:
What’s amazing is that every single statement in the above poster is wrong, whether factually or because of the conclusions the poster tries to draw from the statements.
Let’s just start with that unsourced first number that there have been 87,000 Americans shot dead, including the 26 people who died in Sandy Hook at the hands of an unstable Democrat hopped up on psychotropic drugs. That number sounded extreme — and it is. Adding up the Sandy Hook victims, the gun fire victims for 2013 and 2014 per the FBI’s statistics, and the probably number of gun fire victims so far in 2015 results in a total of 25,482 people who were killed with guns during that 35 month period. This number is less than a third the number the poster claims. One can sort of make the number work by including gun suicides (which average about 20,000 per year), but the phrase “shot to death” assumes a malefactor and a victim. Also, the Japanese experience shows that suicides may like guns, but they manage perfectly well without.
So right off the bat, we’ve got a whole lot of stupid or a whole lot of duplicity going on. The second number — those school shootings — is no better. We know from Sandy Hook that, once there’s a school shooting big enough to seize the national debate, the Left immediately goes back to every gun discharge that took place within walking distance of a school and characterizes it as a school shooting. In other words, they lie. I don’t know where that 142 number came from this time around, but I’m pretty sure it’s as suspect that the number floated in the immediate week of Sandy Hook.
Finally, about the alleged 247 mass shootings. . . . Do you remember 24/7 non-stop coverage of mass shootings in America since Sandy Hook, something that would be necessary to justify that claim? Neither do I. I remember Sandy Hook, because children were involved; and Charleston and Roseberg, because they’re the most recent mass shootings. I remember the Gabby Gifford, Aurora Theater, and Fort Hood shootings because they garnered massive coverage — but those three happened before Sandy Hook.
In fact, according to the Chron, which has taking it upon itself to chronicle mass shootings, there have been only ten mass shootings since Sandy Hook, two of which were almost certainly “lone wolf” jihads. In other words, if we give the term “mass shootings” the usual meaning of one gunman and lots of victims, the poster’s number is almost 25 times greater than the actual number.
So where did that number come from? I’m guessing it comes from those deadly weekends that take place in the ghettos of Democrat-run cities. These weekends see a series of unrelated shootings that result in ten or so people dead at the hands of another seven to ten people. What’s interesting about those “mass” shootings is that the mainstream media ignores them.
Local media, which does cover these crimes, doesn’t introduce them as “mass” shootings. Instead, a reporter will solemnly note in the evening’s broadcast that “two separate incidents left three dead this weekend.” There’ll then be the obligatory interviews with eyewitnesses and family members. After that, the story will vanish into the memory hole. Here’s a poster perfectly describing how the news treats those inner-city death weekends:
Why is this? Because of two inconvenient truths about those shootings: (1) they are usually black on black, a suicidal form of genocide the Left likes to ignore and (2) the ghettos in which they occur are invariably in cities with gun laws so draconian most of them would not pass constitutional muster if someone bothered to sue (as happened with Washington, D.C., resulting in the Heller opinion and a drop in gun murders).
How about the claim that, in July 2015, the Republican Congress banned a CDC study into the causes of gun violence? For starters, what an incredible waste of money. Sadly, we know the causes of most gun violence in the U.S. — African-American inner cities subject to stringent gun control. We also know from Washington D.C.’s experience after the Supreme Court forced it to reverse some of its most stringent gun laws, that crime immediately dropped by about 25%. We know that African-Americans have a terrible propensity to shoot each other, which indicates something malignant in the culture. And we know about the other factors too: drink, drugs, mental illness, and just plain stupid. It’s unclear how much any government can do to eradicate those factors, especially the last one.
But here’s something else about that claim. It turns out that the House has been barring this type of research since 1996! For those with short memories, the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for the first two years of Obama’s administration (as well as controlling the Senate and the White House) and they still barred the research. If you don’t like this budget decision, don’t blame Republicans; blame everyone.
And lastly, there’s a profound logical disconnect between taking those false numbers and facts, and doing an apples and oranges comparison between the poster writer’s lies and the Benghazi hearings. Certainly the four American deaths were a terrible tragedy and shouldn’t have happened. But they were just part of a larger event:
First, the President’s told the American people in the lead-up to the election that America’s problem with murderous Islamists was under control, which was a lie, and the President’s data was such that he knew it was a lie;
Second, this was a sustained military attack on American sovereign soil;
Third, during the attack, the government ordered potential aid to stand down, resulting in the death of a U.S. ambassador, an embassy employee, and two CIA operatives, as well as the loss of unknown quantities of information, both classified and unclassified;
Fourth, in the immediate wake of the attack the Obama administration lied repeatedly, blaming the attack on a nothing of a video made by a nothing of a videographer, in order to hide several unpalatable truths: (1) that the president had lied when he claimed Al Qaeda was done; (2) that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ignored several urgent pleas to boost security in Benghazi; and (3) that the US had stood down during the attack; and
Fifth, it’s entirely possible that the embassy was being used for illegal gun running into Syria, something that got Reagan in a lot of trouble thanks to an aggressive media but that this lapdog media seems inclined to ignore.
So the Benghazi hearings are about much more than the deaths of four Americans. They are, instead, about significant government malfeasance, everything from lying to incompetence to cover-ups. Those tragic deaths are merely one of many damaging things flowing from that disgraceful government conduct.
So, false statistics about gun deaths; misleading factual statements about Congressional responsibility for funding an entirely useless CDC report; and an apples and oranges comparison between those false statistics and genuine government malfeasance. I’d say that poster is rotten from start to finish.
Here’s another one from the super stupid Leftist category. As a matter of both criminal and civil law, gun owners are already liable for the harm they may do with their gun. A prosecutor might decide that a gun owner’s act in discharging the gun was criminal and charge the person with murder, manslaughter, assault, or something else. Meanwhile, the victim (and this is true whether the gun is used on a person or on a person’s property) can file a civil suit against the shooter.
The smart gun owner already has homeowner’s insurance in place that will pay for defenses against justified gun discharge (and, of course, will not pay for unjustified gun discharge, since policies are never going to cover blatantly wrongful, careless, or unreasonable acts). If the owner has to discharge his gun and some one, or something, gets hurt, the policy holder will have the same fight with the insurance company as a homeowner whose tree falls on a neighbor’s house, causing damage to person or property. Additionally, the even smarter gun owner will make sure in advance that the company extends coverage to reasonable gun use.
But that’s the practical stuff. The constitutional reality is that it’s almost certain that forcing gun owners to buy insurance would be an unjustified infringement on their Second Amendment rights. As always, the car analogy (and this is a car analogy even though the poster doesn’t mention cars) breaks down when you realize that there’s no constitutional right to drive a car, while there is a constitutional right to arms. This means that the state can freely lard driving with whatever regulations it wishes but, at least in the land of a sane Supreme Court, the government cannot do the same to gun owners.
Here’s another practical point: If insurance hasn’t driven drivers and automobile manufacturers out of business, why in the world would it drive gun owners and manufacturers out of business. As those of us who have gone shooting for fun know, most gun discharges cause no harm to anyone, although they do bring about a great deal of pleasure when a well-aimed shot hits its mark. So most gun charges are meaningless from a criminal and tort law viewpoint. Also, while it’s true, as noted above, that there are around 8,500 gun homicides per year, automobiles cause about 32,000 deaths per year, and that greater number hasn’t destroyed drivers or manufacturers.
This car versus gun comparison is all the more interesting when you think that there are about the same number of cars and guns in America, with both coming in around 240,000,000 (although guns may go all the way up to 276,000,000). Assuming 240,000,000 for both, that means that cars kill significantly more people per car, than guns kill people per gun. Cars — deadly. Guns — not so much.
Finally, what’s the likelihood of getting every gun owner to get insurance? Even with cars, uninsured motorists are inevitable. That’s why my policy has an extra provision covering me should I end up in an accident with an uninsured motorist — and I pay for that extra.
So, once again, the Left is stupid legally, constitutionally, and practically. Wow. It’s a trifecta!
Do we have to go over this one again (and again and again)?
In a speech immediately after the Roseberg shooting, Obama went out of his way to praise Australia’s approach to gun violence, clearly implying that he wants to enact Australia’s gun laws in America:
“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since,” said the president in a pre-arranged session held to discuss his plans to help cut student debt.
Lest there be any misunderstanding, Obama repeated the same point in a later speech, in which he expressed longing for both Australia’s and England’s gun laws to be enacted here:
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.
So what did they do in Australia and England that Obama wants to emulate? They grabbed guns. That is, they didn’t just place more stringent regulations on selling guns (almost none of which would have stopped any of the mass shooters who have been appearing with some regularity under Obama’s administration). Instead, they took guns away. In Australia, it was framed as a “buyback,” but owners were forced to sell, so it was really compensation for a government-enforced seizure, and then left it to the government to decide whether any given individual is worthy of a gun:
But the Australian 1996 National Agreement on Firearms was not a benign set of commonsense gun-control rules: It was a gun-confiscation program rushed through the Australian parliament just twelve days after a 28-year-old man killed 35 people with a semi-automatic rifle in the Tasmanian city of Port Arthur. The Council of Foreign relations summarizes the Aussie measure nicely:
The National Agreement on Firearms all but prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, stiffened licensing and ownership rules, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took some 650,000 assault weapons (about one-sixth of the national stock) out of public circulation. Among other things, the law also required licensees to demonstrate a “genuine need” for a particular type of gun and take a firearm safety course.
England has also made guns verboten. Private gun ownership in England has all but vanished (and the British Left would love to see it vanish entirely).
In other words, the poster to the contrary, Second Amendment supporters are correct: What the Democrat party wants to do is enact Australian and English style laws that have at their heart gun seizures and the denial of future gun ownership.