Friday, June 13, 2014

Debunking the Debunking of the Debunking

The Bloomberg anti-gun group published an infograph alleging 74 school shooting that have taken place since the horrific events of Newtown, Connecticut, in December, 2012.

A journalist, Charles Johnson, examined these cases and said that, in context, 7 of these events -- far too many -- are similar to the Sandy Hook School shooting.  

Next, along comes Brandy Zadrozny to explain that Johnson is misleading us because the Everytown people did not claim that each and every event was exactly analogous to Newtown.

Except, that's exactly what the Everytown people wanted low-information clickers to believe.  The table at the site does have a footnote that explains these incidents include suicides and accidents, but look at the picture at the top of the page.  They are tying every single one of these occurrences to the murder of babies at Newtown. 

There are multiple ways to lie.  You can just make crap up like the Clintons, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi do.  You can also present true facts in such a way as to obscure the reality and create a false narrative, as Obama does so well, and as the Everytown site has done.  It gives you an out when you get caught.  Bill Clinton did it, too, haggling over the definition of "is". 

The truth is that Everytown presented their evidence, especially the map infograph, so as to make people think that 74 times since 12/2012, crazed gunmen have gone into a school and murdered little children with guns. 

To me, the seven legitimate cases would have been sufficient.  That's way too many, and we need to find a way to deal with this problem. 

I don't know what is required to prevent these incidents.  What I do know is that disarming and restricting law-abiding citizens such as myself will not keep them from happening. 

Let's have discussion about why these things happen, but it has to be a legitimate discussion based on the truth.  Let's stop trying to silence our opposition with emotional barrages and speak rationally about what might work and what we know doesn't work.  Stop equating self-defense with assault and justifiable homicide with murder.  The vast majority of the time, whether wielded in front of a badge or by a private citizen, a firearm doesn't even have to be discharged to do its job.  Most people have sense enough to cease and desist when the business end of a shotgun or handgun gives them that unblinking metallic stare. 

The murderer at Newtown would not have been stopped by limits on magazine capacity.  He would not have been stopped by more restrictive carry laws.  He would not have been stopped by more extensive background checks or background checks at gun shows.  He was not stopped by a "no weapons allowed" sign.  He was stopped by a bullet.  Too bad it wasn't fired by someone else before he shed so much innocent blood. 


  1. I know that others have pointed to the fact that many of these killers were on various forms of perscription medication in an attempt to deal with personality disorders at the time of the shootings. Who knows if that was a factor?

    Gun ownership in New Zealand is tightly controlled, and we have few gun related murders per head of population. In my living memory, no school related incidents.

    The general availability of guns in America tends to facilitate gun related events. I get it that people kill people, and guns are just an accessory, but they do make it easier than strangling people one at a time.

    Your history is different to ours, and I'm not making a judgement call from this distance. Perhaps licencing gun owners is a possible step forward, as this requires background checks - well it does here anyway. You do need a license to drive a car which can also be a dealy weapon?

  2. It really bothers me that mass shootings are happening at all, and I agree that we, as American shooters, need to get past "guns don't kill people". There is something else going on, and we need to figure out what it is.

    New Zealand has one solution that seems to work well.

    Mexico restricts firearms -- I think you can have a .22 or shotgun, no military-type arms or calibers. Yet drug cartels murder people by the hundreds with genuine military weaponry (not purchased in U.S. border towns, by the way).

    Switzerland relies on an armed militia, so everyone has access to military firearms.

    Britain severely restricted guns and now has an escalating knife murder rate.

    I think I might be willing to have guns like cars, such that you have to demonstrate a minimal level of competence and have a license of some sort. Although you don't actually have to have a license to buy a car -- just to drive it on public streets.

    I wish I had a good answer because this kind of senseless stuff needs to stop. I can understand killing someone who is causing me problems. I can understand being so angry at someone that I kill them. I don't understand deliberately planning to kill and carrying out the murders of random, innocent people I don't even know. If I were a nihilist, I might kill myself, but I let other people decide for themselves.