In modern society in the United States, the arguments for and against the rights and ownership of firearms has been arguably at its most heated. As more and more mass shootings creep into the headlines, many mainstream media outlets fail to specify information, conceal crucial facts, and twist graphics in order to serve the narrative of the “white, male shooter” that seems to be the only threat with guns. In contrast, guns are not the issue–it is the people behind them.
Some terms presented by the mainstream media are simply not defined. To start: the difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon. An automatic weapon, all of which are banned from the general public since the 1980’s, is one that fires continuously when the trigger is pulled. A semi-automatic weapon is one that for every pull of the trigger, a single bullet is fired. This covers not only the “big and scary” guns like the AK-47 or AR-15, but also nearly every pistol and hunting rifle, with the exception being shotguns and revolvers. This is why a ban of semi-automatics should be scary to the average gun owner, which would equate to 47% of the American population, making us the highest guns per capita in the world. Additionally, the term “mass shooting” has no specific legal definition. It used to be “four or more victims slain, in one event, in one location”, defined by the FBI back in the 1980’s, but after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, the number of deaths was apparently changed to three.
Beyond this, many left-wing news outlets perpetuate that the United States with all of the mass shootings has one of–if not the highest–murder rate or at least violent crime rate. In reality, countries like Honduras and Venezuela have the highest murder rates per 100,000 people with 90.4 and 53.7 respectively. In addition, the United States does not even crack the top 25 in firearm murder rates with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people, with countries like Honduras and Jamaica leading the pack. According to the FBI, the United States has also severely decreased violent crime since 2009-2013, with murder only being 1.2% of that violent crime.
Many left-leaning news sources also try and push the idea that with more guns being taken away, the less crime will exist. This has been proven false on a plethora of cases, including the fact that New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are of the three largest metropolitan areas in the United States, and all have strict gun control laws. Yet all have astronomically high rates of firearm homicides. The city of Chicago had 3,457 shooting victims in 2017 compared to a decades-long high of 4,349 a year before, despite having Democrat mayors in office since 1931. To couple already with the established evidence of the United States having a very high and quickly growing gun ownership, the crime continues to drop. From 1993 through 2013, firearm homicides have dropped a whopping 49%, despite people still buying more guns. Latin America actually continues to be ranked the highest in homicides and as the world’s most violent region, mostly related to the high rate of gang violence present.
The last major point that liberal sources make to try and deceive the public is about the definition of the second amendment. It reads in its entirety:
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Many people on the left will be quick to point out that the “militia” part relates to one having to be in the military, or that this is no longer relevant as the United States does not need militias in the modern-day world. Additionally, they will claim that the amendment was made “only for muskets” and is irrelevant today. These assumptions are untrue, as this Amendment was made to protect against government tyranny and to give power to the people in case of the government turning into what Americans had just fought of whom to be free. Americans could own guns as large as mortars and cannons, and as small as any pistol or rifle of any caliber, such as James Madison himself owning a private ship with military-grade cannons. Examples such as the Belton flintlock could “fire up to eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time at a distance of 25 to 30 yards”.
This fact, as well as the right to own artillery, was made very well aware to the founding fathers when they wrote the second amendment that it was no issue of them to make sure that people could have a right to bear arms. Additionally, it is highly likely they would have been smart enough to assume that guns would quickly become more and more advanced (as they have done in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War), and would continue this trend. Lastly, the notion that this is only for a militia is done away as the wording of the second amendment was done very precisely. There is a comma located after “militia” and before “people”, showing how in the second half of the amendment the people’s individual right to have firearms was protected within itself. Saying that it is only within a militia and that American citizens should have their arms taken away is unconstitutional and illegal.
Overall, many of the left-leaning mainstream media outlets attempt to sway the American population through fear tactics and warnings of “imminent deaths” through gun violence, and even going so far as to say pro-gun supporters don’t care about lives lost in mass shootings. The spread of misinformation is what is creating the large rift in America over this issue. People may disagree, everyone has the right to their own opinion, but it is best for one’s opinion to be informed in what’s really going on. Both sides clearly want a solution and want the problem of gun violence and innocent lives being taken, but before the veil of the anti-gun narrative is taken away, little progress can be made.
People may disagree, everyone has the right to their own opinion, but it is best for one’s opinion to be informed in what is really going on. Both sides clearly want solutions addressing the problem of gun violence and innocent lives lost, but before the veil of the anti-gun narrative is taken away, little progress can be made.