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New York Times Pushes Gun Control with Emotion Rather than Fact

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(Photo: Wikipedia)

(Photo: Wikipedia)

The New York Times recently ran a lengthy editorial entitled, “What 130 of the Worst Shootings Say About Guns in America.”

The answer, of course, should be, “Nothing.”

One hundred and thirty shootings don’t begin to paint the full picture of the firearms controversy in the United States. It’s impossible with such a small sample size to say anything definitive about guns in America, much less recommend policy changes.

But did that stop the good folks over at the New York Times? It did not.

The authors claim that a review of the 130 “worst shootings” in the last year offers a “panoramic view of some of the gun control debate’s fundamental issues.” They go on to describe eight individual instances of multiple-victim shootings and attempt to demonstrate how stricter gun laws would have stopped each tragedy.

The authors hesitate to state their recommendations outright, but their position is clear by the conclusion of the 5,000-word article: based on this anecdotal evidence, they imply, Second Amendment rights should be restricted at the state and federal level.

The key here is “anecdotal evidence.” Anecdotal evidence is founded upon single, isolated stories rather than general trends. Obviously, lawmakers can’t make public policy decisions based on anecdotal evidence. They need to know macro-level trends before they can responsibly change the law, especially when that law affects constitutional rights.

The authors cite a number of studies, but the focus of the article—those 130 shootings—doesn’t offer any useful evidence in favor of stricter gun laws.

To their credit, the authors admit as much. “In more than half the 130 cases,” they note, “at least one assailant was already barred by federal law from having a weapon.” Additionally, “64 percent of the shootings involved at least one attacker who violated an existing gun law.” In other words, even within their small sample size, they couldn’t find compelling evidence that strict gun laws keep criminals from breaking the law.

They also admit that the furor to pass a new “assault weapons ban” isn’t likely to do anything to reduce the number of crimes committed with guns:

“Only 14 [of the 130] shootings involved assault rifles, illustrating their outsize role in the gun debate. Nearly every other assailant used a handgun. That is in line with a federal study that concluded that reviving a 1994 ban on assault weapons and ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds would have a minimal impact, at best, on gun violence.”

None of this evidence, unfortunately, keeps them from moving forward with their anecdotally based emotional appeal. “A stronger law,” they argue at one point, “could arguably have made it harder for at least one gunman to find a willing seller.”

That’s the best they can do.

They include with each story pictures of the victims in a clear attempt to appeal to their readers’ sympathies. But while each horrific crime ought to produce sympathy in the reader, gun control laws cannot be based on emotion. Eight stories from a group of 130 crimes can’t dictate what laws should govern the use of firearms in the United States.

It’s a valiant attempt, but, ultimately, this latest offering from the Times does nothing to further the gun control industry’s cause.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • a11four1 October 30, 2016, 4:54 pm

    It’s all about who pulls the strings. New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times are only banners. But to editorialize one facet, even with 130 ”examples” under one header, and counter oneself in reliable fashion with facts, restrictions and deterrents is worse than just poor judgement. It degrades an authors veracity. How on earth does one write under an original concept, insert counters and fail to see they could be in error?
    Editorials are judgemental by design and practice. A widely placed edit reaches untold readers with little on their mind but morning coffee. The intro, being in print blinds many as ‘fact’, which we know doesn’t transfix actual news as accurate either.
    Remember the commercial “…met him on the internet, he’s a French model”? Comedic, but painfully true at the same time. Media is, in general, dependent on some level of gullibility over fact. Fantasy over real life. Detachment over immersion. And sales over reality.

  • Patriot October 28, 2016, 10:29 am

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    The fee for Medicare goes up starting next year.

    Medicare at age 76!
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    document comments. More highlights of Nancy’s “pass it and then find out what’s in the bill”! Show this to everyone nearing the ripe old age of 76. These are just a few of the things that we seniors are going to have to deal with which started in 2014.

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    Just wait to see what else went into effect in 2014. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS…
    At age 76, when you most need it most, you are NOT eligible for cancer treatment…

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    Obama Care Highlighted by Page Number THE CARE BILL HB 3200 JUDGE KITHIL IS THE 2ND OFFICIAL WHO HAS OUTLINED THESE PARTS OF THE CARE BILL.
    Judge KITHIL of Marble Falls, TX highlighted the most egregious pages of HB3200. Please read this…… especially the reference to pages 58 & 59. JUDGE KITHIL wrote:
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    Sent from my iPad

    • Tom Horn October 28, 2016, 12:28 pm

      Thanks for this info, Patriot. Going out in email today.

      What’s next? “Soylent Green, it’s people!!!”

  • Dc9loser October 28, 2016, 8:58 am

    Would you stop calling them the New York Times? It is Carlos Slim’s blog. Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico controls the New York Times. He holds 17% of the common stock and millions of the company’s debt. The paper is his toy. He owns the telecommunications monopoly in Mexico. He makes bank every time an immigrant calls or wires money home. That explains the New York Times rabid support for immigration. It is what it is and that is his personal blog. Carlos Slim’s Blog. Just as the Washington Post is Jeff Bezo’s Blog.

  • Robert October 28, 2016, 5:59 am

    The 130 worse shootings….Didn’t bother reading this because it would most likely be filled with the usual about high capacity and “automatic…” How many have died FROM gun violence JUST in Chicago? What is or was the most common caliber used in the killings? Maybe there were not large numbers of people being shot at one place…….Take away the weapon, look at the killer and see what was wrong and how THAT killer should not have been able to get a firearm…..But then, the Boston Marathon bombs, did not need a back ground check to buy pressure cookers…..The Oklahoma City bombing…….Why are these kind of people arising? It isn’t because there are fire arms that can be bought….and pressure cookers can be bought…..

  • DRAINO October 27, 2016, 1:15 pm

    Dare say it….it’s men vs. women….!?!!? Well, think about it……women think emotionally while men think logically….that’s what all the bleeding hearts tell us!!! So apparently there is some confusion…..since we have all these estrogen filled girly-men….who are emotional democrats…..call it gender confusion? But at the same time we have these Republicans who have no semblance of testicles whatsoever…..They appear to be confused about their gender as well. Hmm…..common ground I guess?? My head is starting to spin. Maybe we should call them the Estrogen party and the Testosterone party….??!! Maybe these modern college degrees in “gender studies” won’t go to waste after all. I think I’m gonna be sick now……Lol.

    • Tom Horn October 28, 2016, 6:45 am

      Draino,
      The truth is often spoke in jest. Or, if the shoe fits… When our government’s goal is to emasculate and neuter the American People, to make them as harmless as school girls, what else are we to think?

  • SuperG October 27, 2016, 12:02 pm

    Yet the New York Times has still not apologized for getting Mr. Joshua executed. So they continue to practice “journalism” with no social responsibility. So by default then, it makes Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. just another coward who hides in his penthouse. He and Mark Cuban should be friends, as they have a lot in common when it comes to cowardice.

  • Tom Horn October 25, 2016, 8:19 pm

    The NRA should come out with a rebuttal, What the 130 Best Lifesaving Uses of a Firearms Say About America. They could pull the examples from their, “The Armed Citizen,” files.

    or, Why WE Would Have 1300 Worst Shooting Without 2A. Idiots

    • Miles Huggins October 28, 2016, 3:45 am

      Thats a good article

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