Earlier this week, I was driving down the road and listening to NPR when On the Media came on. This week, they’ve decided to take on the issue of gun violence with all the non-biased reporting that you’d expect from them. Conveniently, they break their show notes down in chapters, so I’ll touch each one.
It starts off with them reminding us that Obama recently spoke on gun violence and signed executive actions. Of course, they lean heavily on anti-gun quotes and state that the biggest thing blocking “common sense” gun laws was the evil NRA buying off folks in Congress (more on that later). Oh, and they have someone from Think Progress on the line to talk and answer some softball questions. I will give them credit for admitting that Think Progress is an extremely left leaning organization. Of course, they let him say that the thought that the 2nd amendment is an individual right is a new thing that the NRA came up with in the ’80’s without challenge.
The second segment talks a little bit about gun laws and the NRA. Specifically, they talk about the Black Panthers protesting new gun laws in California in the ’60’s, and even dance around the fact that a lot of gun laws were racially based. They also talk about how the NRA used to be pretty much about hunting, and wasn’t a big political player. Then they talk about the “Cincinnati Revolution” in ’77 when a huge number of board members were replaced, and the organization made a major shift from just being about hunting to what we know as the NRA today. Of course, they referred to the this change as being made by “radicals” in the org, and ignore the fact that a major change like that couldn’t happen or be maintained if the membership as a whole didn’t agree with those “radicals.”
The third segment leans heavily on that pole that stated that 90% of folks in the US want stronger gun control. They vaguely mention that there are other polls that say that that’s not true, but also state that there is no pre-existing information out there on it. Constant contradiction seems to be a constant throughout the program. They also fail to talk about the states where they have put new gun laws up for vote and the general populace voted overwhelmingly in favor of gun rights.
Next, we have the standard bit on how the CDC can’t do research on gun violence. While they completely ignore the study that the CDC *did* do under Obama’s orders after Sandy hook, they make sure to trot out the study that said that you’re more likely to get shot if you own a gun than if you don’t. They do admit that that study was the reason why the law that blocks the CDC from funding studies that advocate the restriction of gun rights, but they conveniently fail to mention that that study has been completely debunked and was meant to be propaganda from the beginning.
The 5th segment was an interesting bit of logical gymnastics. They pull out the recent study showing that, in most arenas, the general populace doesn’t have nearly as much political collateral than the rich and powerful. Here’s where it gets fun; they admit that that’s not the case with the NRA and gun rights. Their expert states that the NRA’s membership isn’t the hugely rich and powerful. He states that the NRA’s power is because of a combination of money an “lots of boots on the ground.” I can’t translate that as anything other than “it has lots of noisy members.” Of course, he also states that it’s “difficult to find out” how much money the gun manufacturers give the NRA (oh, wait… no, it’s not), and weasels his way around not saying that the NRA is not representing its membership. The host straight up asks the expert how they can defeat the NRA and the expert refers to guns as “one of the problems with democracy.”
The last segment is actually fairly good. It deals with the idea of pushing programs that work with gangs to reduce violence. I agree with this idea, and programs that have been tried in the past have actually worked rather well. Of course, that means dealing with the people instead of just banning guns, so that tends to not be on the table.
I realize that I’m not quite as good a fisking as Weer’d, but I just had to put this down. I linked the particular episode at the top, but, if you really want to raise your blood pressure, here it is again.