Another school shooting, another knee-jerk reaction. BLAME THE GUN!
Yes, we all get tired of this. Yes, we all know that decent people wait for answers to questions like why, but that people who advocate gun control simply want to be emotional vultures on the pain and suffering of others. They posit that winning the battle of public opinion is more important than winning the battle on the facts. As a result they spread lie after lie in order not to be accurate, not to have an intelligent discussion, but rather, to persuade using falsity. This is unethical, unreasonable, and completely dishonest. Here is a sampling of just the lies I have seen on Twitter and Facebook in the past 24 hours:
|AR-15 is a military rifle||AR-15 is a civilian sporting rifle.|
|AR stands for assault rifle||AR stands for Armalite Rifle|
|AR fires military grade ammunition||AR fires standard .223 rounds, which are lower power rounds than hunting rifles.|
|ARs are too difficult for civilians to handle||9 year olds shoot them in competition.|
|ARs are assault rifles||An assault rifle is a term of art and to be an assault rifle the weapon must be capable of automatic fire. ARs are not assault rifles.|
|You don’t need background checks to buy AR-15s||Background checks apply to all commercial sales.|
|There is no background check in Florida, all you do is fill out a form||See above. That’s complete bullshit.|
|Trump rolled back a ban on selling guns to crazy people||Trump rolled back a presumption that someone who needs help managing their money is batshit crazy, and the ACLU supported this measure.|
|The NRA owns politicians||NRA donations pale in comparison to donations by other groups.|
|ARs fire 600 rounds a minute||ARs fire one round each time the trigger is pulled.|
None of these outrageous lies are true, but they are all spouted by people who supposedly believe them. Either they do not have access to Google (which seems strange, when they’re posting on social media) or they don’t care to be accurate because their emotions are more important than honesty.
Last night someone said we should not take them on with “technical points.” That’s nonsense. A gun that fires 600 rounds a minute sounds scary. “Assault rifle” sounds scary. “It’s okay to sell guns to crazy people” sounds scary and crazy. 98% of the public is gullible and lazy and if they see something in print more than twice they believe it. We absolutely must debate them on the facts because we can’t win on the emotions. No one wants to see kids shot dead. But when the police, FBI, and others do not do their part, when they do not interdict kids who cannot legally possess weapons (you must be 21 to buy a pistol), and when politicians refuse to blame the shooter and instead blame the NRA, we absolutely must fight on the facts.
It is up to us. We must do what needs to be done.