Every time there is a mass shooting in the U.S., mass media hysteria escalates to deafening levels. They almost in unison scream for gun confiscation, mandatory gun buy-backs, assault weapons bans, repeal of the Second Amendment, and many more demands. But there is one mass shooting story common element we hear every time: “The United States has far more mass shootings than any other country on Earth.” Until recently, Americans had no choice but to accept what the media told us. Why is that? We are pretty certain there are more guns of every kind in the U.S. than in any other country. Because of that and because of the spotlight put on every mass shooting by America’s media, we just have believed it to be true. But is it?
Every time there’s a shooting, the gun control advocates go nuts. The statistics reports are seen and heard all over the news daily. Make no mistake: any shootings of any kind are horrendous, almost always unnecessary, and always create lifechanging circumstances not just for the shooting victims and the shooter(s), but for family members, friends and relatives, and many in each community in which they occur. To that end, maybe getting flooded with news about these shootings is a good thing. A large number of Americans seek to implement processes — some kind of processes that can effectively stop these travesties. But there are issues in implementing any such process.
First, there is the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, that provided a constitutional check on congressional power under Article I Section 8 to organize, arm and discipline the federal militia. The Second Amendment reads, “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.” Referred to in modern times as an individual’s right to carry and use arms for self-defense, the Second Amendment was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, according to College of William and Mary law professor and future U.S. District Court judge St. George Tucker in 1803 as the “true palladium of liberty.” In addition to checking federal power, the Second Amendment also provided state governments with what Luther Martin described as the “last coup de grace” that would enable the states “to thwart and oppose the general government.” Last, it enshrined the ancient Florentine and Roman constitutional principle of civil and military virtue by making every citizen a soldier and every soldier a citizen.
Quite a few federal cases regarding the use of weapons in the context of citizens’ rights under this amendment have worked their way through the federal courts to the U.S. Supreme Court. In every such case, the Court has ruled in favor of citizens having an unfettered right to own and bear arms for personal defense. You can see the conundrum gun control advocates face in trying to craft some type of legislation in Congress that could somehow curtail any mass shootings. So far, no such constitutional legislation that would pass muster has been written and passed.
The second huge obstacle in this craziness is that there currently are hundreds of federal and state gun laws implemented to do just that: stop illegal use of guns. Gun advocates have floated the number 20,000 federal, state, and local gun laws already in existence. So why should we put any new laws in place?
That number is always thrown into any gun control discussion. But gun-control advocates are trying to undermine that “20,000 gun laws” argument with a new study that casts doubt on the meaning of the “20,000” number. A study from the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy counts only 300 “relevant federal and state laws regarding the manufacture, design, sale, purchase, or possession of guns.” The keyword is “relevant.”
The study does not include a tally of local gun laws. In fact, the authors note that since more than 40 states preempt all or most local gun control laws, there’s no reason to include local laws in a gun-law tally.
For the purpose of today’s discussion, let’s assume the 300 gun law number is accurate. That’s certainly far less than the 20,000 number. But any reasonable person must agree: 300 gun laws throughout the United States that are so comprehensive should certainly curtail if not eliminate any and all mass shootings. However, mass shooting statistics tell a different story. Eighty-two percent of weapons involved in mass shootings over the last three decades have been bought legally, according to a database compiled that defines a mass shooting as taking the lives of at least four people in a public place. Using those numbers, it is virtually impossible to create and make any new gun controls that could possibly pass muster pertaining to the Second Amendment.
“Stopping eighteen percent of mass shootings is worth the hard work necessary to put processes in place to do so,” is trumpeted by gun control groups. Without new laws to stack on top of the 300 such laws already on the books that could be more effective, what can Congress and law enforcement members possibly make happen?
That’s where realistic, comprehensive, and legal gun control discussions reach an impasse.
To make the dilemma even worse is that no one knows for certain how many illegal guns are on U.S. streets today. The percentage of guns that are legally purchased and then used to commit a mass shooting is very low. However, the overwhelming majority of gun-related crimes (including mass shootings and other murders) are committed with guns that have been stolen and traded for drugs. Those guns are passed from criminal to criminal, sold and resold, and may very well be used in hundreds of crimes before they are recovered from someone accused of a crime.
Given that fact, it becomes obvious that no actual count of the number of crimes committed with “illegal guns” is possible. In fact, most gun-related crimes are never solved and are certainly never linked to an individual gun, legally purchased or not.
Wow! Rather than finding answers, the research on this topic instead of revealing solutions reveals multiple new roadblocks in finding available answers to the question: How can a legal process be put in place that will stop mass shootings?
Muddy The Water
The media in America lust for bad news — especially news that includes mass shootings. One need only look at the non-stop furor during and following the recent shootings in an El Paso, Texas Walmart and outside a Dayton, Ohio nightclub. Day after day after day, 24/7 news reports gave Americans every possible perspective on the topic: from interviews with mental health specialists, Constitutional Experts, law enforcement officers, politicians, mass shooting victims and family members of victims, medical officials on each scene, and, of course, Media Gun Control pundits. This in itself did nothing at all to promote solutions to curb any such future shootings, they each almost in total morphed into a specific political narrative. The chief of those is “More Gun Control.” Whether that is called making assault rifles, multiple round gun clips illegal or just more extensive background checks, the media — primarily for ratings — harp on the gun control “story of the day.”
Sadly, Mainstream Media outlets who feed at the advertising trough to perpetuate their vocations find that television and radio ratings and newspaper circulations skyrocket during the days during and following mass shootings. Much of the noise that emanates from these news sources are bloated reports and interviews replete with innuendo and opinion and rarely include factual information.
Let’s ask a simple question: let’s look and listen to the analysis of the “study” created and circulated by a University of Alabama professor who is a self-proclaimed expert on the subject. Then watch and listen as his report — which has been used as the Bible of mass shooting data and statistics — is ripped to shreds regarding the accuracy and even its basis. The question: What’s the truth?
Is it any surprise that Professor Langford’s data that is sourced and that he “verified” is far from accurate? Honestly, if even half of the Americans that have been blanketed by the narcissistic American news media with these bogus facts had seen or heard this simple and brief report would still believe what they have seen on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC News and have read in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. None of them have done any real investigation of the Langford report numbers, the report’s authenticity or accuracy, and none have actually spoken to Langford. How can I say that? If they had, the B.S. they put out about gun control would be totally different. Their lack of effort is telling. It proves one piece of factual information that TruthNewsNetwork has given to our members over and over for more than two years: Americans cannot trust that the information received from all of the above media outlets and dozens of others is factual. Realistically, most of what these outlets spew is false.
No wonder President Trump constantly calls primarily the two newspapers above, CNN and MSNBC “Fake News.” Actually, most of their reporting IS fake! To be honest, John Stossel who produced this report of Langford’s report has always been a fair and impartial journalist. For that reason, it’s surprising to me that he now works for CNN, and that CNN let this exposure of Langford and his mass shooting information actually air.
Where Are We Headed?
Honestly, as Congress goes back into session with gun control legislation top-of-mind for most Americans, once again it is doubtful that any meaningful legislation will pass both houses that will be signed into law. The primary reason is the issue of conflict of any such measures with the Second Amendment.
Sadly, the driving reason for any Congressional action regarding new legislation is purely political. With the 2020 election looming in our near future, politicians have jumped all over the gun control topic to further their political careers. We’ll hear debates about it non-stop until November 2020.
There’s a humorous part of this for me: a number of the Democrat 2020 presidential candidates have actually floated gun confiscation as a way to stop mass shootings. Think about that. I doubt anyone has an idea of a real number of privately owned guns in America. But I think it’s safe to say there are several hundred million. Can you picture a scenario in which law enforcement officials would knock on 200 million doors and force their way into those homes to seize those guns? They’d probably try it at a house or two. But they’d find out really quickly how important the Second Amendment is to most Americans. And if they do, they need to rethink starting their seizures in the South!
The saddest part of this entire story is that politic positions have dominated the conversation about reaching a real solution to mass shootings. And they always use such shootings for strictly political purposes. Meanwhile, funerals continue, lives are lost and families are destroyed by these killings.
What’s the answer? Stop the mass shootings! How can we do that? It all begins with everyone who should be a part of such a conversation is included. Then all political posturing has to be drained from the conversation. What must control such a conversation is one thing and one thing only: What do we need to do and what needs to be included in legislation crafted solely to drastically reduce if not eliminate mass shootings? And what such legislation can we put into law that will sustain a Constitutional examination by the U.S. Supreme Court when compared to the Second Amendment?
You know what: I doubt a single meeting or conversation by lawmakers has ever happened based solely on those two things I just mentioned. That’s sad — really sad. What’s sadder is that unless that exact conversation happens and those participating stick it out to the end and reach a consensus, these mass shootings will continue.
Whose and how many kids must die before politicians swallow their political pride and do that?