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New York Times Front Page Promotes Fake News And Lies About Guns

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The Sunday, September 22, 2019 New York Times had a center page above the fold promotion of an article “Inside A Deadly American Summer,” that began with a false premise and ended with an outright lie.

The false premise was that this past summer was somehow more deadly and recorded more fatalities due to “mass shootings.”

As Brad Palumbo documented in a September 3 article for the Washington Examiner, such a claim is completely unfounded. Despite the liberal media’s profit-motivated mass coverage of these tragic events, and despite frequent exploitation by gun-control activists, actual mass shootings remain a statistical rarity and a much-exaggerated threat.

By nearly a factor of four, wrote Palumbo, more people in America die from the flu and pneumonia than by homicide (all homicides, including non-gun homicides).

Due to the fake news about “gun violence” promoted by Far-Left outlets such as The New York Times, much of the population has been scared into radically over-estimating the prevalence of mass shootings and gun violence in general.

Mr. Palumbo reported, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4.5 people out of 100,000 die each year from various forms of firearm homicide. Mass shootings, in turn, account for less than 1% of homicides.

Another way of looking at it observed Palumbo is to consider rifle homicides specifically, because the topic always turns to "assault weapons." There are only 300 to 400 deaths in a given year from all rifles, including the ones someone might call "assault weapons."

You are 50% more likely to be killed by a blunt object.

It’s also unclear, says Mr. Palumbo, despite what media coverage and some dubiously-generated statistics would suggest, that “mass shootings” are even getting more frequent.

In a study cited by Mr. Palumbo, Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox found that “the number of mass shooting victims, perpetrators, and incidents didn’t change much from 1980 to 2014.”

Brad Palumbo also reminded us that in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, Harvard instructor David Ropeik explained that according to his calculations, “the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000.” That’s right: one in 614 million. Your odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 300 million.

Ropeik aptly pointed out that the risk of dying in a school shooting is extremely low, and “far lower than many people assume.” As well, this risk is “far lower than almost any other mortality risk a kid faces, including traveling to and from school, catching a potentially deadly disease while in school or suffering a life-threatening injury playing interscholastic sports.”

Yet, according to a Pew Research report cited by Mr. Palumbo, 57% of teenagers fear school shootings, even though there is essentially a 0% chance it will happen to them. And parents share their unfounded anxiety: 63% similarly worry about their child’s safety in school due to mass shootings. It's understandable that something as awful as a mass shooting would inspire fear, but again, consider the odds relative to all those other, much more common dangers.

And stoking those fears is what The New York Times and other gun confiscation proponents are all about.

Which brings us to the outright lie that concludes “Inside A Deadly American Summer.”

“Then a man fleeing a traffic stop began shooting at random at motorists between Odessa and Midland using a military-style rifle. ABC News reported that he bought it through a private-sale loophole after failing a background check because of mental illness.”

Almost nothing in that paragraph, except that a mentally ill man “began shooting at random at motorists between Odessa and Midland” is true.

There is no “private-sale loophole.” It is illegal to sell a gun to a prohibited person, period. Moreover, the gun in question was not a “military-style” gun, but a modern semi-automatic sporting rifle, exactly like the millions of similar guns in private hands today. It was legally manufactured for personal use and was thus illegal to sell to a third party.

Law-enforcement officials said they have identified a person of interest they suspect of illegally selling the rifle. Authorities are in the process of investigating the Lubbock, Texas, man, whose identity they haven’t released, with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives taking the lead in investigating the suspect who they believe illegally sold the AR-15-style rifle to Seth Ator, the Midland – Odessa killer.

So, no “loopholes” but at least two, and probably more, violations of current law put the gun in the hands of the killer.

Smart policy decisions are rarely made by a population steeped in misinformation and fear said Brad Palumbo in his analysis of the statistical threat of mass shootings, but through fake news and outright lies that is exactly the atmosphere The New York Times and other Far Left media outlets seek to create in order to disarm law abiding Americans.

CHQ Editor George Rasley is a certified rifle and pistol instructor, a Glock ® certified pistol armorer and a veteran of over 300 political campaigns, including every Republican presidential campaign from 1976 to 2008. He served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and has served as a staff member, consultant or advance representative for some of America's most recognized conservative Republican political figures, including President Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. He served in policy and communications positions on the House and Senate staff, and during the George H.W. Bush administration he served on the White House staff of Vice President Dan Quayle.

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The conspiracy between the media and the Obama administration

The self important media has felt itself entitled to slant or otherwise outright lie to the public to push a gun control narrative for years now. I recall my personal shock when reading about a comment made by the head of NBC News probably over 30 years ago to the effect that the media push for gun control was far more important than the reporting of factual news. This was followed in the 90s by a similar statement by Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time. I happened to have occasion to visit Eisner's Colorado estate and guess who I encountered? That is correct, armed bodyguards for Eisner and his family. This attitude led to the Obama Attorney General (Eric Holder) and Homeland Security Secretary (Janet Napolitano) conspiring to sponsor an illegal secret (and patently foolish) program designed to foster illegal firearms sales from legitimate firearms dealers (who to their credit resisted the ATF pressure to sell these guns to straw buyers) for the sole purpose of creating a public outcry over cross border sales to the Mexican cartels. There was no legitimate law enforcement purpose to Operation Fast & Furious. The result: hundreds of Mexican citizens killed (presumably many of them innocents caught in a crossfire) and at least one American (US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry) killed with an identified Fast and Furious firearm. This murder of an American law enforcement officer by a Mexican illegally on US soil to rob other drug smugglers was what led to the unravelling of Fast and Furious and the scramble to insulate Obama administration officials from culpability. Obama claimed Executive Privilege to protect Holder against Congressional hearings, sent an involved White House official to an overseas State Department posting to prevent Congressional access, and threw up every conceivable obstruction to prevent bringing those involved to justice. So no ATF Agent, no Arizona based US Attorney, no Department of Justice or Homeland Security or White House officials were prosecuted for this illegal program designed solely to create a public perception against lawful firearms transactions and the firearms themselves. The program was designed to be fed to a willing media until it blew up and became a liability. This is what happens when the media abandons its principles to instead push a perspective to the public at large.

A Sad Day

It is a sad day for 'our' side when 'we' need to lie in an article pointing out that 'they' lied. This article contains a blatant lie about guns that is just as egregious as the lies the author complains about.While ranting about the gun used in the Odessa TX shooting, the author says "It was legally manufactured for personal use and was thus illegal to sell to a third party." This is just as much a lie as the lies that author is ranting about. Presumably he is talking about a gun legally manufactured by an unlicensed individual - the kind of gun the media and Democrats love to call a "Ghost Gun" because they are not required to have a serial number. I hate to have to tell you this, George, but it is NOT against any federal law to sell such a gun to another person (by the way, the buyer is not a "third party" because there are only two parties involved in the transaction). The critical distinction is the intent of the maker. It is illegal to make a gun for sale, but it is perfectly legal to make a gun for personal use and then later decide to sell it.To legally sell such a gun, you do need to EITHER be a federal firearms licensee and follow all the regular gun sale rules OR NOT be in the business of selling guns and reasonably believe the buyer is not a prohibited person. In either case, you must also follow any state or local laws. The ATF suggests you mark the gun with some identification of the maker and a serial number, although this is not a legal requirement and even if so marked there is no federal requirement for any record if the gun was made and sold by an individual.

Clarifying

The poster makes a good point, but we must strongly disagree with the characterization of our interpretation of the gunmaking law and regulations as applied in this case a "lie." The ATF and local authorities are investigating and appear to allege that the person whole sold the gun used in the Odessa - Midland shooting was in fact engaged in the unlicensed manufacturing and sale of guns - that's illegal. Until and unless other facts emerge we will stick with what the authorities are saying and how they interpret the law in this case.

Mass shootings increasing in frequency

But they missed the fact that since 1950 over 97% of ALL mass shootings have occurred in "gun free" zones.