America’s First Freedom, our absolute favorite of the NRA magazines (and not only because of their awesome graphics), has a new hit-piece out: “Five Stupid Things the Media Believes About Guns and Gun Owners.” A few of those “stupid things” piqued our interest, so we figured that now was as good a time as any to take a quick look.
What AFF is trying to argue: gun owners don’t have arsenals.
How they try to do it: by claiming that a collection of lots of guns don’t constitute an arsenal.
Why that’s silly: the definition of arsenal is literally a collection of guns.
What AFF is trying to argue: buying thousands of rounds of ammunition isn’t stockpiling.
How they try to do it: by claiming that people need lots of ammo because of temporary scarcity or heavy use.
Why that’s silly: thousands of anything, held for future use, is by definition a stockpile.
What AFF is trying to argue: AR-15s aren’t powerful
How they try to do it: by pointing to the nature of the ammunition AR-15s are generally chambered in
Why that’s silly: first, AR-15 can be chambered in any of a number of calibers, up to the extremely powerful .50 caliber. Second, we aren’t entirely sure that anyone is arguing that power is the issue here; it seems the issue is design and functionality. No matter what side of things you’re on, you cannot deny that the AR-15 design is the basis of the rifle that has been the standard rifle used by the US military since the late 1960s. It was designed with features that make it easier to kill in mind.
What AFF is trying to argue: crime guns brought in from out of state don’t matter
How they try to do it: by pointing out the illegal drugs also cross state lines
Why that’s silly: it is a red herring. Crime guns cross state lines from states with lax laws to those with strict laws, a fact not even the NRA is willing to argue, but the only answer they have is to talk about something different.
What AFF is trying to argue: the CDC can study gun violence
How they try to do it: by citing an article they published
Why that’s silly: no matter what the NRA thinks and claims, the CDC doesn’t regularly study gun violence as a direct result of NRA supported legislation.
Now that we’ve taken care of their claims, let’s talk about some things the gun lobby believes about gun violence prevention advocates. This ought to be fun. Oddly none of the things they believe are even close to true but, as being accurate and factual usually isn’t a strength of the gun lobby, that really ought to be unsurprising.
None of us know about guns and we’ve never touched/held/shot/owned a gun.
Hmm . . . odd thought: we know what we’re talking about. Anyone care to discuss what types or firearms are best for what purposes and the difference uses of different calibers? We’d guess not.
We don’t know what laws are on the books.
Now that one is just silly. Who in the world would discuss the problems with our laws without knowing what our laws are? Not us, surely.
We are scared of “assault weapons,” which aren’t a real thing.
One, assault weapons are a real thing. They’ve been defined in law over and over again; not liking a definition doesn’t make it not real. Two, we’re not scared of assault weapons; we’re afraid of people who shouldn’t have access to guns having easy access not only to guns, but guns which are designed to make it as easy as possible to kill people. That’s a pretty reasonable thing, no?
We don’t understand what the Second Amendment is about.
Sure we do. It is about guns. We just don’t support the idea of shooting federal agents (and yes, that is a really a thing the gun lobby believes that the Second Amendment supports). Here are two words from the Second Amendment the gun lobby forgets: “well regulated.”
We don’t really have a great metric for dismissing this (which, by the way, is part of the reason the NRA makes the claim; there is no good or easy way to point out why it is wrong). But here’s something: gun violence prevention measures like background checks are supported by at least 75% of polled voters. Kind of hard to be unsupported by people when 75% of people support your policies, no?
We could keep going with thing the gun lobby erroneously believes about their opponents. It seems a bit unfair to do that though. After all, we can actually provide support, proof, real research, and citations for any number of awful and offensive things the gun believes, not to mention things gun violence prevention advocates are working for. It seems that they can’t even come up with mildly accurate statements about media criticism of their policy proposals and support. Interesting that . . .