While reading a piece from Bloomberg about how the USA Olympic Shooting team doesn’t have any large corporate sponsors, I came across an interesting sentence:
“The rise in gun violence and mass shootings in the US have attached a stigma to shooting as a sport, they say.”
Author David Biller doesn’t qualify the sentence. It stands alone as a statement of fact, without any clarification or supplemental information. If I were an average news consumer, I might read that sentence, and simply believe it as gospel truth. Gun violence and mass shootings are on the rise? Ok.
The notion that gun violence and mass-casualty shootings are “on the rise” is one that’s fostered by the leftist media in order to promote stricter gun control laws. Reporting like Biller’s seems innocuous, but in actuality, these faux “facts” soak into the American consciousness.
Here are the real facts:
According to Pew Research, from 1993 to 2014, firearm homicides per 100,000 Americans dropped from 7.0 to 3.4 annually. Non-fatal violent firearm crime per 100,000 Americans twelve and older dropped from 725.3 in 1993 to 174.8 in 2014.
In 2014, Northeastern University Professor of Criminology James Alan Fox told CNN’s Jake Tapper that mass-shootings are not on the rise. In fact, they’ve remained steady for decades:
In a piece for Boston.com, Fox writes:
“Over the past three decades, there has been an average of 20 mass shootings a year in the United States, each with at least four victims killed by gunfire. Occasionally, and mostly by sheer coincidence, several episodes have been clustered closely in time.
Over all, however, there has not been an upward trajectory. To the contrary, the real growth has been in the style and pervasiveness of news-media coverage, thanks in large part to technological advances in reporting.”
Essentially, the reason we believe mass-shootings are on the rise is because the media tells us they are–and it works.
According to a 2013 Pew Research survey, most Americans have no idea gun crime has dropped so significantly:
“56% of Americans believe the number of crimes involving a gun is higher than it was 20 years ago…Asked about trends in the number of gun crimes ‘in recent years,’ a plurality of 45% believe the number has gone up, 39% say it is about the same, and 10% say it has gone down.”
Deceptive reporting on the part of the media has led to an extraordinary discrepancy between reality and perception regarding gun violence–and it’s no grandiose manipulation. In the case of the Bloomberg piece, it was a simple sentence in an article about the Olympics. The media’s manipulation is rarely obvious, and often imperceptible.
In order to combat this insidious brainwashing, you must remember that facts are stronger than perception. Perceptions are grand, but without data, they’re empty. Facts are solid, and reliable. Keep them close–you’ll need them.