Skip to comments.Enough Propaganda About Gun Control (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 08/01/2012 1:04:57 AM PDT by neverdem
By Thomas Sowell, senior fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Since so many in the media cannot resist turning every tragedy into a political talking point, it was perhaps inevitable that (1) someone would try to link the shooting rampage at the "Batman" movie in Colorado to the tea party, and that (2) some would try to make it a reason to impose more gun control laws.
Too many people in the media cannot seem to tell the difference between reporting the news and creating propaganda.
NBC News apparently could not resist doctoring the transcript of the conversation between George Zimmerman and the police after the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Now ABC News took the fact that the man arrested for the shooting in Colorado was named James Holmes to broadcast to the world the fact that there is a James Holmes who is a member of the tea party in Colorado. The fact has since come out that these are two different men, one in his 20s and the other in his 50s. But corrections never catch up with irresponsible news broadcasts. The James Holmes who belongs to the tea party has been deluged with phone calls. I hope he sues ABC News for every dime they have.
This is not the first time that the mainstream media have tried to create a link between conservatives and violence. Years ago, the Oklahoma City bombing was blamed on Rush Limbaugh, despite the absence of any evidence that the bomber was inspired by Rush Limbaugh.
Similar things have happened repeatedly, going all the way back to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which was blamed on a hostile right-wing atmosphere in Dallas, even though the assassin had a long history of being on the far-left fringe.
But, where the shoe is on the other foot -- as when the Unabomber had a much marked-up copy of an environmentalist book by Al Gore -- the media heard no evil, saw no evil, and spoke no evil.
If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.
As for gun control advocates, I have no hope whatever that any facts whatever will make the slightest dent in their thinking -- or lack of thinking.
New York's Mayor Bloomberg and CNN's Piers Morgan were on the air within hours of the shooting, pushing the case for gun control laws. You might never know, from what they and other gun control advocates have said, that there is a mountain of evidence that gun control laws not only fail to control guns but are often counterproductive. However, for those other people who still think facts matter, it is worth presenting some of those facts.
Do countries with strong gun control laws have lower murder rates? Only if you cherry-pick the data.
Britain is a country with stronger gun control laws than the United States, and lower murder rates. But Mexico, Russia, and Brazil are also countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States -- and their murder rates are much higher than ours.
Israel and Switzerland have even higher rates of gun ownership than the United States, and much lower murder rates than ours.
Even the British example does not stand up very well under scrutiny. The murder rate in New York has been several times that in London for more than two centuries -- and, for most of that time, neither place had strong gun control laws.
New York had strong gun control laws years before London did, but New York still had several times the murder rate of London.
It was in the later decades of the 20th century that the British government clamped down with severe gun control laws, disarming virtually the entire law-abiding citizenry. Gun crimes, including murder, rose as the public was disarmed.
Meanwhile, murder rates in the United States declined during the same years when murder rates in Britain were rising, which were also years when Americans were buying millions more guns per year.
The real problem, both in discussions of mass shootings and in discussions of gun control, is that too many people are too committed to a vision to allow mere facts to interfere with their beliefs, and the sense of superiority that those beliefs give them.
Any discussion of facts is futile when directed at such people. All anyone can do is warn others about the propaganda.
“Any discussion of facts is futile when directed at such people. All anyone can do is warn others about the propaganda.”
It should be repeated over and again.
” If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly. “
Reminds me of the Yuri Bezmenov quote. I imagine there are many of the masses that can still be convinced, but personally I don’t have the patience, oratory skills, quick wit, nor deprogramming abilities to convince those so deeply entrenched in leftist brainwashing to make much of a dent.
“Exposure to true information does not matter any more. A person who is demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures. Even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him concentration camps, he will refuse to believe it until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom.”—Yuri Bezmenov 1984, regarding communist propaganda in the United States and how to brainwash a nation
Gun control. When the SHTF I want to be the one in control of the gun.
Thanks to the liberal media, I’ll bet many millions of Americans firmly believe the only use for guns is crime. No one ever reads, except in conservative publications, about the use of guns to prevent or deter a criminal assault. And no one ever thinks about the tens of thousands of victims (mostly women) who were defenseless in the face of a larger, stronger threat to themselves.
As I see it, propaganda serves not just misinformation but as a means to poison the truth, like a few drops of kerosene in a punch bowl.
The truth must not only be contradicted but discredited by the propaganda since the propaganda is but a tool, a means to the end of gaining power over others.
And that, control over others in some way, seems to be the universal currency today.
There's a saying to the effect that "Conservatives use facts to form their opinions; liberals use opinions to form their facts."
Thanks for the BANG, neverdem.
This is a great piece by Sowell. The list was pinged to this about a week ago with a different title of News Versus Propaganda, but I appreciate your ping.
Be Ever Vigilant!!