Notes on the impending gun control summer re-runs..
- There is literally no significance to the fact that there were two mass shootings within 48 hours of each other last week. None. It is pure moral luck, nothing more. If the shootings had occurred weeks apart, or months, the same factors would have been at play, and the same number of people would be dead or injured.
A responsible news media would explain this, as the public looks at these things emotionally rather than rationally. Instead, the news media is doing the opposite.
- President Trump has decided that it is politically expedient to “do something,” so he tweeted this morning that he favored “strong background checks” in order that “those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, [not] die in vain.” This will annoy Second Amendment champions, and it is certainly a nice example of the “Barn Door Fallacy.” Background checks, however strong, wouldn’t have stopped these shootings in all likelihood, or the vast majority of mass shootings.
It is also possible that the President is being smarter than it seems, since he mentioned some kind of more gun regulations for actual immigration reform compromise. Of course that kind of trade-off makes sense. I suggested that exact deal when Obama was President, but he preferred to whine about how he couldn’t work with Congress rather than compromise. Trump will compromise, in part because he’s a pragmatist, in part because he has no ideals.
The Democrats won’t, though.
- What we will read and hear over the next week and beyond will be a literal replay of the Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck and the Parkland shooting. Oh, there may be some new wrinkles and some emerging anti-gun stars, and each new post-shooting freak-out is a bit more shrill and hysterical than the one before, but we know CNN will hold another biased town hall, we know the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students will again be hot cable guests, we know that the shootings will be used as one more excuse to blame Donald Trump for all that’s wrong with America and the human race, we know that we will be bombarded with fake or distorted statistics, and we know that the news media will stoke the hysteria rather than doing its job. Predicting all of these is about as hard as predicting that there will be colored lights at Christmas time.
And, of course, the left-wing media will lie. Here’s an example from yesterday, from progressive site Raw Story. Headline: “Rick Santorum suggests unarmed Walmart shoppers were at fault in mass shooting.”
This was posted by a Facebook friend, and I even bought it, since I know that there is almost nothing so stupid that Rick Santorum might not say it in public. Boy, am I gullible. There is nothing in Santorum’s comments that blame the Walmart victims or imply that they are at fault. After opining that allowing and encouraging law abiding citizens to carry their own guns is the best way to stop mass shootings, the ex-Congressman said, “[Mass shooters] go to soft targets…The whole point is that when you restrict guns to law-abiding people, you make more soft targets.” Calling that statement what the Raw Story headline suggests is an outright lie.
Typical. If the anti-gun advocates had a strong case to make, they could make it without emotionalism, distortion and lies. (I’m still looking for fair, honest, left-leaning news and commentary site.)
- The New York Times, that paragon of journalism professionalism, led this morning with an across the front page headline in bold stating, “One Shooting Massacre Follows Another, Shaking A Bewildered Nation To Its Core.” I guess the principle that news headlines are supposed to be purely fact is now dead, just like the principle that journalists shouldn’t manipulate the news to control public opinion. Who says the nation is “bewildered” or “shaken to its core”? What would the evidence for either be? I’m not bewildered. Shootings are going to occur, and in random distributions. I don’t see a nation “shaken to its core.” Life went on, the Red Sox played the Yankees Sunday night; nobody was calling for work to be cancelled today. It wasn’t Pearl Harbor, 9-11 or Kennedy’s assassination. Princess Diana’s death caused a bigger uproar.
The Times is hyping, for its own purposes. Unethical.
- Integrity test: All indications are that the El Paso shooter, in custody, is a crazed white supremacist. The Dayton shooter, in contrast, is a Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren fan, and also crazy. Let’s see which the media chooses to focus on.