The Media Can't Stop
Misleading on Guns

David Harsanyi. July 23, 2020

With the possible exception of religion, there is no issue in American political life that is as poorly covered as guns. At RealClearPolitics, John Lott reports that legacy media outlets often quite literally allow anti-Second Amendment activists to write their news stories on gun policy. Politico hasn't quite done that today, but … well, I'm not sure having reporters dutifully repackaging Everytown USA press releases is any better.

Politico's piece is headlined "Blocked gun sales skyrocket amid coronavirus pandemic." I have been curious to find out how the anti-Second Amendment crowd would spin the recent spike in gun sales — which has been especially concentrated among new owners and women — and I now have my answer:

Internal FBI data reveal a jarring new stat: The number of people trying to buy guns who can't legally own them has skyrocketed. That came as part of a surge in gun purchases in the first three months of 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019. And the change has raised concerns about gun safety.

Reporters who lard up their pieces with adjectives such as "jarring," "massive," "whopping," and "raised concerns" are usually trying to convince readers of something that isn't true. And so it is here. .....

It is difficult to imagine a time anymore when the media in general has anything positive or truthful to say about gun ownership. The norm is usually a combination of skewed statistics, misinformation and supportive bias towards the anti-gun fraternity, in an attempt to stoke the public's fervor towards banning all guns.


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