How The Media Lies About Guns

By Tom Knighton. August 03, 2020

The fact that the media is biased against guns isn't really a surprising fact. Anyone who watches the news in the aftermath of a mass shooting should be able to see it for themselves. Anti-gun voices are interviewed frequently and without any pushback. Pro-gun voices are interviewed either with an anti-gunner or the host themself pushes back. There's very little effort to appear unbiased.

Yet there are far more ways in which the media lies about guns. In particular, they push a number of myths about guns that people take at face value.

Over at Real Clear Politics, John Lott takes aim at several of these.

Myth 1: Los Angeles Times: "Why the U.S. is No. 1 — in mass shootings"

This claim is based on one study by Adam Lankford at the University of Alabama. Lankford asserted that the U.S. accounted for 31% of mass public shooters from 1966 to 2012, despite having less than 5% of the world population. But for over four years, he refused requests from both academics and media outlets, including Real Clear Politics, Fox News, and the Washington Post, to release his data. When he finally released his list of cases after I had published an academic paper going through the data, it was clear why he had waited so long. He had over-counted cases in the U.S. and missed thousands of others in the rest of the world. .....

While dangerous media bias has been discussed often, it is worth noting the importance of educating 'fence-sitters' about the many innacuracies that are regularly disseminated. Too many people do not bother to fact check at all and just accept what they hear or read, and so maintain their anti-gun bigotry instead of being usefully enlightened.


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