Elliot Rodger kills 7 people and terrorizes a neighborhood by indiscriminately shooting as he drives through a neighborhood. At least 80 people were killed by gun violence the week prior to his rampage. The Elliot Rodger massacre made for sensational news and was covered nationally. After all, these were affluent college students. The 80 people killed throughout the nation did not meet that criterion. Shouldn’t killings equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every two weeks be covered nationally?
While it is true that the vast plurality of Americans support many forms of gun control, politicians don’t oblige. They don’t because Americans are not "all in." Americans are not all in because the media allows the NRA, Republican talking points, and the right wing to cloud the realities.
Please read below the fold for more on this story.
How many know the following facts?
- American gun owners have the Feds and cops outgunned by 79 to 1.
- There is a one to one percentage increase in gun violence as gun ownership increases.
- People with guns do not make a society more polite. Instead it emboldens gun owners to be more aggressive.
- No mass shootings have ever been stopped by folks carrying guns in the last 30 years. However, there is a one in five chance that an ER shooting occurs from a gun taken from a guard.
- A gun in the home increases the likelihood of homicide, suicide, or accidental death or injury with a gun. For every act of self-defense there are 22+ of the others.
- Carrying a gun does not make you safer.
- There is no correlation between America’s gun violence and violent video games.
- Percentage of gun owners in America are actually shrinking even as more guns are being sold.
These facts are rarely used as counter arguments when the NRA, right-wing, and Republican politicians are regurgitating their misinformation. The traditional media simply allows itself to be a platform for free disbursement of the misinformation of these groups. As such, traditional media are co-conspirators in the failure of our society to force politicians to put into effect meaningful gun control.
Gun control works. In countries where there are strict gun control laws, gun violence is substantially lower than in America. Australia proves that gun control can make a very big difference. Yet the traditional media seems devoid of the ability to report on fact-based information in any coherent manner.
Over the last few years it has been comedians and satirists that have been delivering this news. That is the state of our traditional media. The three-part series below by John Oliver on The Daily Show is a case in point.
Imagine how different it would be if all news networks covered this story. A country similar to America adopted gun control. Some of its politicians sacrificed themselves for the better good of society by passing substantive gun control laws. After several years the evidence is in. Gun control works. Imagine if we really had a traditional media the nation could actually count on. Our gun control impotency is another failure of the traditional media.