In a stunt meant to provoke the gun debate the paper disqualifies the central argument against guns.
It is graphic, it is emotionally stirring, and it serves as a flash-card debate point. The question that should be asked about the Washington Post’s entry in the country’s gun debate should be – Is this news?! In a special 12-page section the paper decided to list the names of all the people who have had their lives cut down in mass shooting since 1966.
54 years, 165 mass shootings, 1,196 victims
So goes the headline above the small-type list of all of those names.
Eleven hundred ninety-six.
That’s the number of names on this page. People who were doing ordinary things until they were shot to death by killers bent on mass fatalities.
In today’s Washington Post, a special 12-page print section lists every mass shooting victim since 1966. pic.twitter.com/kgXDJq8bMY
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 11, 2019
In a fashion it does its job. It is a jarring visual, one that makes you pause. It is also doing another job; serving as agitprop. To go along with this tabulation it mentions how one third of these names occurred since the Sandy Hook school shooting, declaring a massive rise in these events. What it does not do is show how gun deaths have been on the decline for decades, just as the supposed violence-inducing weapons have been rising in popularity and in numbers.
This attempt at emotional motivation however belies one of the central arguments of the gun-nabbing movement. We constantly hear from those wanting to truncate – or even eliminate – Second Amendment rights that they are doing so in the name of safety. “We just want to save lives!” This is the common call from those targeting our rights to a self-defense weapon. But saving lives in other categories, especially those with greater mortality rates at the hands of other citizens, is not so much a concern.
In an argument that gun control advocates bristle at hearing, those murdered annually with guns is nearly on par with those killed in drunk driving accidents. The weapons-wranglers hate this figure and try dismissing it on mention. Cars are not designed to kill, like guns, goes their knee-jerk argument. And yet, to harken back to their underlying argument, these cars still manage to take lives, which was their clarion call for the removal of our weapons.
Understand, I am not playing the accounting game gun control activists use. I am not counting all vehicular deaths; I only point to those via drunk-driving. Why? Because in a reality that the anti-2A crowd does not want to hear, in both cases — murders with a gun and those via drunk-driving — you are dealing with people who use a legal object in an illegal fashion leading to death.
They say there is a difference because guns are “designed with one purpose – to kill”, which is a dramatic reinterpretation of reality. But even if that is the case (though it is not) there is a stark reality in the data. These instruments of death greatly outnumber the amount of vehicles in this country. There are estimated to be well over 3330 million guns in America. The amount of registered vehicles numbers below 300 million, and yet through illegal usage they manage to take just as many lives annually.
So on a per-object basis vehicles used illegally take farr greater lives, and yet where is the call to ban those? Another factor is the amount of crimes that are stopped and prevented with the use of a gun, and now the safety argument invoked in order to ban weapons is unravelling feverishly.
The reality is that a solution in the eyes of the reactionaries is to curtail an illegal activity by removing Constitutional rights from citizens who did not break any laws. This logic-impaired “solution” is curiously never forwarded in regards to our vehicles. It would be ridiculous for someone to come to your home and state you can no longer drive your car because someone else took a life by driving drunk. That same ridiculous act is being forwarded by the press and the politicians today however in reference to our rights.
While over 1,100 deaths over fifty-plus years is a tragedy so is 10,000, the annual number of drunk-driving fatalities. The Washington Post is not listing a far greater list of lives taken each year through the law-breaking act. But those people who ignore this statistic do so because they do not want to surrender their right to drive a vehicle. They want us to surrender our rights however, all in the name of saving fewer lives.