Essentially, Salon is accusing Wayne LaPierre of being responsible for thousands of deaths in the U.S. since 1991. It is important to realize just how grossly inaccurate and dangerous this kind of rhetoric is, because it can lead to huge complications down the road.
Although 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer pulled the trigger on the gun that killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Thursday, Wayne LaPierre, the fanatic executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, also has blood on his hands.
LaPierre, who has worked for the NRA since 1978 and served as its top official since 1991, is the organization’s hit man when it comes to intimidating elected officials to oppose any kind of sensible gun control laws, including a federal law requiring background checks on would-be gun buyers and a national registry of guns. LaPierre likes to fulminate about gun owners’ rights. But he’s been silent on the Oregon killings, just as he’s been silent after the murders of other innocent victims of America’s epidemic of gun violence.
For decades, the NRA has fought every effort to get Congress and states to adopt reasonable laws that would make it much less likely for people like Harper-Mercer to obtain a gun. The NRA even defends the right of Americans to carry concealed weapons in bars, churches, schools, universities and elsewhere. This poses a huge threat to police and civilians alike.
Salon is actually arguing that LaPierre and the NRA are directly responsible for the deaths of all those who have died in mass shootings not only this year, but since the NRA came into power. There is a ton of harsh rhetoric used throughout the article (calling LaPierre a hitman, among others) that, were we on the Right to use it, would be met with accusations of inciting violence against political opponents.
If you were looking for history’s greatest monster, at least where gun control is concerned, Salon, perhaps check out Wilhelm Frick.
However, there is information Salon provides that even a cursory look at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for weapons-related deaths in 2013 would tell us is blatantly false. For example, the idea that the places with the toughest gun laws are the the ones that see the least gun violence? California is considered to have the toughest gun laws on the books, and yet in 2013, they had 1,169 firearm-related deaths. In second place was Texas, which practices more leniency when it comes to gun laws, with 765. Taking into consideration population difference, that is roughly the same rate of murder by firearm. The best case scenario there is that gun laws have no impact on shooting deaths.
The second is the idea that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is little more than a rhetorical cliche. Let’s think about it for a second. If that were the case, then one of two things should happen: Guns are really sentient beings that murder people out of some evil, Satanic rage OR people would not use knives or any other object to harm or kill others. The first is unlikely until SkyNet goes live and takes over gun factories. The second just doesn’t hold up given the exact same data from the FBI. California led the nation in knife and other related weapons deaths in 2013, and New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania (all of which have some of the strongest anti-gun laws in the country) take third, fourth, and fifth place.
In fact, it appears the only category from that table that California doesn’t take first in is in the “Hands, Fists, Feet, etc.” category. That goes to Texas.
There is no logical argument for the Left to take on the gun control issue, and so places like Salon have to go with the emotional arguments of “no more gun death” and “Wayne LaPierre is an accomplice to mass murder” in order to try and advance an agenda. The data (when it comes from an objective source) does not back them up.