This photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows part of a large cache of weapons seized at a home in the affluent Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Authorities seized more than a thousand guns from the home after getting an anonymous tip regarding illegal firearms sales in a posh area near the Playboy Mansion. Officials say Los Angeles police and the ATF served a search warrant around 4 a.m. Wednesday at the property on the border of the Bel Air and Holmby Hills neighborhoods. (Los Angeles Police Department via AP)
Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a stunt feature trying to shape the gun control debate.
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
As my colleague, Brad Slager, describes it:
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.
Read it slowly and out loud. 1196 victims over 54 years. To me, the takeaway from the article is that we are supposed to get exercised over 22 deaths per year in so-called mass shootings–I should say “mass shootings of white people” to really encapsulate what the Washington Post is talking about because what they studiously avoid are shootings carried out to further some criminal enterprise or endeavor:
To put this in perspective, somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 people are killed each year by lightning strikes which should give you an idea of the odds of you or a loved one being the victim of a mass shooting that would gain the interest of the Washington Post.
That is exactly the same number of people killed by cattle per year. https://t.co/0GBzOpp16k
— Jim Girouard (@JimGirouard132) August 12, 2019
Cattle kill approximately 22 Americans per year nationwide, and the animals deliberately attack their victims in 75 percent of those cases, according to a 2009 study. About one-third of bovine killers have a history of aggressive behavior. Swine likely kill fewer people than cattle do, but there are no reliable data on this question. The CDC’s mortality statistics group together all mammal attacks apart from those perpetrated by rodents, dogs, and humans. The death count in the mammal-attack category averages about 73 per year, including cattle-related mortalities.
I’m not trying to be flippant about these deaths but let’s not lose sight of the fact that the sole reason the Washington Post is pushing this story is because it believes that by focusing on an extraordinarily infrequent event that it can create an emotional appeal that will, in turn, generate legislation to make gun ownership much more onerous. And make no mistake about it, it is the quest to eliminate your ability to own a firearm that is the objective of the Washington Post and its fellow travelers. Absolutely none of the solutions they are proposing would have done anything at all to prevent the shootings in El Paso or Dayton or nearly every other place.
If the Washington Post really cared about mass shootings, it would have weekend box scores from West Baltimore, Southside Chicago, East LA, and the like. The post realizes that if it does this, then mass shootings will become associated with criminal enterprises and their impact and their ability to shape public policy will be limited.
In a nation of 330 million, there is a lot of tragedy every day. Very little of it is actually preventable. Sorry. I’m not interested in finding “common sense” solutions to a non-problem. I’m not going to participate in negotiating away my rights in search of the good opinion of the left because of a manufactured national crisis. I’m not going to fall for the “do something” bullsh**. Unless and until you can show me how your proposals will only affect people who are definitely going to become mass shooters and not scoop of a hundredfold inoffensive people for every one, then we’re done.