The good news is that many people, perhaps millions of people who otherwise never think about gun violence will be thinking about gun violence today. And for all the talk about this gun-control law and that gun-control law, gun violence will end when our culture stops accepting the idea that the best way to deal with violence is to use violence; i.e., the violence caused by guns.
The bad news about today is that every liberal (i.e., gun-control) media outlet will feel it necessary to have some staff writer put out a nice, feel-good story about guns, by which I mean saying something either stupid or obvious about gun violence because if The New York Times says something, The Washington Post better say something too.
In that regard today’s WaPo has an op-ed by a kid named Robert Gebelhoff, who as far as I can tell, has never previously published anything about guns. And not only doesn’t he know anything about guns, but if you take the trouble to read the actual content of his piece entitled, “Opponents of gun control say nothing can be done. Science says they’re wrong,” you’ll discover he doesn’t know anything about science either, or at least he certainly doesn’t know what the word ‘science’ actually means.
I may be a little old-fashioned, or maybe just old, but to me the word ‘science’ means or at least implies that we base what we know on facts. Not just one or two facts scattered here or there, but on facts which come out of evidence-based research, not just out of hot air. And sadly, as I read through Gebelhoff’s piece, I can’t seem to find where the facts begin and the hot air actually ends.
According to Gebelhoff, the first thing we need to do is “Ban weapons of war.” And his science behind this statement? “Based on the evidence we have, banning these weapons probably won’t do too much to curb overall gun deaths.” Some science.
The next thing we need to do is: “Keep guns away from kids.” And the way we do this is to make sure the guns are always locked up, because according to another bit of science quoted by Gebelhoff, “68 percent of school shootings are perpetrated by shooters who obtain a gun from their homes or the homes of relatives.” Except the study he quotes says absolutely nothing about whether the guns used by those school shooters were locked up or not.
Next? “Stop the flow of guns.” And the ‘science’ behind this idea comes from the ‘gun buyback’ in Australia, according to Gebelhoff, except that what happened in Australia wasn’t a buyback at all. It was a decision by the government to prohibit the ownership of certain types of legally-owned guns, which meant that owners of these products had to be compensated at fair-market value when they surrendered their no-longer-legal product; in other words, it wasn’t a buyback, it was a confiscation, that’s all.
Of course, when Hillary talked about Australia during the 2016 campaign, her so-called experts told her she would be accused of supporting a plan that would undercut the sanctified 2nd Amendment, so what happened in Australia was turned into a ‘buyback,’ as if she knew what she was talking about either way. I’d like to thank Rob Gebelhoff for turning Hillary’s fiction into fact, of course using science to pave the way.
My concern about giving totally uninformed contributors like Gebelhoff space in the gun-control debate is that what they say will end up not just influencing the content of the debate, but will be used by the ‘other side’ to prove once again that people honestly concerned about gun violence are wolves in sheep’s clothing who just can’t wait to take all the guns away. And when a media venue as influential as The Washington Post allows someone as ignorant as Rob Gebelhoff to use terms like ‘science’ to shape the ideas of uninformed but otherwise-honest readers, the alt-right isn’t wrong when it refers to such shabby journalism as ‘fake news.’