The Washington Post Uses Science To Explain Violence Caused By Guns.

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.

march24             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.’

 

 

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There’s More To March 24th Than Just A March.

Now that March 24th is dawning and people from all over the country will be coming to DC to let themselves be seen and heard about the need to reduce gun violence, I thought it would be interesting to see what plans are afoot to for Gun-nut Nation to get out their message to the other side. What got my attention was a snarky comment yesterday from the mouth of fat-head Rush Limbaugh who tried to diminish the impact of the march by claiming that one of the Parkland activists, David Hogg, was behaving just like every other ‘mainstream’ media flack by blaming what happened at Douglas High School on the NRA.

march24            If the best that Gun-nut Nation can come up with is a 30-second blab between advertisements for food supplements and generic Viagra pills by Rushbo, they aren’t going to make much of a dent in the public debate on March 24th. And I also suspect that many of the self-appointed Trump noisemakers will also duck for cover, if only because nothing that Trump says about guns or anything else is necessarily valid before his next fusillade of tweets.

The NRA is talking about conducting some kind of event in DC on March 24th, but so far the only actually planning I have seen is a place on the NRA website where you can reserve a bus seat to go to Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, for a 2nd Amendment rally on Monday, March 26th.  Meanwhile, here it is March 20th and the rally organizers haven’t posted any information about where folks can actually get on a bus that is going to Trenton, and the website warns that trips may be cancelled and “seating cannot be guaranteed.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger, the event on March 24th is actually shaping up to be an international event, with rallies and demos planned in most major American cities as well as at sites in at least 25 foreign countries, including China, Viet Nam and the Philippines. Can you imagine a gun-control demonstration in Manilla or Hong Kong? What is the world coming to? I’ll tell you what it’s coming to; it’s coming to a bunch of scrappy teen-agers who decided they would show everyone else how to use social media to plan and carry out an international event.  Right now the media is droning on and about how Trump or Hillary or Obama used social media to run their political campaigns. Which gives all those intrepid news-gatherers an opportunity to ignore the main event.

I’m not surprised at the degree to which the March 24th worldwide demonstrations have garnered so little coverage from the mainstream media, in particular the alleged, liberal media which always presents itself as being anti-gun.  Remember Occupy Wall Street? And by the way, Fox News and those other alt-right messaging services reacted to the Occupy movement in 2011 exactly the same way they are reacting to March for our Lives on March 24th: a bunch of stupid, misled kids who have nothing better to do.

Yesterday I received a 25-page research paper, complete with graphs, maps, notes and bibliography written by a high school sophomore and submitted to a local science fair.  The title of the paper: “A Violent Connection: Mass Shootings and Domestic Abuse.” I’m going to post this remarkable piece shortly, but in the meantime trust me when I say that this essay represents a significant piece of research and thought. Would this young man have done this work without what happened at Stoneman Douglas High? I don’t know. But what I do know is that high school students throughout the United States and all over the globe are right now talking about gun violence in a way they never talked before.

Don’t let anyone kid you – the marches, protests and events on March 24th are the real deal, and if the young man who wrote the paper on mass shootings is now thinking about something he previously didn’t think or care about, he’s surely not the only one.