Myth #1- Semi-automatic rifles are ‘assault rifles’
Semi-automatic weapons only fire one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. The media would have you believe that semi-automatic weapons are weapons of mass destruction. California has even limited the sale of them. While you can certainly do some damage with a semi-automatic rifle, it’ s not the ‘pull and spray’ imagery the media uses to explain these weapons. These weapons are frequently used as hunting rifles, and are can not always be considered ‘assault weapons’ . Which leads us to #2, click the right arrow…
Myth #2- You can tell an ‘assault rifle’ just by looking at it
Assault weapons by definition are used for battlefield applications. But the media and lawmakers have blurred the lines of this definition to include anything that ‘looks’ like an assault weapon. This includes broad, erroneous assumptions about the weapons including things like “a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.” Up next, we tackle one of the most prevalent myths, click the right arrow below….
Myth #3 – Gun violence increases as gun ownership increases
This is debatable at best. The Washington Post recently pointed to a Duke University study that shows gun violence is high in the South, where gun ownership is high. But this study neglects to report that Utah and Minnesota have high rates of gun ownership and very low gun crime. A study by The Atlantic seems to how the real causation of gun violence: poverty. Which brings us to one of those ‘ viral’ myths that everyone talks about on Facebook…
Myth #4 – Australia’s gun confiscation reduced mass shootings to zero
This is a popular one on Facebook with the gun control crowd. It’ s true in some respect, Australia has had very few mass shootings since it’ s gun buy-back program in the 90’ s. But what everyone neglects to say is that gun deaths were falling drastically BEFORE the gun confiscation. And even Australia’ s own experts say attributing any decrease in violence to gun control is tenuous at best. Plus, Australia has seen a violent underground black market for guns blossom in the aftermath of gun control. Speaking of mass shootings, our next myth…
Myth #5- There were more mass shootings in 2015 than days of the year
This depends on your definition of ‘mass shooting’. Many media outlets, and the FBI in fact, define it as any case where 4 or more people were killed. And there were over 360 of those last year. But the overwhelming majority of those were the result of robbery, drugs, and gang violence. What we most think of as a ‘ mass shooting’ , in which the victims are random, occurs in a public place, and the shooter has some kind of political or social message, there were 4 (FOUR!) in 2015. Which brings us to the most common gun myth…
Myth #6 – Gun control reduces gun violence
Gun control advocates treat this as a forgone conclusion. But the data on whether gun control reduces crime is rarely decisive. Hundreds of studies have been done, and the data can really be parsed to support either side of the debate. There are cases where murder rates spike up after gun bans. In some places crime has been reduced after gun bans, but it’ s not clear if this has more to do with demographic shifts. In any case, when someone says definitively that gun control stops gun crime, they are probably using the only part of the data that suits their argument. But, don’ t most Americans favor gun control? Well….
Myth #7 – The majority of Americans favor gun control
Many media outlets treat the gun debate as if it’ s a forgone conclusion that Americans favor gun control. But Pew research polls show just how divisive this issue is. In a recent poll the data shows that about 50% of people want stricter gun laws. 50% of people support gun rights. But this all comes down to what you think guns are really used for….
Myth #8 – Guns are made to kill
Gun controllers believe that the only purpose of a gun is to kill someone or something. If that were true, guns are doing a pretty terrible job. According to Duke University, less than .02% of the guns in American households were used in a murder. And many of those guns were used in self-defense. The fact is that a gun’s best use is often to prevent crime, not perpetrate it. Which brings us to the contentious meaning of the 2nd Amendment…
Myth #9 – The Second Amendment doesn’t give anyone the right to own the weapons of modern society
It’ s a familiar refrain: our forefather’ s could not have anticipated modern technology and would never have wanted citizens to have assault weapons. ‘ They were talking about muskets!’ goes the argument. But the spirit of the Second Amendment was to ensure the right of the people to defend themselves from government and other oppressors. And they felt it was so important they made it SECOND on a list of rights. How would citizens defend themselves from anything if we applied this logic and guaranteed everyone a right to own 18th century weapons? And how would the First Amendment work in modern times if we only applied it to technology available in the 18th century? Finally, we’ll talk about easily the most ridiculous gun myth…
Myth #10 – Gun free zones stop gun violence
This is an easy one to refute. Even with common sense we know that criminals would prefer to target places where the people are unarmed. There is plenty of research that shows that not only do gun free zones not reduce gun crimes, but the only thing that does is concealed carry laws.
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