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Opinion & Reviews

Distortions of the Second Amendment: Are guns or killers to blame for our crisis of violence?

After this new tragedy, President Biden, the mainstream media, and Democratic politicians once again blamed guns, not the aggressor

Violencia y Medios
Violencia y Medios | Ilustración para ADN América: Armando Tejuca

March 31, 2023 4:37pm

Updated: March 31, 2023 4:52pm

This week, another massacre occurred in an American school, this time in Nashville, Tennessee.  A trans biological woman entered a Christian school and killed 3 children and 3 adults, by the time you read this article you will already know the news, so we will not repeat the details.

After this new tragedy, President Biden, the mainstream media, and Democratic politicians once again blamed guns, not the aggressor, for this new attack on life and civilization.

But let us move from the story to the facts and for the moment, leave aside the debate on the appropriateness or not of an armed society.

According to the leftist and anti-Second Amendment magazine, Mother Jones, between the 1980s and 2011, a mass shooting occurred every 200 days, that is, less than 2 per year. That number, they say, however, has tripled in the last decade… And why is that?

Is there any real correlation between the shootings and actual firearm laws?  No. What has really happened since the 1980s, is cable news and the emergence of networks such as CNN and Fox News, two media outlets that would marginalize the otherwise dominant media: ABC, NBC, and CBS, who began to face extinction until they engaged in the same polarization of society as their sister networks in the cable news world.

According to a May 2020 study Polarization in America: Two possible futures by Gordon Heltzel and Kristin Laurin, ”Polarization recently reached an all-time high in the United States.

The study suggests Republicans have moved further to the conservative right, and Democrats have moved further to the far left, embracing socialist postulates that until a few decades ago. were unacceptable to Americans. As a result, the study suggests that 80% of Americans now feel unfavorable toward their partisan or ideological enemies.

This polarization has also extended to other areas that go beyond a purely ideological aspect, igniting a new culture war, and spurring Americans to argue and confront each other over racial, religious, economic, and even gender and sex issues. The sad result of all this is an even greater growth of polarization and radicalization of society into two irreconcilable camps.

To evidence this, just consider the findings of the University of Pennsylvania Professor Diana C. Mutz, who teaches political science and communications. In her analysis, "How the Mass Media Divide Us," Mutz pointed to a study in which participants were shown four news headlines, one under the logo of each news organization-Fox News, National Public Radio (NPR), CNN, and the BBC-and in it, "Republicans overwhelmingly preferred Fox News stories, while Democrats were split between NPR and CNN." Further, "Democrats consistently avoided Fox News, while independents showed no particular pattern of preferences."

What does all this tell us? While gun regulation laws have not changed abruptly in the country in recent decades, what has changed is American society, divided in large part by the emergence of new media and increasingly radicalized politicians.

In 2015, economist Mark Perry shared a graph showing how gun violence fell as gun ownership grew in the U.S.: "According to statistics retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, in 1993 there were 7 gun-related homicides per 100,000 Americans (see the light blue line in the graph). In 2013... the firearm homicide rate had dropped by nearly 50%, to just 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.

Relación de armas de fuego por persona vs. tasa de homicidios con armas de fuego
Relación de armas de fuego por persona vs. tasa de homicidios con armas de fuego | CDC


Certainly, we cannot claim that in the last decade gun ownership has tripled, as the number of mass shootings has, but what has steadily increased in the last decade is the polarization of society and the hate-victimization narratives in the mainstream media, creating even more division in American society.

Understandably, for many people, especially those who were not born and/or raised in the United States, it is hard for them to understand the importance of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Beyond an ideological issue, it is an issue that transcends the founding principles of this nation, that armed people will not fall victim to tyranny.

However, let's do the exercise of placing ourselves in a prohibition scenario, again with data; in the United States, there are 390 million guns in civilian hands and just over 330 million inhabitants. What government agency would have the capability to efficiently, forcibly confiscate those guns from the hands of civilians? Even more, pressing is the question of how that agency could actually confiscate those guns harbored by criminals who will make efforts to evade the law. When the government enacted the prohibition of alcohol in 1919 with the 18th Amendment, it was largely unenforceable, bolstered organized crime, and was subsequently repealed with the 21st Amendment in 1933.

To evidence the failures of gun control,  cities like New York, Chicago, and the District of Columbia which have the strictest gun control laws in the nation also have the highest violent crime rates in the country. In fact, Chicago was the city with the highest number of homicides in the United States. In 2022, 3,258 people were shot and 637 died according to data from the Chicago Police Department.

No criminal, more or less one who is bold enough to commit murder, is going to be deterred by legislation stating that "guns are banned." The mere thought of this is delusional. Only those people who do not want to be outside the law, honest citizens who seek to have guns to defend themselves will effectively be prevented from accessing guns in the event such firearm bans are put in place.

To be sure, I have never owned or fired a gun in my life, and I am deeply concerned about the problem of gun violence. But before succumbing to fear and emotion, we must read the statistics, analyze the situation coldly, and look at the real causes of the problem. A wrong diagnosis will always result in the wrong outcome.

If the mental health and polarization crisis approach is treated simply as a "gun crisis," firearms may be banned, but we will soon see suicidal individuals walking into schools with homemade bombs and other more creative weapons. Guns do not fire on their own, and those who are unbalanced and heartless enough to take the life of an innocent child are not going to be stopped by a "Gun Free Zone" sign.