A stunning new report from researchers at NYU shows “a causal link between print news media coverage of U.S. gun control policy in the wake of mass shooting events and increases in firearm acquisition.”
Headlined “Mathematics Ties Media Coverage of Gun Control to Upticks in Gun Purchases,” the study was reportedly led by NYU researchers in the Tandon School of Engineering “in collaboration with faculty at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Northeastern University.”
Long story short: When the press pounces on a story about so-called “gun violence” and the typical reaction of anti-gunners to propose more gun control, Americans head to the gun stores. It’s essentially the same reaction one sees from gun owners when Democrats start talking about new gun controls. The result is that instead of being discouraged about buying guns, people rush to buy them.
They turn out to be the best gun salespeople in the country, ginning up public concerns about availability of firearms and ammunition. What they never acknowledge is that none of the proposed gun controls, and none of the media hype about “gun violence” has ever prevented a single crime or averted a single tragedy.
An Op-Ed published over the weekend in the Elko Daily Free Press explains the phenomenon.
By no small coincidence, four prominent Capitol Hill gun prohibitionists—all Democrats—have announced legislation to ban suppressors (silencers) in the wake of the shooting at Virginia Beach. Calling it the “Help Empower Americans to Respond (HEAR) Act, this scheme would “buy back” silencers.
Sponsors are perennial anti-gun Senators Dianne Feinstein, Bob Menendez, Richard Blumenthal and Tim Kaine.
In a joint announcement, Blumenthal insisted, “The only people who could reasonably oppose a ban on gun silencers are criminals trying to avoid detection by law enforcement or mass murderers trying to hurt as many people as possible.” There is no evidence to support such a claim, but there is plenty of evidence that legions of law-abiding citizens own the devices and have harmed nobody.
Feinstein used familiar rhetoric, arguing, “Dangerous gun silencers, like the one used in the Virginia Beach shooting earlier this month that killed 12, don’t belong in our communities. This legislation is a commonsense proposal that will save lives.”
It’s the same argument, with the same script, that Feinstein has used to justify attempted bans on so-called “assault weapons” and even tougher controls on handguns.
Two years ago, Congress had the opportunity to reduce regulations on suppressors but the legislation languished. Likewise, after the House passed national concealed carry reciprocity, it gathered dust in the Senate under Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who could have held a vote, but didn’t.
According to the NYU news release, “Increases in firearm purchases following mass shootings are well-observed phenomena, likely driven by concerns that these events could lead to more restrictive gun controls.”
The NYU research reportedly analyzed 69 “mass shootings” in this country between January 1999 and December 2017. They looked at data on background checks conducted each month and news coverage in the Washington Post and New York Times that discussed gun control policies.
There were “pronounced” spikes in background checks in pro-rights states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Ohio and Oregon.