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10/25/2002

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Anonymous Coward

I hate getting into ideological flame-wars over the internet, but here goes...

1. I don't care particularly for Michael Moore because, in addition to having the emotional maturity of a cabbage, he consistently and intentionally distorts facts to promote his agenda. Articles to this effect have been previously posted; I suggest lurkingowl's write-up of BfC on www.everything2.com (search "Bowling for Columbine" and scroll down a ways) as an addition. A short excerpt:

...taking into account population and actual handgun ownership, Canada has almost the same rate of gun homicide per handgun. (~7.5 times as many deaths, 7 times as many handguns, both per capita)...

The irony of the situation, of course, is that Moore claims the media sensationalize violence, instilling fear in viewers/readers. In reality, he is the sensationalist, giving Jayson Blair a run for his money.

2. Aguments to the effect that America has a fundamentally violent culture are frankly ridiculous. In the US I can buy a high-caliber handgun in less than fifteen minutes at any local gunshop; in Europe guns are virtually banned. It stands to reason that crime will be less there, although this hasn't stopped the UK from having the highest levels of street crime in the world. Moreover, contrary to what Michael Moore would have you believe, angsty fourteen-year-olds commit a negligible number of murders in the US; most are committed by disadvantaged urban criminals or highly-armed drug-lords fighting over turf. Suffice it to say, Europe also does not have or even comprehend the difficulties of a racially heterogeneous society in which a racial minority has virtually no vehicle out of poverty except sports, music, or crime. Not that this stops the French from blowing up a few synagogues every year, though.

3. In regards to comments of the form "America is teh sux," I heartily implore their creators to, for their own sakes, grow up. If you resent the US's political clout, at least have the maturity to say so; if you think Chirac and Schroder were making a moral stand and not a petty, geopolitical one, you're as deluded as FOX News. Ironically, most cries of 'American cultural and economic hegemony' come from countries where demand for US products is huge; if you don't like Starbucks or McDonalds, the solution to the problem is yours. And if you really think the US is some sort of Orwellian police-state, I shudder to think of what you say about the UK, which is seriously considering national ID cards as we speak.

America has problems. There's no doubt about that. But then again, so does your country, and the fact of the matter is that they aren't the US's fault. But hey, if you just want to complain about how bad America is on internet message boards because it makes you feel good and relieves you of any responsibility for your own problems, I'm not going to rain on your parade.

4. In regard to the gun-control issue, I think it is evident that if you do not have a gun you do not have any rights at all; an unarmed populace is defenseless against tyranny. As explicitly stated in the federalist papers, the point of the second ammendment to the contsitution is to allow for a violent revolt against the government, and to that end I think folks ought to be able to buy whatever hellish sort of weapons they want, fighter jets included. Of course, I don't own a gun or feel any need to; the point is that I or anyone else (fools and automatic weapons do not make good bedfellows, but, as with free speech, it's not the place of the government to decide who is and isn't a fool) should be able to assemble whatever sort of arsenal we like, and bump off Senators if it comes to that.

5. More generally speaking, I reject the wholly liberal idea the Government is Society, and that it is anything like the purpose of government to be concerned with things like poverty. The welfare state, and the more socialist arrangements found in Europe, are abhorrent to the American way of thinking, or were until we too succumbed to an effeminate desire for hand-holding.

DaFish

Re:FINALmasa

well i haven't lived in america before but i have in canada, and to get booze/beer u gotta get it from a beer store up there. i just assumed it was the same apparently not. either way i am still shocked, even at canada that u could get bullets from K-mart or whatever that supremarket was called... it might not be alarming to you, since you live in america. but me on the other hand has spent pretty much 80% of my life in hong kong, the other 20% is in canada but only the last 2 years did i really live in canada as an adult (for study) so as a kid i did not realize that.

n e wayz i can't see why people are denying that guns are a problem in America. with a knife, there is some actual usage to it, but with a gun, the only purpose for it is to kill. and if everyone owns a gun in a country, doesn't that mean everyone has this ability to kill, whether or not that individual is sick enough to do such a thing?

FantasticElastic

DaFish:
Knives are designed to cut, guns are designed to expel a projectile. Both can be used as a weapon, but primarily they are used for other purposes.

Everyone has the ability to kill, whether or not they own a gun. To own a firearm or ammunition in the U.S., it is required that an individual not meet any of these criteria:

(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) is a fugitive from justice;
(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
(5) who, being an alien -
(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));
(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that -
(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and
(B)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.In addition to federal law there are state and local laws which can be more restrictive.

FINALmasa

If everyone has weapons, those who use them defensively and otherwise conservatively will band together and prevail. How else would so many people be alive today? People didn't always have a government, and even a government is just a group of people.

Kory

Being a Aussie we don't have problems in the way of gun homicides as previously stated. But I can clearly see that you Americans will never solve this.

The Pro-Gun Defenders flame away at people for posting "facts" that you claim are unreliable but to do this, you pull your own "facts" from other pro-gun sites, hence they will be biased. This is the simple truth of the internet. Very little information can be proven as truth as it is all written by someone who has their own ideas and beliefs.

Now I'm not going to say what is wrong or right, but what is the purpose of arguing your point to millions of others? Isn't that just trying to influence peoples right to believe what they want, making you the same as Moore and what some of you have dubbed as his own "Propaganda"?

I may not be able to construct my views as well as others on here, but as a 17 year old student that does not matter. I am entitled "freedom of speech" just like everybody else.

Anonymous Coward

Kory:

You raise some interesting points, particularly about the futility of arguing with ideologues. But I don't think that anyone here is an ideologue, or otherwise incapable of changing his viewpoint, so I think our debate is constructive. A couple of points:

1. You seem to believe that there is no such thing as a fact; I beg to differ. A certain number of US citizens were killed by handguns last year, the US constitution says certain things and not other things, and the world outside my window is either rainy or not rainy, etc, etc. Now, it often happens that people in arguments make false statements that sound true, or true statements that, without other true statements, are misleading and false, but as it happens such methods are unlikely to fool the intelligent.

2. It is certainly arrogant and annoying to ram one's ideas down someone else's throat; i.e. to tell them what to believe as though they were too stupid to form their own opinions. That is what people like Michael Moore do, and it is didactism in its purest form. Argument of that sort, in addition to being immature, accomplishes nothing. But, luckily, I don't really see that happening here. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm just stating my opinions for the benefit of anyone who might care. If people don't want to agree with me, that's fine. I think most people here have a similar approach, or should.

Anonymous Coward

By the way, good posting all around, especially Fantastic Elastic and DaFish.

Kory

I agree with you Anonymous Coward, there are facts that can be truthful, hence why I said "Very little information can be".

But you if think about the way the internet works, just about anybody can creaate a statistic and convince people that it is right. The media works in the same way and this has been proven previously in this debate here, they use stats and viewpoints that support their views, no one elses. So who's to say that someone can't just add a few hundred more deaths to make people fearful, or take them away to make people feel safe?

Its just another way to control the masses...

Anonymous Coward

Kory:

Yes, it's all a giant media conspiracy, because the media have so much to gain by controlling people. Otherwise the masses, who are stupid in our little elitist world, might wake up and start questioning the Matrix or find out about the X-Files, or worse.

*is skeptical*

I've worked for newspapers, and if I have to keep hearing this kind of tripe over and over again I think I'll blow my top. The media have nothing to gain and everything -and I do mean everything- to lose by distorting facts to suit their views. Case in point: the New York Times. With the exception of obviously political papers like The Village Voice, most papers in the US have no stated political agenda (other than, 'make money'), and in fact can't survive economically if they alienate readers with opposing views. If a paper lies about a statistic, or shows a statistic in a misleading way, it will either print a retraction or get called out on it and lose its credibility. The masses aren't stupid, and they aren't easily swayed. Hell, the masses are us, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an elitist prick.

Now, I happen to not like most TV news in the US, but it's not because they make up facts. They don't. What they do, and what causes ideologues of various persuasions to accuse them of bias, is select stories on the basis of the giant, overarching, golden rule of journalism: "IF IT SELLS ADVERTISEMENTS, IT'S NEWSWORTHY." This is the sole and omnipresent motivator of journalism, particularly TV or radio journalism. Thus, what you do and don't see on FOX News (for example, terrorism alerts and teacher of the year acceptance speeches, respectively) has little or nothing to do with the politics of the network (and certainly nothing to do with the network's supposed desire to manipulate or brainwash people or do whatever folks like Michael Moore think the "evil" medi people are trying to do) and everything to do with what people want to see. Stories about terrorism, murder, and kids falling down wells sell copy. That's it.

So, in conclusion:

1. Makebelieve statistics work fine on internet message boards; real newspapers can't afford to make shit up to drive home a point. No editor in the world is going to risk his credibility because some uber-liberal reporter wants to add a couple hundred deaths to a statistic so the Dems win an election. Editors honestly don't give enough of a fuck.

2. News outlets sure do control what stories you do and don't see; whether or not you see as many stories about nice fluffy things as you do rapes and muggings. But it's not like they give a crap or have any interest in scaring you; it's just that they've found out over the years that their Nielsen ratings go up when there's a car chase on or some Modesto housewife shows up in the harbor. If you don't like the news, do the free-market thing and don't watch it.

Doc

Some interesting points were made in support of both sides of the argument as well as the usual passionately held (and mostly nonsensical) "logic" used by the majority of the anti-gun enthusiasts. Some bottom-line points to consider: Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all in favor of gun control. Hitler instituted the policy of national gun registration in the late 1930's much the same as our traitorous ex-president Clinton did years later in this country. The gun-haters may not like it but the possesion of a firearm is the differance between a citizen and a subject. It's also true that the Second Amendment guarentees the rest. Everybody whines about their freedoms but very few are willing to accept the resposibilities that go hand-in-hand with them. An inanimate piece of metal has been demonized by the liberals and elitists because it's easier than sending violent criminals to jail and keeping them there. God knows our jails are running out of room now because anybody unlucky enough to be caught with a couple ounces of pot is already there. Who have they harmed? But I digress. If I gratuitously shot someone and at the trial claimed "I didn't kill him. The gun did" How far do you think I'd get even with a Clinton-appointee judge? Odds are I'd do time; and be back on the street in three to five years on good behaviour. To do it again. If our lawmakers would keep violent criminals where they belong there would be lots less gun violence. Don't leave innocent lives defensless.

gonzofighter

I hope someone reads this. Everyone who thinks that criminals must aquire guns through legal means is gravely mistaken. Here in Dallas Texas there is a HUGE black market for guns. Hell, I know of a few street corners where I can ask a guy for one and get a handgun in less than 30 min. probably for less than $50. These people have Domino's beat. I have a feeling that banning guns wont stop this.

Liz

Hi gonzo, I am the author of this review and I read what you wrote. I hear what you are saying and I agree, but there are plenty of people purchasing handguns that are being misused. Its all very frightening to me.

Thanks for posting!

BlackFlag

www.revoketheoscar.com will tell you everything you need to know about bowling for columbine.

Norway

Just something curious. In Norway we have the highest lot of heavy weapons in the world pr. capita, handguns at a low 3rd place. (My family alone has about 30 weapons of different sizes.) Yet, we dont have a lot of killing. In fact, if somebody is shot, it will be all over the news; death or wounds by guns is 1 person each quarter maximum. Being the "last communist state", Norway is the country with the highest standard of living in the world, and alone along with Switzerland, Norway is actually MAKING money each year, in stark contrast to the entire planet. Socialistic to the core, with care for its citizens; does it mean that capitalism doesnt work? No, because capitalism is not installed in the world...

Disk95

I lived awhile in America. I love the people and I loved the states I was: Oregon/Washington.

What we Europeans etend to miss is that there is a HUGE difference between states... Some are almost as pamperish as Sweden, some are tit-for-tat frontier mentalities.

Michael Moore's movie, tough touching on a big issue, was not a documentary, but a cobbled up patchwork of truths, semitruths and pure misleading material.

A memory comes to mind tough:

-The only country in the world I have been threatened with a gun (or even heard gunshots) is America. Contrary to the polls (wich I do believe) it was a Caucasian who tried to rob the pumpstation. The pumpstation owner handed over his cash (thank god) Afterwards he said: if I pull a gun a few things might happen:
1. He is faster I die
2. I am faster, he dies and I live forever with the memory
3. We miss or the bullet richochets and we hit a bystander
4. We miss alltogether and he runs away *shrug*
5. He drops his gun and I capture him.
4/5 Aren't nearly worth the 1/2/3... I rather give him this 250$. Suffice to say we customers were very happy (and shaken). Two days later I read in the local paper that a brave shopowner managed to get shot after wounding a lady (not seriously). The perpetrator got shot by a cop. Afterwards it came out the crook didn't have ammo (gods how ironic, and yes I can imagine the cops shot him... I wasn't there after all)


YES: this is just one example, and it doesn't proof anything... but the 1-5 reasoning of the shopkeeper seems very lucid to me. I am pretty sure that a normal robber won't shoot people, he just wants the cash (a difference between a murderer and a robber). Also; the chances of running into a homicidal maniac with a pitchfork (or whatever) are very small. I assume people don't carry helmets all the time as they might stumble and crack their head (and I am 100% sure that chance is a LOT bigger:)

I like Americans (a lot) and I do not hold them for the ignorant oafs we arrogant Europeans tend to. But denying there is something wrong is short-sighted. As most people die because of the guns it is very logical to look critically at them. It's not left-wing or non-patriotic.... anyone who argues on that train of thought needs to take a deep breath and come with a better answer/argument. It's not a fight, it is something everyone (gun owners and non-gun owners) should want to be solved.

The fencing with crimerates is all nice and all that, but there is no denying that there are more gun (and crime!) related deaths in the US than in Europe. This is one of the aspects the Europeans seem to handle better/differently.

Oh to round it up I feel compelled to say something about freedom (bah)- Europe and America both have comparable freedom of speech and reasonably fair laws. Fingerpointing on this subject is pretty dumb. The differences in "freedom" are negligible.

Heh, that all contributes to a completely superfluous post *bows*

Laura Post age 18

Pete and Tony this is just my opinion but... I found your comments interesting but if you really want to get you points accross, keep them short and sweet. Make you arguments clear concise, and start you comment with this is just my opinion. No one member of anything can speak for a whole organization, country, or race. The reason why we have free speech is to speak intelligently, and then let others freely decide what personal opinions that want to embrace. So to make my point shot and sweet. Stop fighting. There's already enough in this world. Neither of you can agree on this subject nor will you any time soon. Stop wasting your time and energy trying to make the other take on your views. It just won't happen. And boys, remember no one person in the world can be right. Everyone has their own little reality complete with differnet morals, beliefs... Try listening, you might find that you'll learn something from one another at the very least. And if you find that you don't like someone's opinion, please do go ahead and say you don't agree, but don't resort to name calling. Stick to the facts of you argument. That's all that's needed. The tow best golden rules of life, do on to others as you would have them do unto you and of course, "If you don't have anything intelligent to say, try listening." If you boys don't understand me try reading, Unbeatable, by Jack Schropp. It'll show you boys a thing or two.

Butch de Killah

I enjoy being an upstanding citizen that has the right to choose from anything, in nearly every situation. I am an American. I police myself, I educate myself, and I am intent on creating and maintaining my own sense of right and wrong, based on law. I hold importance in maintaning the right to do the same for any other citizen of my nation.

Banning previously viable and legal things/ objects/ideas/actions, is an insult to my very intelligence, and being. Particularly when only
one portion of the population is championing change. It is the removal of the freedom of choice for those opposed to said change.

There are some who have goals that can only be viewed as socialist, at best. Whittling away until
virtually nothing more than my sex and my name may distinguish me from any other, as there are no other choices left.

Equalizing the economy to reward those who are non-productive; bridging the class gap...

Removing the ability to resist against those who vie to remove the freedom of choice...

Freedom FROM religion (mainly Judeo-Christian), unless yours is getting a bad rap (IE Islam)...

arron

The movie was inacurate and misleading, showing a video of Mortal Kombat and eluding to the false fact the most violent games come from Japan.

Therefore the whole show is bullshit.

Matt

Meh, while I agree with most of the points he made, he SEVERELY edited the interview with Heston, though it probably is true that he's simply a gun-nut.

I can also agree that some laws in this country conscerning firearms are indeed too loose. I mean, there are lisences for cars right? However, from the primary gun control stance, thier setup would be that only professional body guards and police would have access to firearms. And with that, there is an implication. And that implication is that only people with money and power deserve personal protection.

I will not ever agree with that, period. However, I don't agree with the NRA gun for everyone stance either.

Both sides are COMPLETELY unbalanced and rediculas, and THAT is a HUGE part of what is wrong with this country. Everyone's diehard stances on everything and being unwilling to compromize in any way.

FantasticElastic

Matt:
BfC is a magnet for ignorant beliefs, as is perhaps best illustrated by Moore's association of the NRA with the KKK. Many people who saw the film considered it proof that the two are connected, despite them having no more in common than the year 1871. Moore didn't lie, and he didn't have to; he knew his audience wanted to believe the NRA is racist and it took little to convince them.

One-hundred percent of the federal laws regulating firearms are not Constitutional, further, they have not thwarted criminality or violence. The CDC recently 'confirmed' this after being unable to find one study (out of 51) proving gun control works.

Heston is not a gun-nut. He is opposed to the ownership of some semi-automatic weapons, although he doesn't support their restriction. Your absurd claim that the NRA endorses everyone owning a gun is disproven by their support -- after a compromise -- of the NICS background check system.

The NRA has always been a moderate organization. Those who consider them extremist do so because they are extremists themselves.

James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP!)

James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP!)

James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP!)

James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP both of them!)

James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP both of them!)

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