On August 27, MarketWatch.com, supposedly a website for stock market investors, published a cynical article about gun manufacturers and gun ownership, titled 10 Things the Gun Industry Won’t Tell You. In fact, MarketWatch has been running and re-running the same article for months now, just changing the date every so often, to make it appear brand new.
MarketWatch apparently isn’t interested in dealing with firearm issues in a serious way, however, because the author of the article is fluff journalist Catey Hill. You can get a pretty good idea about Hill’s writing style from the titles of her other articles, such as “10 Things Your Spouse Won’t Tell You,” “10 Things Your Boss Won’t Tell You,” “10 Things Your Coworkers Won’t Tell You” and, luckily for Lindsay Lohan, only “9 Things Lindsay Lohan Should Do to Save Her Career.”
Whatever can be said about those literary gems, Hill’s article insulting the firearm industry consists mostly of unfair innuendos and plain old mistakes. For example, Hill implies that the firearm industry is up to something sinister, claiming that it “won’t tell you” that “Ammo is our secret (business) weapon,” that “Under ‘Gun Ban Obama,’ we’re doing just fine,” and that “Fear is good for our bottom line.”
Where Hill gets the idea that it’s some sort of secret that the firearm industry sells ammunition is anyone’s guess. And we don’t know where Hill has been lately but, for more than a year, real journalists have been reporting that Americans have been buying more guns than usual, due to concerns about anti-gun legislation being pushed by President Obama and his allies in Congress.
Hill claims that the firearm industry “won’t tell you” that “Owning our product may be hazardous to your health.” She bases her opinion on an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which reviewed “studies” purporting to show that guns kept at home are more likely to be used to kill someone who lives there, than to kill a criminal.
Par for the course, Hill failed to mention that those studies have been discounted by independent researchers. For example, criminologist Gary Kleck, in his book, Targeting Guns, says that the studies are the source of “the most nonsensical statistic in the gun control debate,” because they don’t consider a gun to have been used for self-defense unless a criminal has been killed. The mistake is, as Kleck points out, criminals are killed in only about one-tenth of one percent of defensive gun uses.
Hill also claims that the gun industry “won’t tell you” that “Gun control may work.” But for whom does she think she is speaking? The industry knows that studies conducted for Congress, for the National Academy of Sciences, and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have concluded that there’s no evidence that gun control reduces crime. Saying that gun control “might work” is a greater stretch of the law of probabilities than saying you “might win” a lottery. After all, occasionally someone wins a lottery.
Finally, no assortment of anti-gun babble would be complete without a Code Red alarm about the fact that Congress hasn’t passed legislation to prohibit the possession of firearms by people on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist. Hill’s assortment is no exception. She says the firearm industry “won’t tell you” that “We sell guns to people you might not want us to.”
But Hill conveniently forgot to mention a couple of important points. First, the vast majority of people on the Watchlist are foreign nationals who have not been admitted to the United States under immigrant visas. Thus, under federal law, they’re not allowed to buy or possess guns in the U.S. in the first place. Next, while admitting that the FBI sometimes puts people on the Watchlist by mistake, Hill didn’t mention that some aspects of the Watchlist are so lacking in due process as to have been declared unconstitutional.
If MarketWatch is as biased and superficial in its approach to matters of finance, as Hill is where firearms are concerned, we think we’ll get our investment advice somewhere else!