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White House, Media Mislead on Crime Trends, Ignore Evidence that Could Save More Lives

Friday, August 28, 2015

White House, Media Mislead on Crime Trends, Ignore Evidence that Could Save More Lives

Tragedy strikes – and the White House immediately shifts into exploitation mode, trying to use raw emotion to push “solutions” that don’t fit the facts. From Charles C. W. Cooke at National Review comes a timely reminder, however, that despite well-publicized crimes, the nation as a whole is getting safer and less violent.

As Mr. Cooke notes, the U.S. firearm homicide rate peaked in 1993 and has fallen dramatically since then. Meanwhile, he adds correctly, gun control has been rolled back and the number of firearms in private hands has increased dramatically. Yet 88% of the public were unaware of favorable crime trends in a May 7, 2013, Pew Research Center Poll. Mr. Cooke attributes this knowledge gap, in part, to the increasing prevalence of “round-the-clock news” and more powerful forms of social media.

It’s a sad commentary that more news and more communication may have somehow led to greater ignorance on important matters of public policy. Your NRA, for its part, has been doing its level best to keep the record straight, including with the reports mentioned here and here.

Yet it’s no accident on gun control advocates’ part that they mislead the public on the true state of affairs. As we’ve mentioned before, a PR firm hired to produce a gun control messaging guide advises, “Always focus on emotional and value-driven arguments about gun violence, not the political food fight in Washington or wonky statistics." It also counsels advocates to act quickly after a highly-publicized event, while emotions are at their highest. As for the facts, gun control advocates are told, “Don’t wait for them.” Instead, “The clearest course is to advance our core message about preventing gun violence independent of facts that may shift on us over time.”

Once again, sadly, we see that advice in action. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, for example, was using Wednesday’s televised murders in Roanoke to call for universal background checks, even before the suspect had been apprehended and before news emerged that the perpetrator had, in fact, passed a background check to buy the gun he used.

Evil and violence are terrible things, and Americans understandably react with horror and sadness when confronted by them. Yet denying reality and exploiting emotions do not solve problems. Ensuring that peaceable, responsible people have the means to defend themselves is why NRA remains resolute in its mission to defend and protect the Second Amendment.

Rather than promoting “solutions” that offer false promises, like “universal” background checks, policy makers should study what’s working redouble their efforts on those fronts. Dismissing the crime deterring benefits of firearm ownership is neither smart nor compassionate. Empowering good people to defend themselves against violence is, and this defining principle will continue to drive everything that NRA does.

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Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

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Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

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Monday, February 26, 2024

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Today, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 10-3 vote. The bill now heads to the House floor for a final vote this week. SB 1 ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

On Thursday February 28th at 10:30 am, House File 601 and House File 4300 will be heard in Room 200 of the State Office Building by the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Children and ...

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

It has been a busy week for Maine’s anti-gun politicians. From releasing a new bill that would implement Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws in Maine, to Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) pushing for a ...

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Two anti-gun bills continue to move in the Colorado State Legislature. HB24-1174, introduced by Majority Leader Monica Duran (D-HD 23),  is set to be heard next week in the House Finance Committee. HB24-1310 , introduced by ...

Indiana: Pro-Gun Bills Pass the Senate

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Yesterday, the Senate passed House Bill 1084, The Second Amendment Privacy Act, a bill to prohibit the use of firearm-related Merchant Category Codes.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Anti-Gun extremist State Reps. Tim Hernandez (D-04) and Elisabeth Epps (D-06) introduced House Bill 24-1292, a bill banning the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of so called “assault weapons”. 

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

Thursday, February 29, 2024

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On February 27th, Senate Bill 203 received final passage on the House floor on a vote of 62-8. The legislation will now head to Governor Noem's desk for her consideration.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.