CNN’s anti-gun bias, including a willingness to fake stories to push gun control, has been apparent for decades. The self-styled “most trusted name in news” further diminished what’s left of its tarnished reputation this week when it parroted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) line on Second Amendment rights.
In a piece titled, “China and the US were both born from armed conflict. They're now polar opposites on gun control,” a pair of CNN writers favorably contrasted the totalitarian Chinese government’s gun control regime with U.S. freedom.
The outlet boasted of “how rare gun crime is in China – in contrast to it being a daily reality in the US.” Touting China’s near-total civilian disarmament, CNN’s writers claimed, “The difference is stark when it comes to public safety. Despite being the world's most populous country, with 1.4 billion residents, China only records a few dozen gun crimes a year.”
CNN is doing the CCP’s work for them.
In order to deflect concerns about China’s well-documented human rights issues, the country routinely puts out reports citing purported human rights violations in the U.S. A key feature in these documents is CCP’s contempt for Americans’ right to keep and bear arms – which China spins as a threat to human rights.
Moreover, in an effort to condition its population and others against the U.S. and individual rights, Chinese state-run media makes a point to broadcast news about violence perpetrated with firearms in America. A high-profile instance of this propaganda effort occurred in 2012 when China Central Television hosted future Biden ATF director nominee David Chipman. More than happy to attack his countrymen’s rights on a foreign government’s news network, Chipman played right into the CCP’s hands. Unsurprisingly, the gun control lobbyist failed to disclose his stint as a CCP patsy in his 2021 Senate confirmation questionnaire.
Any attempt to make cross-country comparisons on crime and violence between the U.S. and China is ludicrous.
First, it is widely understood that Chinese economic data should be viewed with a healthy skepticism. More recently, Western publications have called into question the accuracy of China’s COVID-19 death statistics. There is no reason discerning observers should view other data the CCP has a political interest in manipulating, such as crime data, in any less critical a fashion.
Second, bivariate analysis of violence perpetrated with firearms across jurisdictions based on access to firearms is always troublesome. When the two jurisdictions are as different as the U.S. and China, such analysis is journalistic malpractice.
Consider the myriad cultural, demographic, legal, and ideological differences at work. To take just one relevant factor, China’s criminal justice system bears little resemblance to its U.S. counterpart.
Suspects and defendants are not guaranteed the civil rights protections Americans value. Punishments are swift and severe in China for what the U.S. treats as minor crimes or not a crime at all. There are dozens of capital offenses in China – including for many non-violent crimes. Addressing the topic, Amnesty International noted, “China remained the world’s leading executioner – but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is classified as a state secret; the global figure of at least 483 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China.” In contrast, there were 17 death sentences carried out in the U.S. in 2020.
With such divergent approaches to crime, and nearly every other aspect of governance, bivariate comparisons between the U.S. and China aren’t fruitful.
In a bizarre portion of the piece, the CNN writers posited that there is something odd about the countries’ differing approaches to gun ownership. The article stated, “The two countries' opposite approaches are especially striking given both nations were born from armed insurrection -- the US winning its independence in the Revolutionary War in 1783, and the Chinese Communist Party establishing the People's Republic of China in 1949 after a lengthy rebellion against the Nationalist government.”
The U.S. is a product of the classical liberal values of the enlightenment, which place an emphasis on the individual natural rights of all. The Chinese communist regime is the product of Mao Zedong’s take on Marxism, an ideology diametrically opposed to individual flourishing and human freedom. In fact, the Second Amendment was crafted to ensure the type of government the Chinese people live under could never take hold in the U.S. That CNN would call it “striking” that such different societies would come to different positions on a matter of individual liberty speaks to the outlet’s profound historical ignorance, propaganda mission, or rhetorical laziness.
Would CNN find it “striking” to learn that China also doesn’t tolerate the civil liberties protected in the rest of the Bill of Rights? This, of course, would include the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press – something a news outlet that doesn’t exist to disseminate regime talking points might cherish. If allegations regarding human organ harvesting are to be believed, the CCP also doesn’t think much of the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishments. China’s ethnic and religious minorities would be grateful to enjoy the protections offered by the Bill of Rights’ oft-forgotten Third Amendment.
CNN also breezily noted, “China's gun control policy is broadly popular among the public.”
China is a surveillance state where the means of disseminating information and private communication are tightly controlled by the government. Aside from only having access to curated information, the populace is ceaselessly bombarded with pro-regime propaganda. In 2016, Freedom House labelled China “the year’s worst abuser of internet freedom,” noting, “A criminal law amendment added seven-year prison terms for spreading rumors on social media (a charge often used against those who criticize the authorities).” According to the non-profit, this culture of fear “increased self-censorship.”
So, according to CNN, a populace that only has access to government-approved information, and lives under an unblinking surveillance state and the constant threat of government reprisal for unapproved speech, broadly supports a regime policy. What a helpful insight. Perhaps CNN will let us know the North Korean public’s opinion of Kim Jong Un.
It’s understandable why the CCP denigrates the U.S. and the Second Amendment right. The party has a geopolitical interest in disparaging the U.S. and it knows that doing so through the Second Amendment appeals to a certain leftist clique. Moreover, the CCP understands that no totalitarian regime can survive an armed populace. The real disgrace is that CNN is so willing to serve as the CCP’s useful idiots.