Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Not a Trace of Truth from The Trace

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Not a Trace of Truth from The Trace

The Trace, a Michael Bloomberg-funded propaganda mill that masquerades as a “media” outlet, has been churning out lies about the Second Amendment and gun laws for nearly a decade. In April, this “newsroom” of anti-gun activists began running a series of podcasts—under the title In Guns We Trust—and it is proving to be one of the most outrageously dishonest attacks on our right to arms that we have ever seen.

The first installment is The Trace’s interpretation of the impact the tragic event at Columbine High School in 1999 had. As can be expected from an anti-gun platform, the piece focuses on raw emotionalism. One of the only “facts” the transcript claims is that there are “more federally licensed gun dealers in the country than McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Taco Bells, and Starbucks — combined.”

Of course, that’s intentionally misleading. If you want to compare apples to oranges, at least compare all apples to all oranges, rather than all apples to a carefully-selected number of varieties of oranges. In other words, if you compare the number of FFLs to the number of all fast-food restaurants in America—rather than just a few specific franchises—the restaurants are far more numerous.

But the next installment gets much worse in its deception.

The podcast episode begrudgingly admits, “Guns have been part of (America’s) history since the very beginning…,” but then dives into a curious account of how sensational media accounts regarding the Thompson submachine gun drove the emotionally-charged passage of the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA).

The transcript states the gun “was the first handheld machine gun,” although that is not true. It then refers to the infamous 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, where these guns were among others used, and the less notorious 1933 Kansas City Massacre, where three police officers and one FBI agent were killed. Thompson guns were also among the firearms used in the 1933 shooting, but The Trace notes “at least three of the four killed were actually shot by friendly fire, likely from agents carrying weapons they weren’t supposed to have.” There is no indication any of the law enforcement officers were carrying Thompsons.

As we often see today, raw emotional arguments can often carry the day, and in spite of the fact that crimes involving Thompson guns were statistically rare—much like “mass shootings” today—The Trace alludes to a media-driven perception that “gangsters and their shootouts were seen as an affront to common decency and civilized society.”

So the NFA became law—with The Trace freely admitting “the federal government passed national restrictions on guns for the first time in American history”—and thus begat the modern template for pushing gun control: Ignore the facts and play on fear and emotionalism.

This second episode of the series then dives into the latest trend from anti-gun activists—rewriting history—by trying to imply the Second Amendment was never intended to protect an individual right, and is only relevant, according to anti-gun political activist Robert Spitzer, “in the context of (the individual’s) service in a government-organized and regulated militia.”

Spitzer is also credited with the absurd claim, “In many respects guns were more heavily regulated in our first 300 years than in the last 30 years.”

This claim follows mention of a Boston ordinance on storing loaded firearms—which had to do with safety concerns over the relative instability of black powder that is no longer even remotely applicable with today’s modern firearms and ammunition—as well as a mention of the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Dueling, of course, often involved use of weapons other than firearms, and was being prohibited in many areas at the time not because of firearms, but because people were growing averse to the idea of settling disputes, often simple perceived insults, through individual combat that could lead to grievous bodily harm or death.

Mentioning a couple firearm-related restrictions is hardly a defense of Spitzer’s ridiculous claim, considering it is commonly estimated that there are tens-of-thousands of laws directly regulating firearms on the books today.

The third installment of the series is predominantly an account of the NRA’s growth in influence starting in the mid-70s, although it casts such influence in a decidedly negative light by characterizing our staunch defense of a right protected by the US Constitution as a “scorched-earth strategy.”

And here we thought “journalists” were not supposed to pick sides.

No real “facts” presented in this episode, as it is predominantly an Op-Ed about how much The Trace doesn’t like NRA or people who are associated with NRA.

The fourth episode is titled “The Rise of the AR-15,” although at least the first half of the story revolves around discussing trigger locks, the passage of the Brady Act, the so-called gun show “loophole,” and the fact that opposing attacks on the Second Amendment had bi-partisan support up until the early 2000s.

When talking about gun shows, The Trace states that “small-time gun dealers at gun shows” are not required to run a firearm purchase through the Brady Act’s mandated National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That’s simply untrue, as all licensed dealers, regardless of their size or volume of business, are under the same Brady Act/NICS requirements no matter where they make their sale.

Perhaps most interesting is the admission that many Democrat politicians used to support the Second Amendment, with this episode specifically noting former Vermont Governor Howard Dean being “proud of his A rating from the NRA” back in 2004. Sadly, the leadership of Democrats—whether it be Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, or Nancy Pelosi—have made clear that they expect ALL Democrat elected officials to embrace gun control.

While some elected Democrats have resisted the call to fully endorse the extremist gun ban agenda of Biden et al, and millions of Democrat voters still support the Second Amendment, it is becoming harder and harder to find strong voices among Democrats that are willing or able to speak up in defense of the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

But when they finally get around to talking about AR-15s and other semi-automatic firearms, the anti-gun bias and misinformation comes pouring out. Again, we thought “journalists” were not supposed to pick sides.

First, there is the absurd claim that the 1994 ban on semi-automatics and over-10-round magazines “seemingly had a meaningful impact” on violent crimes involving these items. In fact, a 1997 congressionally-mandated study looked at the effects of the first 30 months of the 1994-2004 federal “assault weapons” ban and found it had no impact on crime. A follow-up study found that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” Later research conducted in 2018 by the Rand Corporation also found no evidence that “large capacity magazine” bans and “assault weapon” bans affect mass shootings.

Then there are the loaded (pardon the pun) words used to describe the AR-15—“(it is) considered too easy to shoot,” as if a firearm should be overly complicated to operate in order to be acceptable—as well as magazines—“(W)hat do you need a 30-round rapid-fire magazine for?” We are still trying to figure out what a “rapid-fire magazine” is, and if there are also “medium-fire” and “slow-fire” options.

Of course, the 1994 ban expired in 2004, but this episode makes the patently untrue claim that there was not “a massive fight to try to get the ban continued.” In fact, every anti-gun organization called on Congress to renew the ban, and bills were introduced to not just renew the ban, but to make it permanent. These efforts failed not because of lack of effort, but because the ban itself was an abject failure.

The rest of the episode talks seemingly disparagingly about gun manufacturers building a lot of AR-15s—as if they should ignore the fact that law-abiding Americans wish to purchase a legal product—advertisements—as if the firearm industry should keep their legal products a secret from consumers—and unsubstantiated claims that gun manufacturers actually don’t like the people who buy their products.

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground for these first four podcasts, so we’ll save episodes five and six for another time. And although the episodes we’ve covered thus far make it clear that The Trace is an anti-gun propaganda mill, and bears little resemblance to being a “newsroom” promoting “journalism” as it claims, the next two episodes are on a completely other level. Not only do they continue to ignore and contradict irrefutable facts about the debate over guns in America, but The Trace ignores and contradicts itself.

TRENDING NOW
NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates ATF Rule Classifying Bump Stocks as Machineguns

Friday, June 14, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates ATF Rule Classifying Bump Stocks as Machineguns

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unlawfully exceeded its authority by classifying bump stocks as machineguns.

NRA Files Amicus Brief with Ninth Circuit in Challenge to California’s Billy Club Ban

Friday, June 14, 2024

NRA Files Amicus Brief with Ninth Circuit in Challenge to California’s Billy Club Ban

Today, NRA filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a challenge to California’s prohibition on the possession of billy clubs.

Fallout from Trudeau’s Gun Grab: Crime is Up, Number of Gun Ranges Drops

News  

Monday, June 17, 2024

Fallout from Trudeau’s Gun Grab: Crime is Up, Number of Gun Ranges Drops

In Canada, a ban on over 1,500 firearm makes, models and variants, together with a mandatory government confiscation (“buyback”) requirement, was imposed by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over four years ago. 

Biden Was Right on Veterans Before He was Wrong; Now Congress Tightens the Reins

Monday, June 10, 2024

Biden Was Right on Veterans Before He was Wrong; Now Congress Tightens the Reins

In March, we reported on an appropriations rider that corrected a longstanding and shameful practice by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of reporting beneficiaries to NICS as “mental defectives” prohibited from having guns, merely ...

California: Mandatory Storage Legislation Passed in Committee

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

California: Mandatory Storage Legislation Passed in Committee

Yesterday, Senate Bill 53 passed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a 6-2 vote and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Still no Trace of the Truth

News  

Monday, June 17, 2024

Still no Trace of the Truth

In our first installment of a critical analysis of an anti-gun propaganda podcast series from The Trace, we covered the lies, misinformation, and deceptive emotional arguments made in the first four episodes. 

New York: Legislature Wraps Up 2024 Regular Session

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

New York: Legislature Wraps Up 2024 Regular Session

Gun owners have reason to celebrate when lawmakers drop the final gavel in Albany. Late Friday night, legislators finished their work and mercifully called it quits. It was a mixed bag for gun owners as the Legislature ...

Michigan: Governor’s New Budget Includes $2.6 Million for Red-Flag Laws

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Michigan: Governor’s New Budget Includes $2.6 Million for Red-Flag Laws

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her recommendations for the upcoming budget, which included the use of taxpayer funds for Michigan’s new red-flag law and other gun-control measures. The governor recommended $2.6 million for the implementation of ...

Chicago Crime Alerts – Pernicious Perception or an Inconvenient Truth?

Monday, June 10, 2024

Chicago Crime Alerts – Pernicious Perception or an Inconvenient Truth?

Earlier this year, Chicago city council member Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth made steering-wheel locks available for free to interested residents. The message she shared was that “[s]afety is a top priority for our office. We believe that everyone deserves ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.