By Rob Morse
Louisiana- (Ammoland.com)- Telling shocking lies on TV keeps viewers watching the channel, but those lies do a crappy job at informing the general public.
That is true for both the US mainstream media, and true for the British Broadcasting Company.
Looking elsewhere for our news sounds pretty smart after the BBC and Mother Jones said there were more than one mass public shooting a day in the United States.
They lied, of course, but it is important to understand how and why.
It starts with something as dry and boring as FBI statistics. The rate of mass murder has been fairly constant for years. Then, under orders from President Obama, the FBI redefined mass murder. The old definition used to be four victims killed with a gun in a public place. The Obama administration changed the number to two people in 2012. Some archives also dropped the requirement for the homicide to be in a public place. Some counted the murderer as one of the victims. Those changes are important [and sneaky].
The new definition reclassified and confuses every domestic murder-suicide done in private with a mass public shooting done in a school or at a mall. The new definition worked for the anti-rights politicians. It produced the expected, and the politically desired, jump in “public shooting” statistics.
That still wasn’t enough. Some of the unofficial data now comes from online news agencies instead of the FBI. Rather than only counting the victims who were killed according to police reports, these source let Google do the work to add up the reported number of shootings. That is probably the data Mother Jones and the BBC used to inflate their news reports. What used to be described as a Friday Night gangland drive-by attack in Chicago, is now a “mass public shooting”.
The news media didn’t tell you that most of their “mass public shootings” were not murders at all.
Of course not. The reporter can't tell a boring story. They will lose their jobs if we change channels. The commercial press tells their viewers what they want to believe in the simplest possible terms. “Guns” “NRA” and “America” are familiar icons.. as if the announcer is describing the news from a child’s picture book.
He has to say, “Americans shoot each other, and the National Rifle Association is bad.”
The BBC reporter will say whatever it takes. Sadly, so do many of the commercial news media in the US. That means we have to listen harder and read deeper to get the truth.
Hell, if journalists always told the truth then we wouldn’t have sites like Ammoland.
About Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is also an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.