AUSTIN, Texas -(Ammoland.com)- When we at Students for Concealed Carry saw that The Trace—the news media arm of the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety—has called out NRA News—the news media arm of the National Rifle Association—for espousing baseless conspiracy theories, we at SCC couldn't help but laugh at such hypocrisy from a “news” outlet that once targeted us with a baseless conspiracy theory of their own.
A July 5, 2015, article from The Trace posits that Students for Concealed Carry was founded by and is funded by a shadowy consortium—a consortium that the article’s author, like any tinfoil-hat-wearing believer in illuminati-esque secret organizations, describes in only the vaguest of terms—of Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Leadership Institute.
Students for Concealed Carry refuted this accusation by pointing out that the claim, which has no basis in truth, is supported by only the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence.
SCC also publicly offered to pay $5,000 to any group that could prove the alleged conspiracy (nobody tried to collect).
Unfortunately, as is the nature of conspiracy theories, this allegation still haunts SCC by showing up in op-eds and speeches from anti-campus carry activists who mistake The Trace, which does not advertise its affiliation with Everytown, for a legitimate, unbiased news organization.
The Trace's exposé on NRA News proclaims, “[T]he gun lobby adopted an age-old strategy: Destroy the credibility of the institutions that would challenge it, through direct attacks, and then create a competing set of ‘facts.'”
That is an ironic interpretation from an organization that sought to destroy SCC's credibility and that has repeatedly demonstrated its own tenuous grasp of facts.
The top image is an infographic/meme The Trace created to accompany a Nov. 30 article titled “The Latest Research on Rampage Shootings Shows Gunmen Rarely Target Gun-Free Zones.”
The bottom image is a rebuttal SCC created after reviewing the source cited in the article (NOTE: although the article describes its source as “[a] study published last month,” the actual source is a position paper that was neither published nor peer-reviewed).
Even when The Trace extends an olive branch, that branch is laden with thorns. Last summer, The Trace hired then-SCC Southwest Regional Director Antonia Okafor to write an op-ed about why she supports campus carry. After she submitted her first draft, the editors insisted that she include a line stating, “Yes, there are occasionally times when people can carry their guns and consume alcohol.”
They also refused to let her include a statistic about concealed handgun license holders being convicted of violent crimes at 1/5 the rate of the general population, unless she agreed to include the highly dubious assertion that crimes committed by license holders are deadlier than those committed by the general population (she opted to cut the statistic altogether).
What legitimate news outlet tells a columnist that specific claims or statistics must be included in an op-ed about why she supports a given cause?
Students for Concealed Carry is the first to admit that both sides of the gun control debate are rife with misleading statistics, bogus facts, and “fake news.”
This is a problem that has long troubled SCC's leaders and that SCC's writers and social media moderators work daily to mitigate.
However, for a fake-news-spewing sock puppet like The Trace to represent itself as a watchdog against such misinformation is laughable.
- “A Refresher on the Case for Campus Carry in Texas”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/05/a-refresher-on-the-case-for-campus-carry-in-texas/
- SCC’s Oct. 2, 2015 – Dec. 7, 2016, Texas press releases and op-eds: https://www.scribd.com/document/319141232/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Campus-Carry-Press-Releases-Op-Eds-Oct-2-2015-Dec-7-2016
- SCC's 2015 Texas legislative handout (includes Dec. 9 – May 22, 2015, press releases and op-eds): https://www.scribd.com/document/255815743/SCC-s-2015-Texas-Legislative-Handout
- All SCC statements regarding the campus carry policies proposed by UT-Austin: https://www.scribd.com/document/317821607/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Press-Releases-Regarding-UT-Austin-s-Campus-Carry-Policies
About Students For Concealed Carry:
Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit their website or Facebook.
For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit their website.