Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

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The media is trying to pit the American people against gun owners. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Canadian-born political commentator and George W. Bush-era speechwriter David Frum has taken a break from promoting actual wars in the Middle East to advocate for a culture war on gun ownership here at home.

Now a staff writer at the stultifying establishment Atlantic magazine, Frum authored a piece for the October 2021 issue titled, “How to Persuade Americans to Give Up Their Guns.” Frum’s thesis is that Americans own too many guns and that more guns leads to more death and crime. In order to combat this situation, Frum urges gun control advocates to convince gun owners to forfeit their firearms by making gun ownership socially unacceptable. In the commentator’s mind, there needs to be a “moral reckoning” whereby gun ownership is treated as something akin to drunk driving.

There’s nothing novel about Frum’s approach. As with most of the Atlantic’s content, Frum’s piece is mostly warmed-over regime talking points.

The CDC’s chief anti-gun advocate, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Director Mark Rosenberg pushed for a cultural anti-gun campaign in the early 1990s. In a 1994 interview with the New York Times, Rosenberg said, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes.” The taxpayer-funded activist added, “It used to be that smoking was a glamour symbol, cool, sexy, macho. Now it is dirty, deadly, and banned.”

In 1995, then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder gave a speech in which he stated, “What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.” The future Attorney General went on to add, “We have to be repetitive about this. It’s not enough to have a catchy ad on a Monday and then only do it Monday. We need to do this every day of the week, and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Likening gun control and the gun control effort to anti-drunk driving policies and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign is a similarly tired bit. Gun control activists from Donna Dees-Thomases of the inaccurately-named Million Mom March to Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts have cited MADD as inspiration. Conversely, the vast majority of Americans seem to intuitively understand that exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms isn’t analogous to recklessly traversing the public roadways.

As noted, Frum’s chief contention is that more guns lead to more death and crime. For instance, Frum attempted to connect the historic gun sales in 2020 with the recent spike in violent crime. The commentator wrote,

When the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, people throughout the developed world raced to buy toilet paper, bottled water, yeast for baking bread, and other basic necessities. Americans also stocked up on guns. They bought more than 23 million firearms in 2020, up 65 percent from 2019. First-time gun purchases were notably high. The surge has not abated in 2021. In January, Americans bought 4.3 million guns, a monthly record.

Last year was also a high-water mark for gun violence—more people were shot dead than at any time since the 1990s—though 2021 is shaping up to be even worse.

This lazy inference, also advanced by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, runs contrary to even anti-gun researchers’ findings.

In July, the journal Injury Epidemiology published “Firearm purchasing and firearm violence during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States: a cross-sectional study.” The paper concluded, “Nationwide, firearm purchasing and firearm violence increased substantially during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. At the state level, the magnitude of the increase in purchasing was not associated with the magnitude of the increase in firearm violence.” This acknowledgment is notable, given that paper was funded by the anti-gun Joyce Foundation (which also funds handgun prohibition organization Violence Policy Center) and California’s gun control factoid factory at UC Davis.

While it’s refreshing for gun control supporters to make such an admission, the UC Davis findings won’t surprise anyone who didn’t sleep through the last three decades.

Since the early 1990s, the number of privately-owned firearms has more than doubled, from about 192 million to more than 405 million – including more than 167 million handguns. Moreover, thanks to the diligent work of gun rights supporters, more Americans than ever before can exercise their Right-to-Carry outside the home for self-defense. Until Florida passed a “shall issue” permitting process in 1987, less than 10 percent of the American public lived in a Right-to-Carry state. Today, 42 states, accounting for 74 percent of the U.S. population, respect the Right-to-Carry – with 21 states respecting the right to do so without a permit.

According to FBI data, homicide and violent crime rates fell by roughly 50 percent between 1991 and 2019.

Frum also pointed to what he perceives as a problem with unintended shootings. Again, these unfortunate incidents have fallen precipitously as the number of firearms Americans own has increased.

The rate of fatal firearm accidents involving children (ages 0-14) decreased 91 percent from 1975 to 2019. The rate of fatal firearm accidents among all ages has decreased 96 percent from the recorded high in 1904 to 2019.

In another lame throwback, the Bush-era speechwriter rehashed tired arguments about the purported dangers of a firearm in the home. The pundit stated, “In virtually every way that can be measured, owning a firearm makes the owner, the owner’s family, and the people around them less safe,” and that “The gun you trust against your fears is itself the thing you should fear. The gun is a lie.” Further stoking suspicion of everyday gun owners, Frum wrote,

Drawing a bright line between the supposedly vast majority of “responsible,” “law-abiding” gun owners and those shadowy others who cause all the trouble is a prudent approach for politicians, but it obscures the true nature of the problem. We need to stop deceiving ourselves about the importance of this distinction.

Frum doesn’t cite an actual study to support his claim, but this anti-gun talking point is often accompanied by a reference to a 1993 study by Arthur Kellerman titled, “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home.” The notorious work is largely responsible for the anti-gun factoid that a person with a gun in the home is supposedly more likely to shoot a family member than a criminal.

As we have repeatedly pointed out, the study was rife with methodological flaws and reached questionable conclusions. An actual examination of the output of Kellerman’s model shows that renting a home or living alone are both higher risk factors than keeping a firearm in the home.
In a detailed critique of the study in his book “Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control,” Florida State Criminology Professor Gary Kleck noted that Kellerman’s work should be “cited in a statistics textbook as a cautionary example of multiple statistical errors.” Challenging the study’s methodology, which involved sampling atypically high-violence geographic areas, Kleck concluded, “there is no formal research basis for applying any conclusions from this study about the effects of gun ownership to the general population.”

To Frum’s point denigrating law-abiding gun owners, after examining the data on violence perpetrated with firearms Kleck concluded,

It simply isn’t true that previously law-abiding citizens commit most murders or many murders or virtually any murders, and so disarming them could not eliminate most or many or virtually any murders. Homicide studies show that murderers are not ordinary citizens, but extreme aberrants of whom it is unrealistic to assume they will have any more compunction about flouting gun laws than about murder.

While exaggerating the risk posed by normal gun owners, Frum was quick to dismiss evidence showing that Americans use firearms to defend themselves at least hundreds of thousands of times each year. According to the writer, the fact that this evidence is procured from survey data means it is biased. The former speechwriter neglected to acknowledge that data from multiple surveys conducted by different entities, including the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, indicate roughly 1 million defensive firearm uses per year.

According to Frum, “American gun buyers are falling victim to bad risk analysis.” Here the writer exposed his belief that ordinary Americans are too stupid to take stock of their own circumstances and determine how to best defend themselves and their families. Presumably, he would outsource Americans’ personal decisions to media and government elites like himself. In an era where trust in media and the federal government are trending to all-time lows, concerns over crime have surged, and parts of the country have been all but forfeited to criminals, Frum’s new war will be a tough sell.


About 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. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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Arny
Arny
13 days ago

As a smoker he can GFH. lol

gunnerdd517
gunnerdd517
13 days ago

Mr. Frum, I solemnly promise this day, in public, to never unintentionally shoot anyone.

Cruiser
Cruiser
13 days ago

Just another writer of fiction. Your insignificant little opinion is noted, now go sit in the corner, You Dunce,

loveaduck
loveaduck
13 days ago

Of course, the Atlantic will never publish a truthful rebuttal.

Boz
Boz
13 days ago

Safety and reduced crime is NOT what it’s about, never has been. lt’s absoluteIy about disarmament of the Citizenry, always has been. We need to stop pretending/defending as if it were about crime and saving Iives, it isn’t.

StLPro2A
StLPro2A
13 days ago
Reply to  Boz

The new agenda for humanity requires that no one will have the capacity to fight back. It has been said: “Our Task of creating a Socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” No other explanation is possible.
 
History has repeatedly demonstrated that disarming good people in the name of making bad people harmless only eventually facilitates politicians shooting their own countrymen. History…learn from it or be doomed to relive it…..or die from it.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
13 days ago
Reply to  StLPro2A

“have been totally disarmed”

(by non-civilians)

“politicians shooting their own countrymen”

Politicians aren’t going to shoot anyone – it will be “non-civilians.”

Montana454Casull
Montana454Casull
13 days ago

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have fear of gun owning Americans , this gives us an alternative to thier tyranny and they know it and fear the day we strip them of thier power. The ballot box has failed us and its time to water the tree of Liberty with these unethical clowns .

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
13 days ago

Politicians have hundreds of thousands of people to do their bidding.

The same people who said the Bush family was good and the NRA was good 30 years ago, today worship the very people who will do the bidding of politicians.

It’s comical.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
13 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEitSm1KsiA&ab_channel=AudittheAudit

The enforcer acted the way he did because he knew his boss would lie to cover for him and because he knew that he could assault a “civilian” and not be sued and lose his house (or any other assets he tried to hide).

swmft
swmft
13 days ago

I still like the guillotine, or gallows ,

RJL
RJL
13 days ago

Frum/Dum go back to your Socialist Nazi Hole…

nrringlee
nrringlee
13 days ago

Busista. Need I say more? Those of you who cling to the Grand Old Party like a piece of flotsam in the pitching sea will see your end by trusting these clowns. Not one dime. The Republican Party is a Progressive party. They only tolerate conservatives and libertarians when they need cash cows to milk. Not one dime. Support individual candidates only. The Bush/Cheny/Christie wing of the party hates you. And it is they who are in charge of the party. They will cut off any attempt at a Tea Party revival at the knees. Just look at how they… Read more »

Jonesy
Jonesy
14 days ago

Frum is a total

Phil in TX
Phil in TX
14 days ago

Out of all of my guns, and there are quite a few, not one of them has ever crawled out of the safe and killed, or even shot, anyone. For a gun to do so requires a human to make it happen. The problem is those persons that wish to do harm to others, and are determined to do so, regardless.

Phil in TX

nrringlee
nrringlee
13 days ago
Reply to  Phil in TX

True story. I am a collector and gunsmith. In fact I am the prez of a collectors group. We own collectively thousands of mostly military rifles, pistols and shot guns. And nary a one has inflicted damage to another outside of war service. Progressives like Frum fall for the progressive delusion that you can control human behavior by eliminating material objects. No, it does not work. Cain slew Able with a rock. Focus on intent. Focus on behavior. Focus on culture. Do that and you may make some progress in the realm of violent crime. Until then, leave the peace… Read more »

Jaque
Jaque
14 days ago

The Atlantic should be renamed The Marxist Monthly.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
14 days ago

If these anti gun people really want to stop the gun problems in the U.S. then they should demand that Biden stop the flow of illegals coming across the southern border and declare war on the Mexican drug cartels who sneak their illegal drugs into the country targeting the ghetto’s and gang banger’s to sell the products which causes so many killings between gang factions for control of the drug business and the cash that goes with it.
There is more people who die from a drug overdose than gun shots.

Autsin Miller III
Autsin Miller III
14 days ago

So…. I guess he has forgotten us being called “Bible thumping gun owners” or something to that effect by Obama and Deplorable by Hillary? How did that work out for them? Seems they just can’t wrap their head around the fact that we don’t care what they call us or think about us because we have zero respect for them, this Atlantic author included. Don’t like me guns? Sorry about your luck.

nrringlee
nrringlee
13 days ago

The leadership of the Republican party, Bushistas like Frum all hate you more than Hillary or Biden could ever hate you. They realize they need your money and your votes and they hate you for it.

BigJim
BigJim
13 days ago

Worked out ok for Obama, he’s in his 3rd term now. His old signs in the yard should have read ” Oppress/Bind’em”