Right after the Newton, Connecticut, school shooting in late 2012, anti-gun activist groups have been quick to relentlessly fire off talking points in keeping with, conservatives would argue, Rahm Emanuel’s notorious comments never to let a crisis go to waste. Many times, the mainstream media has simply picked up these talking points without ever analyzing exactly what they really mean.
As a public service, conservative news site The Daily Caller recently rounded up some of the more prominent anti-gun talking points that have been disseminated in an attempt to get to the bottom of their true meaning. The following anti-gun talking points come from a special interest group called the Children’s Defense Fund, which was founded four decades ago by Marian Wright Edelman, a liberal activist who opposed President Bill Clinton’s welfare reform in the 1990s.
Talking Point 1:
America has less than 5 percent of Earth’s population, yet is home to as much as half of all civilian-owned guns in the world.
As The Daily Caller pointed out, this talking point conceals the fact that one of the most cherished and long-standing amendments is the 2nd Amendment, the constitutional right for all Americans to keep and bear arms. Lots of countries all over the world don’t have this constitutional right, which is what accounts for the gulf in gun ownership between America and many other countries across the planet.
Talking Point 2:
American civilians have 310 million guns at their disposal while American law enforcement agencies and the military have just 4 million at their disposal. This inequality has failed to make American children any safer.
In truth, this disparity can easily be explained by citing statistics: It is expected that American civilians have almost 100 times as many guns as law enforcement agencies and the military because there are just 100 times as many civilian gun owners than law enforcement officers and members of the military who are issued guns. In addition, The Daily Caller indicates that American children are dying a lot less over the past 20 years (59 percent less due to gun-related incidents) from gun violence.
Talking Point 3:
The number of American children killed by gun violence in 2010 was nearly five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Daily Caller points out yet more dishonesty and devious use of facts. The per capita rate of death among military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq was really much higher than American children in 2010 when one considers the true numbers: 150,000 U.S. military personnel compared to approximately 83 million children and teenagers in the U.S. Further, thanks to President Barack Obama, military action stopped in Iraq in 2010, so the inclusion of dead soldiers in Iraq for 2010 is misleading.
Gun-control battles aren’t going away anytime soon in 2013. Americans can and should expect more talking points from both anti- and pro-gun ideologues in the future.