Accuracy in Media

After every tragedy that involves a gun, the left and the mainstream media demand to know what the Republicans are going to do about it.

Less than four hours after the shooting stopped, Hillary Clinton tweeted that it could have been worse than 59 dead and more than 500 wounded if a proposal to loosen regulations on gun silencers had been in force. Nancy Sinatra followed with a tweet that said, “Murderous members of NRA should face a firing squad.”

The New York Times published a staff editorial under the headline: “How Long Until We Debate Real Gun Laws?” that includes a clock counting the time since the shootings in Las Vegas and the requisite liberal – Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in this case – saying, “I don’t know anybody who goes deer hunting that needs to retrofit a gun to fire hundreds of rounds per minute.”

But once the pro-gun community started to learn the details of Las Vegas, it realized it had a problem. The killer had used something called a bump stock, which modifies a single-shot rifle to effectively function as an automatic rifle.

Automatic rifles – those that will fire a continuous series of bullets at a high rate with one pull of the trigger – have been illegal in the United States since 1986. And if bump stocks could be used to clearly evade the law, then even the National Rifle Association agreed they should be “subject to additional regulations.” 

“You need to seize on the urgency of this. Otherwise, it will never happen,” Chris Cuomo said in an interview with Kellyanne Conway. “If you are moved by what happened to the victims then you act on what happened to them. That’s all I am saying.

“Now is the time. Now is the time to say that you care. You go and you comfort. You show moral agency. Then you take action as a leader to try to make it better.”

Gun control legislation after Sandy Hook lost momentum and faded away as the story disappeared from the headlines. The same pattern has emerged from other such tragedies. As details emerge of the crimes, it becomes apparent gun control laws either wouldn’t have done any good or were in place but not enforced.

Adam Lanza’s guns were all legally registered, and he and his mother frequented a shooting range. The killer in Las Vegas bought all his guns legally. The nearly 600 murders in Chicago come despite it having some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

Gun control advocates say all they want are a few sensible measures – background checks for gun buyers, tighter regulation of private sales and gun shows – policies 90 percent of Americans agree on anyway. But by making it about one particular case, their case is vulnerable when details that don’t support the narrative emerge.

We already have background checks and laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. When the post-Sandy Hook legislation died in Congress, 62 percent of Americans approved, and only 41 percent believe more background checks will reduce crime. 

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