Small Arms, Big Issues
by Mark Liberator (e-mail: [July 28th, 2000]

     Democratic leaders are at it again. They are attacking our right to own weapons, particularly handguns, and the media reports it without providing balanced information. What else is new?

     The Chicago Sun-Times ran an article [July 18, 2000] that uses the term ‘pocket rocket’ to characterize a certain class of handguns. These guns are concealable due to their small size and able to shoot a number of high-caliber rounds. U.S. Rep. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) proposed that these weapons be completely banned.

     This should not surprise us. Democratic policy-makers like to point to specific weapons to ban them in a piecemeal fashion, which is the attack pattern that has been used in other countries like England, Australia and Canada.

“With slanted reports inundating the public 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, it is extremely hard for gun rights activists to counter the attacks.”

Slanted News
     The Sun-Times article did not mention the fact these guns are useful and actually save lives. Police officers use concealable weapons all the time in the course of their careers to stop criminals. Some law-abiding civilians in right-to-carry states also make use of these weapons to defend themselves and their families. Yet, the media does not report this.

     Instead, the media allows democratic leaders to compare the gun industry to the tobacco industry by claiming profit margins are being exchanged for human lives. The writer, Lon Grahnke, never challenges this ridiculous argument by providing an opposing opinion.

Digging Deeper
     Grahnke could have challenged the basis of Blagojevich’s argument by doing a little bit of research. For instance, these small weapons are very expensive and cannot be compared to ‘Saturday Night Specials’ as the article suggests.

     The democrats must think that their supporters are uneducated by using a phrase like ‘pocket rocket.’ They must feel the need to support the sound-bite approach when furthering their own political agendas and careers.

Will We Fall Victim to This Simplistic Mindset?
     Here is the plan that will be used to strip us of our right to bear arms if it goes unchallenged. It is a simple one. First, initiate a registration process so that gun-grabbers can acquire the names of people who own weapons. Next, target individual classes of weapons, usually by caliber or possibly size. As one class becomes banned, gun-grabbers march up the caliber size and incrementally ban each class, one by one until all guns are banned.

     One would assume the media will be used to soften the blow, which appears to be the case. News agencies are no longer reporting stories with journalistic integrity. Policy-makers land up abusing the system for their own agendas. With slanted reports inundating the public 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, it is extremely hard for gun rights activists to counter the attacks.

The Politics of Information
     The only powerful recourse gun rights activists like myself have is the might of our numbers. We must choose carefully in November in the next election. We must also refuse to follow biased media sources that claim to be neutral.

     The regulation of information is a very important issue. Our nation was founded on an informed citizenry in order to make a democracy possible. How does providing lopsided news help us make an informed choice on the gun issue? How does it help us choose the right candidates? How does it foster a democracy?

     It is clear we need to seek out information from many sources to do our own fact-gathering; it is as simple as that.

Resources and Further Study

  • CNN: Why the NRA Welcomes Gun Control Fervor
  • ABCNews: Whose Right to Bear Arms?
  • Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy: Violence in America: Effective Solutions
  • Google Directory: Society:Issues:Gun Control:Pro-Gun Rights Organizations

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