A poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post found that 6 out of 10 Americans live in fear of a mass shooting tragedy.
The same poll found that 56 percent of Americans support “banning the sale of assault weapons.”
In fact, this is selling terror, and exposing ignorance by the American public and insincerity in the media.
Mass shootings, though you wouldn’t believe it from the media coverage they attract, are still exceedingly rare, and in many cases, prevented by early action. We are being sold a package that wants us to focus on the fringe events rather than the regular problems.
In fact, making such a huge enormous deal of mass shootings, the media actually encourages copycats to do more of them.
Shockingly, they found a positive and statistically significant relationship between the amount of coverage dedicated to mass shootings and the number of shootings that occurred in the following week.
“At its mean,” the researchers conclude, “ABC news coverage is suggested to cause approximately three mass shootings in the subsequent week, equivalent to 58 percent of mass shootings in the United States.” (Their results were robust using both definitions of a “mass shooting”: either four or more individuals shot and four or more individuals killed.)“How the Media Can Help Prevent Mass Shootings,” Greater Good Magazine, January 22, 2019
Polls like the one ABC and the Washington Post conducted simply echo back what the public has been fed: Mass shootings are an enormous problem and you should be afraid to go outside in case a white supremacist with a high capacity assault weapon is waiting to kill you. These thoughts undoubtedly unnerve and sometimes consume people.
But the facts are that gun homicide deaths by modern sporting rifles (AR-15 style) are less than 1 in 30,000 per rifle, and 15 million rifles are in the hands of civilians. Not one of these is an “assault weapon” by military or any other standard. Your chances of being killed a by drunk driver are thousands of times greater than being killed by a mass shooter.
I don’t hear the media screaming to ban cars or alcohol. I don’t see polls highlighting the terror experienced getting in my car to go to work.
The media needs to stop using terror to sell its advocacy on gun control. It’s bad for the country, and in fact makes the problem worse.