Owners of firearms have first-hand knowledge just how safe they are when handled properly. We know firearms are inanimate objects incapable of causing harm, much like a brick. In the wrong hands, it certainly is lethal, much like a brick. When you take the time to learn how to handle firearms safely and properly, odds are, you never will use them in a criminal manner.
Despite this rather obvious information the Council on Foreign Relations recently published a blatantly anti-gun propaganda piece aimed at supporting a potential federal ban on military-style firearms. Entitled “U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons,” the opinion piece clearly blames mass shootings on the military-style firearms.
Yet, it engages in blatant falsehoods to push a false narrative. That narrative is the notion that access to firearms directly leads to criminal violence and mass shootings. Facts show otherwise.
The Council on Foreign Relations, though, wants military-style rifles banned. It falsely refers to them as “semi-automatic assault weapons” to describe the firearm used to massacre children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. This is just one of the many facts they get wrong.
For starters, the firearm used at Sandy Hook was not an assault rifle. It was a semiautomatic Bushmaster AR-15 incapable of burst fire or automatic fire. And, the assailant, an autistic teen with a history of isolation and disturbing behavior, murdered his mother and stole the rifle to commit the horrific act.
The Council on Foreign Relations also cherry picks the nations it will compare the U.S. to. The aim behind the piece is to convince readers that only nations with very strict gun control laws and very limited access to firearms effectively reduce gun violence. In their minds, the U.K. and Japan, which ban military-style rifles and handguns, are the only nations with effective gun laws.
Yet, many nations with relatively lax gun laws are equally safe. Those include Switzerland, which is among the safest nations, and has very lax gun laws.
Many nations with strict gun laws are showing increases in violent crime, including in the UK. Australia banned military-style rifles following a mass shooting, and the ban has had no effect on violence or homicide rates. The same happened the last time the U.S. banned the sale of military-style rifles, which is why politicians let the ban expire.
When it comes to supporting the Second Amendment and firearms in general, anti-gun propagandists like The Council on Foreign Relations knows they can’t change the minds of firearms owners. So, they target those wholly ignorant of firearms with a barrage of manipulated data and cherry picked facts.
Anti-gunners falsely refer to civilian firearms as “assault rifles” and “weapons of war” with the sole intent of inflicting mass casualties. They also make it impossible for the NRA to enter public schools and educate youth on firearms, their safe handling and responsible ownership.
A public that is generally ignorant of firearms is a gullible – and pliable – one. That ignorance makes them more susceptible to propaganda aimed at pushing a political agenda – the gradual erosion of gun rights and eventually an overturning of the Second Amendment.
The New York City-based Council on Foreign Relations clearly wants U.S. citizens to fear firearms. It especially wants those with no firearms experience to think banning firearms, magically, would cure the social ills actually driving violent crime.
Get rid of guns, and you get rid of most of the criminal violence, they claim. That’s a noble notion, but it has no basis in reality.