The NRA Is Blaming Journalists for Gun Violence

The NRA Is Blaming Journalists for Gun Violence

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre speaks at a National Rifle Association convention in Dallas on May 4. Following the mass shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, conservative lawmakers and political pundits are telling the American people that the availability of guns is not the issue. From their perspective the blame lies elsewhere. Examples have included the inability to properly address and treat persons suffering from mental illness; the constant depiction of violence in film, television, and video games; the erosion of Christian values; and a lack of adequate security measures at schools. The latest scapegoat is the news media . On Thursday, the National Rifle Association released a video arguing that journalists are more responsible for school gun violence than the ease of access to guns: “Over-reporting on school shootings inspires other shooters. … Ignoring shooters and not giving them any attention will do more to stop school shootings than any gun control measure ever will.” This is, of course, not the first time that the American people have been told the problem is everything but guns. It happened following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida; the mass shooting in Las Vegas; the mass shooting before that; and so on, and so on. The “blame everything but guns” line of argument is not a 21 st -century phenomenon. It has been going on for more than a century, again, largely at the behest of the NRA. For instance, in the early 20 th -century, when the country was plagued by a […]

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