Each and every time we are forced to endure another mass shooting – and so far our country has had a staggering 133 mass shootings in 2016 alone – the gun nuts hop behind their keyboards and purport the same verifiable lies they always do.
It’s been no different after the tragedy in Orlando when a gunman took the lives of at least 50 people at a gay nightclub early Sunday morning – the single deadliest act of gun violence in American history.
If you spent some time on social media since the news broke, it wouldn’t take you long to see a firearm fanatic making the same series of defensive arguments they always seem to make in these scenarios – all of them high on emotion and very much lacking in truth.
After this tragic shooting and the inevitable collective debate that has once again surfaced, there is one thing that has become crystal clear, if it wasn’t already: There is no segment of America more fact-free than gun fanatics.
It’s a pretty straightforward point but in order to make it I’ll go through a few of the most trending pro-gun myths.
“Liberals shouldn’t talk about gun control after a terrorist attack – there is no connection”
I’d first like to offer the video below:
In the clip, now-dead al-Qaeda terrorist Adam Yahiye Gadahn urges jihadists inside America to take advantage of U.S. gun laws.
“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,” the former al-Qaeda spokesman says in the video. “You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card.”
“So what are you waiting for?” Gadahn adds.
Unless you sleep with your AR-15 at night and regularly drink NRA Kool-Aid, it’s pretty clear that there is, indeed, a connection between terrorism and gun laws. The number of easily accessible weapons of war inside this country, combined with a broken background check system, is a dream come true for those who want to do harm to America.
To add icing to this disgusting cake, Republican gun fanatics in Congress even blocked a bill earlier this year that would’ve banned terror suspects – sort of like the one that wreaked havoc on innocent people in Orlando – from buying guns in the U.S.
Sure, it’s common sense to bar potentially dangerous individuals from getting their hands on deadly weapons, but there is nothing sensible about the gun-obsessed.
There is a direct link between terrorism and America’s gun laws, and the road between to the two is paved by weak gun regulations.
“Gun-free zones attract these types of mass shootings”
This is another common pro-gun myth that quickly dies if you spend a few minutes with my two good friends, data and evidence.
Among dozens and dozens of mass shootings that have taken place over the past three decades in the United States, there is not a lick of evidence that the shooter chose a location because it barred guns on the premises. In fact, a recent study found the contrary to be true.
According to the analysis, shooters are attracted to places for personal reasons, whether it’s a white supremacist shooting up a black church, a disgruntled ex-employee targeting his former place of employment, or a school with which the gunman had personal ties.
Deranged individuals choose places with which they have a connection; not because there is a plastic “No Firearms” sign on the front door.
“If more people are armed, everyone will be safer.”
This little piece of misinformation has been passed down from one generation of gun lovers to the next – the idea that if we just let everyone and their baby sister get their hands on a weapon, we would all live in peace and harmony.
But study after study (after study after study) has shown that where there are more guns, there is more death. I could refer to this Harvard study as evidence, but it would be insulting to the hundreds of other studies that show the same findings.
Whether it’s a country or a state or a household, a higher concentration of firearms almost always means an elevated level of gun-related deaths. If someone tells you otherwise, they’re not telling the truth.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture by now, right?
The very sad truth is that even though reality unequivocally debunks these myths, pro-gun fanatics will continue to perpetuate them – probably until their last breath.
But the rest of us – those who hope to live in a more secure country where toddlers and terrorists don’t have access to powerful weaponry – should never stop calling them out.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.