Gun deaths are at a historic low in America and continue to tank. Since 1993, gun homicides have been cut in half.
So has this been because we’ve had sweeping gun control legislation to curb gun violence? Hardly – the number of guns in private hands has skyrocketed, and concealed carry laws have spread to nearly every state.
But if you were to ask a person on the street about this, you’d hear the opposite. According to the Pew Research Center, only 10% of Americans knew gun violence has declined since the 1990s, while 45% think it went up, and the remaining 39% think it stayed the same.
Judging by the media’s influence, its not hard to see why.
Consider a recent headline at the Washington Post: “How gun deaths became as common as traffic deaths.”
So by the title you’d think that gun deaths are on the rise – to such an extent that they’re just as common as traffic fatalities!
Of course, anyone familiar with firearm statistics knows that couldn’t possibly be the case. As The Blaze reported:
Many readers might assume that means gun deaths have skyrocketed in recent years, but the data included in the Post’s own story tell a different story.
It is true that gun deaths and motor vehicle deaths recently hit similar levels — only after a significant drop in traffic deaths.
Here’s the graph WaPo included in its story:
Some took to Twitter to correct the nonsense:
FIFY: Finally, cars are as safe as guns. https://t.co/tVSu5JWWVh
— Roger (@Roger247) December 20, 2015
— SlantingDuck (@sttngduck) December 20, 2015
Such a dishonest way of noting that traffic deaths have fallen. https://t.co/ghr94HHMWU
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) December 20, 2015
Let’s be honest, a huge proportion of those who follow the news don’t even bother to click past the headline. Don’t you think its likely that the Washington Post was capitalizing on these individuals to deliberately mislead? I’d say why not — it’s not like if you’re going to make a pro-gun control argument you have facts on your side.
[Note: This article was written by The Analytical Economist]