If It Bleeds, It Leads

First used as the mantra for news programming in the early 1980’s, “if it bleeds, it leads” has become the standard for network, print and social media news.  News after all is a big and prosperous business and the more attention given to the gore, the more viewers will tune in. It’s no wonder that the myth of the United States being the only country in the world to have mass shootings has been so easy to perpetrate. Of course, it is completely false and doesn’t tell the reality of firearm usage.

It’s easy to see why media outlets run 24/7 coverage of every shooting story they can get their hands on. By running these stories first and often, they set up the perception that this is what commonly occurs in our country. Then the gun control elitists come along and say how this only happens in our country and that the only way to make it stop is to implement their “common sense gun safety” laws.  The horrible, gruesome problem and the sensible solution are all presented in the first few minutes of the broadcast.  What could be easier?

Sadly it’s not just the left leaning stations, papers and other news outlets that follow this formula. Even the one major news network that isn’t completely anti-gun / anti-Second Amendment sensationalizes every tragedy, giving the pathetic psychopaths the very attention and notoriety they crave. Each story of a mass shooter who is able to kill X innocent victims inspires the next shooter to kill X +1 so THEY will be the biggest and baddest killer of all times.

Given this one sided approach to the news, it’s easy to believe that mass shootings are common place and the horrible death machines the shooters use – be it semi-automatic rifles or pistols, with or without so-called “high capacity” magazines are ONLY used by psychopaths to kill large groups of people. Since the stories show there is no legitimate use for them, the only way we can be safe is to get rid of them.

Time for a reality check here.

From this nation’s 44thpresident to every well-funded and centrally coordinated “grass roots” gun control group, you hear that this doesn’t happen in other countries. They quote statistics saying the United States is the worst among a select group of countries they call “high income” or “advanced” countries. In reality, it’s just a list of countries that happen to have lower crime rates than the United States. If you look at the entire planet using the current FBI definition of mass shooting, you’ll find the United States is really 64th. Now being 64thout of 195 countries isn’t something to be especially proud of, but then you realize there are 63 other countries that have more mass shootings that the United States – and that you’re being lied to.

The other commonly perpetrated myth is that firearms in civilian hands only increase the crime rate and do nothing to prevent violence, only make it worse. Again, a lie.

In long buried CDC (Centers for Disease Control) studies, the CDC found that civilian defensive use of firearms outnumbered felonious use of firearms by a rate of 3 to 1, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million uses per year. Note that not all of the events involved the discharge of a firearm by the civilian. Often times, the mere presenting or challenge to the criminal with a firearm was enough to stop the intended crime.  It’s also important to realize this number ONLY includes persons who were not performing defensive duties as part of their employment such as law enforcement or security services.

So what we wind up with on the evening news is only one side of the story. The horrible crime, distraught and sobbing relatives grieving for the loss of their loved one and politicians jumping at the chance to celebrate the death of innocents in order to advance their own political agenda.  Lost are the stories of courage and heroism of everyday Americans who stood up to violence with a legally owned firearm and stopped the criminal right then and there.

When is the last time you saw the network news or even your local news station do a story on how someone used a firearm for lawful defense of life?  The stories are out there, but they are damn few and far between.  With three lawful uses to every unlawful use, you’d think it would be far more common.

Why is easy to understand from the business of news point of view. A homeowner pointing a shotgun at an armed criminal who just kicked in their front door before coming face-to-face with the determined homeowner and fleeing doesn’t sell the news. No bleeding – no leading. In fact, no story at all.

What do you think would happen if people saw on the news the courageous and lawful use of firearms by normal citizens on the news every day? What would happen if people saw on the news they could effectively defend their lives and the lives of their family with a firearm? What if people saw on the news how long it really takes for law enforcement to get to them when they really need help RIGHT NOW and that they can save their own lives and the lives of their families with proper defensive use of firearms? And finally – what do you think criminals are going to think when they see on the news a community that chooses to fight back instead of allowing themselves to be victims?

Since the news is never going to show you the good side of defensive firearm use, you’re going to have to seek it out yourself. Look for the local stories around our country – and around the world – of people standing up to crime & violence and taking responsibility for their own safety. Share these stories with your friends, family and neighbors. It’s time the best-kept secret about lawful, defensive use of firearms came out.  It’s time to save someone’s life.

Bob

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