Fact Checking Emotional Propaganda
When I was making a purchase at my local bookstore last week, the cashier solicited me for a donation. This donation was for a charity dealing with sick children or something. I told cashier I came here to buy a book not make donations. I guess she realized I am not one to be guilt tripped into doing things and told me that many people do not have the courage to say no. This pressure to comply due to emotional appeal has run rampant in America. When people make decisions on how they feel or manipulated by their feelings, not many good things can come of it.
Usually I do not delve into the details of the various schemes and manipulations that powerful people do in order to influence people’s behaviors. Someone actually fact checked one sales pitch for the limitation of guns. This exercise in breaking down an argument outside of the emotional shows that emotion is all it has. While the premise is guns, the method is pure emotional appeal.
The Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg has decided to throw his hat in, as well as his capital, in a political fight against the NRA by spending an estimated fifty million dollars to start up Everytown for Gun Safety @ Everytown.org. If you go to his website, one of the articles pops out on the front page is an “analysis” of the over sixty “school shootings” that have taken place since the Newtown massacre on December 12th, 2012.
In this era of political rhetoric and ideological echo-chambers, there is little in the way of fact-checking and realism with statistical data. The media is off panicking the masses of soccer moms and metrosexual dads that mass shootings are a growing epidemic, apparently none of whom look at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports of homicides every year. Of the sixty-two incidents on Everytown’s “analysis”, only one can be classified as a mass murder. The FBI is quite clear that a “mass murder” involves the homicide of four or more individuals with no cooling off period between the murders. The article would lead readers to believe that there have been sixty-two incidents of similar scope as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But this is simply not the case.
With a total combined death toll between the sixty-two “school shootings” of 39, it’s hard to match them up to Newtown, which in one incident saw 28 deaths, including the perpetrator, Adam Lanza. Despite what the media might portray for politics, ratings, or profit, such shootings are exceptionally rare. Of course, a large amount of the focus is on the AR-15 reportedly used,the gun control advocates would like gullible Americans to think without which Adam Lanza would not have been capable of such carnage. But if you remember the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16th, 2007. Seung-Hui Cho managed to kill 32 people, then himself, with nothing more than a .22LR caliber Walther P22 and 9mm Glock 19; the Walther with a magazine capacity of ten rounds and the Glock a bit more at fifteen. There is little discussion of firearms in the Everytown analysis, probably because they are virtually all handguns or the suggested firearm for home defense of Vice President Joe Biden, a shotgun.
Let’s look at that the lack of analysis this “analysis” gives us, as it’s little more than a picture of a crying woman and a list of schools at which a firearm was discharged on or nearby campus grounds since December 2012. Thirty-nine people dead, because of school shootings, between December 13th, 2012 and mid-April 2014. It’s hard to find statistics for causes of death even near that number. The United States averages roughly 51 deaths due to lightning strikes per year, over the last 20 years; according to NOAA. According to the CDC, there was an average of 3,533 unintentional drownings per year for the years of 2005-2009. Yet where is a politically motivated and affluent billionaire to launch a safety campaign outlining the dangers of pools or thunderstorms?
The fact that Mayor Bloomberg has taken Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s now infamous quote “never let a good crisis go to waste” to heart, is no surprise. But who thinks about the political realities of why someone is making moves against one of the GOP’s biggest political lobbies, using a tragedy like Newtown as the crest on their flag; when they are busy being emotionally compromised by the idea of children being gunned down in their school classrooms?
Among the 39 deaths, there is a justified case of self-defense, a possible case of self-defense, and seven cases of nothing more then suicides by firearm. The biggest trend among these “school shootings” is the shooters and victims are young black men. This reality is in stark contrast to the media image of upper-class white elementary school kids gunned down by socially awkward psychopaths with AR-15′s or other “assault weapons”. Few if any of the mainstream gun safety campaigns reflect the reality of gun violence. Remember, you are more likely to be killed by bee stings than you are to be shot on or around a school campus.
In conclusion, this emotional appeal by Mr. Bloomberg seems to be all about coercing a population into following his politics through emotional appeal. His advocacy gives them an audience of motivated people controlled by their emotions. What could a powerful person do with this audience aside from campaign against guns. I signed up at this website to get the newsletter. This newsletter only talks about political activism for those that seem to not be able to make up their own mind. Be aware of those that appeal to your emotion, because they may not appeal to your interests.
Note: The author received help from “Glocktopus”, a member of the notorious “Donk Chat” in writing this article.
Read Also: How To Control Your Emotional State