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If You Care About the Second Amendment—And Incredibly Terrible Reporting That's Biased Against Guns—Support Reason!

Yesterday's terrifying non-shooting at Ohio State exemplifies how the media is anti-gun and anti-freedom.

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Ben Slaton, Twitter

Today through Tuesday, December 6, Reason is running its annual webathon. We're asking readers of this site to make tax-deductible donations in dollars and Bitcoin to Reason Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that publishes our award-winning journalism in video, audio, and print form. Different giving levels come with different levels of swag, which you can read about here.

All school killings are horrifying and yet they are made somehow even more terrible when you know the place in question. Monday's attempted mass killing at Ohio State University, in which the would-be mastermind ended up being the only death, was particularly harrowing for me because my older son had just graduated from the place this past spring (thankfully, he was sitting just a few feet from me when the news reports started coming in).

Jesus, really, what kind of world are we living in? Another day, another mass attack, right? The world is getting more dangerous, according to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. No, but it seems that way, which is good enough for partisans of the right and the left who are constantly looking for ways to lock down your freedom.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the apparent assailant who was shot to death after running at people in his car and wielding a butcher knife, was born in Somalia and was Muslim, so the right is already shouting about how this proves we need to kick out all immigrants, especially Muslims, and wall off (or is it wall in?) America. Never mind that native-born Americans commit 90 percent of terrorism-related murders and that the odds of being killed in such an event come in around 1 in 3.6 million. Donald Trump and a host of conservative types know what they know:

Trump has recommended "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on"—a plan that his own running mate called "offensive and unconstitutional." More recently Trump has said the moratorium should apply to all visitors from countries "compromised by terrorism," a category that arguably includes most of the world.

On the broadly defined left, the Ohio State attack is ultimately about the need to curtail gun ownership and all that implies. The incident was initially (and erroneously) reported as an "active shooter" event, leading to folks ranging from Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to the news site Vox.com calling for more gun control. Just as Republicans and conservatives feel compelled to act out certain scripts over and over again (like the "hosts" on HBO's Westworld), so too do Democrats and liberals.

At Reason, we've got our default settings too, and we wear them on our sleeves and every issue of the magazine: We believe in "Free Minds and Free Markets." As libertarians, we think the starting point should always be in favor of individual liberty to live how you want; to eat, smoke, drink, and marry whom you want; to dress how you want; and on and on.

But we're not mindless automatons running the same script over and over. We work to engage the world and discover new facts and frameworks that change how we might think about things. The right can't internalize the idea that crime has gone down as immigrants have gone up any more than the left can deal with more guns correlating with less crime. I write as the world's most reluctant and worst shot—I've fired real guns a few times in my life and am lucky when I hit the sky or the ground—but I'm in favor of strong Second Amendment rights. That's less than simply because they are in the Consitution and more because I can recognize that over the past quarter-century gun laws have been vastly liberalized (as liberals never stop to remind us) and violent gun crime and murder have decreased by half.

One good reason to support Reason's journalism is that in a world of knee-jerk media and politicians, we don't immediately use every current event as fodder to simply push a longstanding agenda. This results in some great journalism you won't see anywhere else, especially at places that are already cranking up their basic immigrants-are-evil and more-gun-control stories even before basic facts are known.

Last January, for instance, Reason's Brian Doherty published an in-depth analysis of new research that purportedly showed that more guns equal more crime and that more gun laws equalled less gun violence. That's plausible enough. What Doherty did was the opposite of what the media and pols do when they encounter something that either confounds or confirms their bias: He actually worked through the new information to see how it holds up.

What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what…the president would have us believe.

More guns do not necessarily mean more homicides. More gun laws do not necessarily mean less gun crime. Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone. Despite the confident assertions of the gun controllers and decades of research, we still know astonishingly little about how guns actually function in society and almost nothing at all about whether gun control policies actually work as promised.

Long before Donald Trump came along and just started making shit up all the time, the 21st century had already entered an era of "truthiness," of things being held as true because they confirmed what we wanted to believe was true. George Bush invaded Iraq on bad information and nobody—not even the president himself—realized at the time that Barack Obama was only kidding when he said he'd have the most-transparent administration ever. In such a world where basic reality is up for grabs, Reason magazine, Reason.com, and Reason TV are more needed than ever. Unlike most of the media, you can trust us to be tethered to facts and to show our math, to explain our logic and rationale for believing what we believe and laying out the best policy for this or that issue. And as important, you can also count us to be finding the future as it exists among us. To get a better sense of what I'm talking about, listen for a bit to our recent interview with the libertarian activist Cody Wilson, who blew people's minds by 3D printing the world's first gun and has elaborated his philosophy of freedom in the new book, Come and Take It: The Gun Printer's Guide to Thinking Free.

Because as important as it is to call bullshit on the press and current pols, it's even more important to show what I and the rest of Reason hold to be a self-evident truth: We can make the world a better or worse place based on how we live.

Today through Tuesday, December 6, Reason is running its annual webathon. We're asking readers of this site to make tax-deductible donations in dollars and Bitcoin to Reason Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that publishes our award-winning journalism in video, audio, and print form. Different giving levels come with different levels of swag, which you can read about here.

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  1. What if I only care about 1 of those?

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  2. I didn’t read the article, but from the headline, I should support the site because I care about the 2nd amendment getting in the way of a violence-free utopia, and I support reporting that’s biased against guns.

    1. But we apparently should also be terrified by non-shootings, which suggests to me that shootings are a good thing. I just don’t know what to think anymore.

      1. note how a multiple stabbing and driving over people actually got very little media coverage once guns were not the culprit but we will here how if guns were involved it would have been worse

        1. I mean, this morning I was still seeing outlets such as the NYT referring to it as an active shooter situation and comparing it to, and I quote, “other mass shootings”. This after, within the same article, specifying that the attacker used a car and a knife and the only person known to have a gun on campus at the time was the officer who shot the suspect. It seriously bothers me that so many journalists or people claiming to be providing the public with information as a service have absolutely no problem deceiving their audience in order to further their agenda. It doesn’t surprise me, mind you, it just bothers me.

      2. Non-shootings? Dude, keep up. They are called knife-shootings.

    2. I didn’t read Jimbo’s comment, but from the header I’m guessing it’s kind of retarded?

      1. Well, when I see Hugh above a comment I know it will be retarded, so there is that.

  3. I’ve fired real guns a few times in my life and am lucky when I hit the sky or the ground

    The Jacket appears to indirectly be saying he’s a deadeye? I guess this is an example of interpreting turns of phrase too literally can invert the true intended meaning of the phrase.

    1. when I hit the sky or the ground

      If you hit the former, the latter gets it eventually.

      /Science!

      1. +9.81 m/s^2

  4. leading to folks ranging from Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to the news site Vox.com calling for more gun control.

    Tim Kaine may be in favor of abridging the 2nd Amendment but the referenced Twitter comment is Deeply saddened by the senseless act of gun violence at Ohio State this morning. Praying for the injured and the entire Buckeye community.

    In this specific context I don’t see that as a call for more gun control.

  5. Hey – The Most Gorgeous Female Politician ad is back in the line-up!

    Reason lost a lot of ground with me with their awful Toenail Fungus ads…..

    1. The “why [politician/celebrity] never talks about their daughter” ads creeped me out on several levels. (Number 5 will shock you.)

    1. Christ, that’s funny. How in hell do you find all of that stuff Heroic?

      As I typed that I figured it out. You assign your twerk students to mine Youtube as homework, don’t you?

      1. One finds this ‘stuff’ by typing in porno-like searches on Youtube.

        For further research I recommend ‘breastfeeding’ vids lol

  6. on another gun note just got a an email form GOA about how General Petreaus who may get the Secretary of State job is an anti gun guy. is there anyone left in American political power with any common sense?

  7. I could note here that the liberal reflex was factually inaccurate, since more gun control couldn’t possibly have an effect on an attack with car and gun. The conservative desire to keep further Muslim immigrants out at least is based on the actual identity of the perp. (By the way, what percentage of the population is Muslim? What percentage of rapes and terrorist attacks do they commit?) Of course, we’ve allowed too many in already. I wonder how many of those “native American” terrorists are in fact Muslims born here of immigrant sock (as I believe was the case in the Orlando gay bar attack).

    1. (By the way, what percentage of the population is Muslim? What percentage of rapes and terrorist attacks do they commit?)

      Good questions. Definitely something to look into before we jump to any conclu-

      Of course, we’ve allowed too many in already.

      Ah

      1. But you see they were born out of immigrants socks. The ban on sock people in america has a rich history starting with John “fun-killer” adams.

  8. How much time did the Ex-MSM dedicate to this story? My guess would be not much, since a good guy close by with a gun prevented more injuries and possible deaths.

    1. I saw a blurb on it during lunch yesterday, when I got home to read more about it in here in Austin by a local news outlet, I had to search for it, it had already been buried. When I finally did read up on it, I realized quickly why it was buried – it didn’t fit the narrative. I hope not to be killed by someone else’s hand, but if I do, I think I’d rather be shot and ended quickly, then ran over and stabbed.

  9. from Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine

    WHO?!!

  10. First, in the initial thread about donating to Reason I request a detailed article on the alt-right and a bit later, boom, ENB publishes one.

    Now this? It’s like Reason is trolling me for a donation.

    Don’t worry y’all. I am giving.

    1. I’m not, not this year. The election coverage was just bad. Recycled DemOp BS, not much that I couldn’t get anywhere.

  11. Unlike most of the media, you can trust us to be tethered to facts and to show our math

    Handcuffing ourselves to data, are we now?

  12. Where the hell are the BLM folks? Another white cop kills a black teenager in broad daylight…..I’m not sure who’s more racist the campus police dept that supports this behavior are the white students applauding them.

    1. I’m sorry. I know it isn’t the fault of the Black Lives Matter people that we reduce everything to initials (not that they haven’t enough faults), but every time I see BLM I real Bureau of Land Management..

      1. Who the hell are “black lives matter?”

  13. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the apparent assailant who was shot to death after running at people in his car and wielding a butcher knife, was born in Somalia…

    A Somalian? Well, no wonder he drove his car off the road.

    1. It’s a pattern…my last trip to Minneapolis my Somali uber driver drove onto the sidewalk as well. If I would have known then what I know now.

    2. One less (fewer?) Libertarian in the world.

  14. A couple questions about donating. First, is this tax deductible? Second, on those tiered prizes. Can the one for meeting Welch, Gillespie, and KMW switch out Nick with either Foster or Stossel? Yeah I know, they don’t work for Reason, but hey, you want my money, make it happen. Well, make it happen for next year’s. I’m not donating this year. Gotta save up my money right now.

    1. Well, Reason *says* the gifts are tax deductible. From the donation link: “Reason Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization (ID #95-3298239); as such, contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code.”

      1. I’ve been donating to Reason for years, and claiming it on my taxes, and the IRS hasn’t found me yet (oops…)

  15. Give money to reason, those cruises don’t pay for themselves.

  16. so the right is already shouting about how this proves we need to kick out all immigrants, especially Muslims, and wall off (or is it wall in?) America

    “The right” isn’t screaming about kicking out “all immigrants”. People want illegal migrants out of the country and they want a skill based immigration system.

    Also, call me selfish here, but I prefer immigrants who follow ideologies (and let’s not kid ourselves, that’s what Islam is, despite the “God” thing) that don’t want to put me in prison or want to kill me.

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  17. “Never mind that native-born Americans commit 90 percent of terrorism-related murders and that the odds of being killed in such an event come in around 1 in 3.6 million. Donald Trump and a host of conservative types know what they know:”

    Orlando shooter – son of MUSLIM immigrants.

    Ft Hood killer – son of MUSLIM immigrants.

    It small comfort to the 64 dead from those 2 incidents that they were the unfortunate ones to be the 1 in 3.6 million statistic.

    It seems that fewer “native born” Muslims would result in fewer terrorism-related murders by “native born” Muslims.

    Yeah, we know we know.

  18. “Never mind that native-born Americans commit 90 percent of terrorism-related murders and that the odds of being killed in such an event come in around 1 in 3.6 million. Donald Trump and a host of conservative types know what they know”

    Orlando killer – SON of Muslim immigrants.

    Ft Hood killer – SON of Muslim immigrants.

    There are other examples.

    It is no consolation to the 64 dead in those 2 instances that they had the bad luck to be in the 1 in 3.6 million statistic.

    THEY ARE STILL DEAD!

    It sure seems that fewer “native born” Muslims should result in less terrorism-related murders.

    Yeah, we know what we know.

    1. You forgot the Tsarnaevs in Boston and the San Bernadino jihadists…

      Who will think of the children?!

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