The so-called “mainstream” media has conveniently and completely ignored a new survey showing that people see right through them and politicians on issues related to guns.
According to a new Rasmussen survey, 74 percent of likely U.S. voters said they think politicians raise the gun issue to get elected. So OK, people don’t trust politicians. That’s a very American way of seeing elected officials. However, there is a deeper and more unfortunate reason for this particular opinion.
Many in the national media, and in gun-ban groups, are completely one-sided and dishonest about this issue.Many in the national media, and in gun-ban groups, are completely one-sided and dishonest about this issue. For that reason, politicians in some congressional districts and cities have noticed that it’s to their political advantage to play along. If they treat the issue in this same deceitful way—even by claiming that law-abiding gun owners, American freedom and the NRA are the reasons behind murder rates in their areas—the media will reward them, as will anti-gun groups and their money. This also works because it mostly enables them to blame outsiders for problems in their voting districts. In this way, they can treat their voters as victims, not responsible citizens who may have their freedom infringed by laws and regulations.
This political use of the issues related to guns by anti-gun politicians and many in the media is not designed to make America safer—and voters know it. This Rasmussen Report national telephone and online survey found that just 15 percent of likely voters believe most politicians raise gun-related issues to address real problems.
Clearly, as the 74 percent of people who responded to the poll saying they think politicians publicize their views on the gun issues to get elected (10 percent were not sure), people are aware that the gun-ban groups, the editorial board for The Washington Post (to name one media outlet) and politicians who oppose Second Amendment freedoms are playing politics, not looking for honest solutions.
Of course, this opinion cuts both ways. Some respondents might also think that pro-gun politicians are simply touting pro-freedom views to get elected. True enough. But really, if a politician expresses pro-freedom opinions to get elected and then turns on American freedom, the NRA’s scorecard and more will educate those same voters before the next election.
The clear problem, which the 74 percent of respondents in the poll indicate they understand, is that in some areas of the country, campaigning and elected officials are playing politics with our freedom even as gang wars escalate in their districts—and many in the media are letting them get away with it.
Obviously, the problem is criminal behavior, not the constitutional freedom enjoyed by law-abiding citizens.No one, after all, believes that the gang members shooting it out on Chicago’s South Side or in East Saint Louis are members of the NRA.
The problem isn’t the millions and millions of law-abiding gun owners. It's the criminals who use illegally owned guns to commit crimes. So, then, doesn’t it make sense to focus on the real problem?
After all, safer areas of the country tend to have higher legal gun ownership rates than the places with the highest homicide rates.
Obviously, the problem is criminal behavior, not the constitutional freedom enjoyed by law-abiding citizens. But that very premise is missed or discounted by media members at many mainstream outlets and by politicians whose knee-jerk reaction is to ban guns.
This poll clearly shows that people are aware of this.Frank Miniter is the author of Kill Big Brother, a novel that shows how to keep government from infringing on our liberties. Miniter is also the author of the The New York Times' bestseller The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide—Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood, This Will Make a Man of You and The Future of the Gun. He is a contributor to Forbes and writes for many publications. His website is FrankMiniter.com