Stop Politicizing Crazy… And While You’re At It Keep Your Hands Off My Guns

Sorry Brian Ross and fellow spin doctor “journalists”. Most times crazy people are just that, crazy. James Holmes’ crazy had nothing to do with his politics. It had nothing to do with the tea party. And not everyone who owns a gun is a pathological lunatic looking to go on a shooting spree. An hour after the media began to report about Holmes’ murderous rampage in Aurora, ABC’s irresponsible reporter incorrectly identified the shooter as a tea party radical. This sent a shock wave throughout activist circles online. Twitter and Facebook blew up and #firebrianross became a trending topic on Friday.  What’s most disturbing to me is that ABC and Ross went searching for a tea party connection right off the bat. Why? So they can perpetuate their lies and hate toward the very people who look to expose the truth about the media. Why do Americans continue to tune in to mainstream media when they offer us nothing but lame commentary? How often do you tune into cable news and feel as if the news had actually filled you in on the important topics of the day?

(Ron Burgundy has more journalist cred than Brian Ross)

And in the next “Of course the anti-constitutionalists want this” moment I had after I found out about the shooting, I went to Facebook to see my feed filled with posts about wanting more gun control from friends who do not understand the importance behind the second amendment. I grew up in a gun owning family. My father, an ardent gun owner’s rights enthusiast took us shooting as kids. I have always known how to use a gun. How to load it. How to disarm it. I grew up with a healthy amount of fear of what a gun was capable of doing, therefore knowing it wasn’t a toy.  I also come from a long line of gun owners, military men, and tough pioneer women. Never once in the over two hundred years of history of my family that I have researched has there been any sort of tragic gun accident around children who grew up with weapons. And my family’s story is no different. I know plenty of others in this country who own guns, have guns around their children, and nothing tragic has happened to them. In fact, every gun owner I know is a responsible citizen and makes sure to educate those around them about guns. And here lies the problem. The Brian Ross’ and anti-second amendment types want to equate gun owners and criminals like Holmes to be one in the same. They want Americans to believe that no one should have access to weapons to arm themselves because eventually any gun owner will snap and go on a shooting rampage. Anti-gun folks, I beg to differ. I believe that had just one person in that theater been a law abiding gun owner with a concealed weapons permit, they would have been able to take Holmes down and save more lives.

In states and cities where gun laws are the harshest, we find that gun violence and murder are higher. After doing some gun laws/crime research over the weekend I came across statistics that are quite profound from the Gun Owners of America which is a pro-second amendment lobby out of DC. Some of the most resounding facts that stood out to me were the ones on the lowest gun crime states and were the ones where law abiding citizens were allowed to own guns without outrageous hurdles. The following statistics are ones you may want to show to your anti-second amendment friends.

Washington, D.C. has, perhaps, the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and yet it is frequently the Murder Capital of the nation. In the 25 years following the DC gun ban, its murder rate INCREASED 51 percent, even while the national rate DECREASED 36 percent.(49)

Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or about 6,850 times a day.(1) This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.(2)

  • * Concealed carry laws have reduced murder and crime rates in the states that have enacted them. According to a comprehensive study which reviewed crime statistics in every county in the United States from 1977 to 1992, states which passed concealed carry laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, aggravated assault by 7% and robbery by 3%.(4)
  • * California State officials have used the state background check—required during the waiting period—to compile an illegal registry of handgun owners. These lists have been compiled without any statutory authority to do so.(70)

(Sources and cited information courtesy of the Gun Owners of America, http://gunowners.org/fs0404.htm)

This tragic event should not be used to politicize mental illness or gun ownership. The kinds of conversations we should be having in this country should not be ones of which we try to figure out if Holmes is an occupier or a teapartier. We should be asking why his professors allowed him to fall off their radar after he withdrew from school if they had noticed signs of his insanity. We need to start a public service campaign as to how to spot out mental illness and how we can get people treatment for their diseases. We have to shake the taboo of mental illness instead of looking for a scapegoat and taking it out on gun owners. And most of all, instead of instilling such disdain for guns and their law abiding owners we should be encouraging Americans to exercise their right to protection. We should be educating and encouraging Americans to buy guns, to use them properly, and to apply for concealed weapons permits. We should be taking a look at situations like the one in Florida last week where a 71 year old law abiding gun owner shot down two robbers who were armed who intended on hurting innocent people in an internet cafe. Florida’s gun laws are very accommodating to gun owners whereas Colorado’s, specifically Aurora’s are not. I would venture to say that political correctness helped contribute to the rampage and murders in Colorado. Maybe had someone actually worked up the courage to tell Holmes he had a problem instead of worrying about offending him or hurting his feelings, we could have avoided this senseless tragedy all together.

About Ashley Ingram

Ingram has written for numerous blogs including Flashreport, California Political News and Views and has been featured in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Daily News, and other newspapers across the state and country. Ingram frequently appears as a guest on radio shows such as John and Ken, NPR’s Larry Mantle Show, Kevin James, Doug McIntyre, TJ McCormack on LA Talk Radio, and various other shows to give commentary mainly on California, youth, and national politics.

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  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Good stuff! Let’s let the investigation unfold before saying much about the motives, though.
    Cheers,
    Chris

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726790021 Ashley Nicole Ingram

      Absolutely! Thank you for your comment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/soderstromk Ken Soderstrom

    Excellent research and analysis! It is particularly important that you have meticulously documented every statement from only credible sources. THIS is what reporting used to be. You raise hope that the journalistic tradition of fact, based upon reliable sources is not extinct, and has a chance to take root and to grow again!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726790021 Ashley Nicole Ingram

      Thank you very much Ken. I appreciate your kind words!

    • http://brooksbayne.com brooksbayne

      thanks for opining, ken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548080049 Gary Aminoff

    Good article, Ashley, and well-researched. It would seem to me that if I were a nut-case wanting to kill a bunch of people, the place that would be the most enticing location to me would be a “no-gun zone” theater. I wouldn’t have any concern that someone in the audience might have a weapon to stop me. The solution to Aurora, and similar massacres is not more gun control. Just the opposite. Where there is an armed citizenry, murders are substantially reduced. Good job.

    • http://brooksbayne.com brooksbayne

      those pesky founders of ours… the nerve of people to think that they were actually correct in their assessments. ;)

  • Robert McClain

    “And not everyone who owns a gun is a pathological lunatic looking to go on a shooting spree. ”

    D’uh, correct and what a stupid statement. There are more guns in America than citizens, so yes, I would say its safe to conclude that not each and every citizen does not go on a shooting spree. Most are law abiding, sane, responsible people who know how to safely handle said guns. IMO there should be restrictions on automatic weapons, esp those that enable extended clips with even more shots before unloading (such as in the Gabby Gifford horror), but it could be that this crime did not involve this type of weapon. Yet to be determined, I think.

    “An hour after the media began to report about Holmes’ murderous rampage in Aurora, ABC’s irresponsible reporter incorrectly identified the shooter as a tea party radical.”

    What I saw was a reporter say that a person with the same name as the “alleged” was a member of the local tea party, but that reporter also said that it was not known if it was the same person, so I pity the guy who was given that script to say, but it seems to me, that there was no reporting that the shooter was “a tea party radical”, just that there was a tea party member with that name and they did not know if it was the same guy. Yes, it would have been better for them to have withheld the conjecture!
    I saw the guy make the statement and he said that there was no connection at that time with the shooter. At least the loose connection was acknowledged and any thinking viewer would and should have withheld judgement.
    Not the best journalism but not IMO an “irresponsible reporter incorrectly identified the shooter as a tea party radical”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726790021 Ashley Nicole Ingram

      It’s not a clip. You meant a magazine. And if you were a responsible gun owner, you’d know this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.stammreich John Stammreich

      Typical liberal excuse making for their own agenda, and nit-picking bashes for the other side. Question for you, Robert: Why is it that when we substitute “marijuana” or “driving while drunk” for “guns” in this debate, we suddenly see liberals flip to the other side? Why are you all not consistent with your arguements over a dangerous act? The irony is that if people are educated about handling and possessing each of these three, the dangers of each go down. Communities where gun ownership is both permitted and educated, violence is way down, as Ashley has pointed out. Where the dangers of drinking while drunk are taught, the fatalities are far lower than “dry counties” that simply tell people no; and I suspect communities that practice legitimate medical use of marijhuana without abusing that opportunity have a far lower rate of teenage and college abuse. Thoughts?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726790021 Ashley Nicole Ingram

        Amen on the dry counties Stamm. That’s an excellent correlation.

      • Patrick Morse

        Having equal disdain for liberals and conservatives, or more plainly, having general disdain for the divisive and increasingly irrelevant illusion that is 2 party system…shouldnt any “us vs them” dialogue center around citizens and what our government has become? Clinton, Bush, Obama…they all have been complicit in the decline of our great nation. Obama and Bush were elected on platforms of non-intervention, peace, and ending our military commitment overseas. Those were lies. Clinton rocks Glass Steagall…followed by a republican alley-oop with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley…meanwhile, the citizens continue to be distracted by lib vs con talking points. Pass the ball to Bush who scores with a bailout to wall street. Next, Obama wins the tip off, and its business as usual on Wall Street. The 2nd ammendment guarantees us the right to bear arms. Were also supposed to protect the security of a free state with those arms. Imagine what could occur in this country if all of the energy spent on liberal vs conservative nonsense could be focused on how the last 3 administrations have done nothing to stop the avarice of wall street nor have worked to correct the madness of our military foreign policy. Look to Iceland for options regarding the economic crisis. Look to the success rate of any empire regarding interventionist policy. We need to have one eye open at all times, fixed unblinking on the whats happening with the UN Gun Treaty. We the people.