In War, Truth is the First Casualty

Aeschylus once said “In war, truth is the first casualty.” He’s was right. This fact is apparent in any war. I’m not just talking about shooting wars like Vietnam or Iraq, culture wars suffer from the same problem. Consider the current war on guns. By exploiting the tragedy that happened in Newtown, Connecticut gun control advocates have made their attack against gun owners. Early on it was reported that an “assault weapon” was used in the Newtown shooting:

(CBS News) NEWTON, Conn. – It’s still unclear what — if any — connection suspected gunman Adam Lanza’s mother had to Sandy Hook Elementary School, the scene of the mass murder on Friday. But we do know the weapons Adam Lanza used to kill his victims came from her home.

As new details emerge, the scope of the horror expands. Lanza apparently sprayed two classrooms at the school with relentless fire from a semi-automatic assault rifle.

It was a massacre, and most of the victims were first-graders. Autopsies on the bodies of the children reveal that many, if not all, had been shot multiple times.

“I only did seven of the autopsies,” medical examiner Wayne Carver said. “The victims I had ranged from three to 11 wounds a piece, and I only saw two of them with close-range shooting.”

Investigators believe most of the bullets came from a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle. It was one of four guns Lanza took from the home he shared with his mother after he shot and killed her.

This news was used by gun control advocates to push for a new “assault weapon” ban. Later it was reported that no “assault weapon” was used in the Newtown tragedy:

They say now that there were actually four handguns inside the school, not just two as we were initially told. Four handguns and apparently only handguns that were taken into the school.

We knew that Adam Lanza, the man said to be the gunman here, also had an ‘assault-style’ AR-15 -style rifle that he had had taken to the school, it was in the car he drove there, his mother’s car, but we have been told by several officials that he had left that in the car.

If the use of an “assault weapon” is in question why are gun control advocates still pushing for a new “assault weapon” ban? Because they don’t care about facts, they care about their holy crusade against gun owners. They also know several things. First, the wall-to-wall coverage of the Newtown shooting is over. In the United States news cycles last for roughly one week, after that one week period very little will be reported about the news item. Therefore the report noting that an “assault weapon” wasn’t used in the Newtown shooting likely fell on deaf ears because we’re beyond that one week window. Another example of this happening was the Zimmerman case. Originally news sources reported that Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin was motivated by race. Later it was revealed that Zimmerman’s injuries corresponded with his story, which supported his claim that the shooting was in self-defense. Since that news only came to light after the one week news cycle most people didn’t hear it and still believe Zimmerman’s shooting was race related.

The second thing gun control advocates know is that reports noting that an “assault weapon” wasn’t used in the Newtown shooting will be irrelevant. For weeks the average American has been subjected to continusous reports demonizing “assault weapons.” These reports failed to note that more people are killed in the United States by clubs and hammers every year than by rifles and spend a great deal of time exaggerating the amount of power the average “assault weapon” has. In addition to that the media has also implied that “assault weapons” are capable of fully automatic fire, making their readers and viewers believe that any individual can purchase a machine gun in this country with little expense or oversight. At this point nobody cares whether or not an “assault weapon” was used in the Newtown shooting because they believe thousands of people are being murdered every year by legally purchased machine guns. In other words the original justification for the “assault weapon” ban isn’t even on most people’s minds, the narrative has been change and is not about the danger “assault weapons” threaten the average person with.

The third thing gun control advocates know is that most people don’t care about the issue. There are three sides to the gun rights debate: gun rights advocates, gun control advocates, and everybody else who couldn’t care less. Gun rights advocates oppose a new “assault weapon” ban, gun control advocates support a new “assault weapon” ban, and everybody else is angry that Dancing with the Stars is being interrupted by the other two groups. The third group will generally be uninformed about the issue and likely to believe the facts that were originally being reported during the first week. Since most media outlets are unlikely to interrupt Dancing with the Stars after the first week of news coverage the third group is unlikely to hear that no “assault weapon” was used in the Newtown shooting.

The fourth thing gun control advocates know is that the state is on their side. I’ve mentioned before that the state has a vested interest in disarming the general population. The state exists through expropriation and expropriation is made easier when your victims are unarmed. Therefore gun control advocates will gain support from the state so long as the state doesn’t believe gun control is detrimental to its rule (in other words likely to create dissidence and encourage individuals to view the state is illegitimate).

Truth doesn’t last long in any war. As we’ve seen in this debate the truth has already been taking behing the shed, forced to dig its own grave, and shot in the back of the head. Most of the people currently demanding more gun control have no idea what is actually going on, nor do they care. That makes this fight difficult for us gun owners. Fortunately, thanks to the increased interest in the shooting sports, we’ve been able to grow our numbers as of late. This is why I encourage gun owners to take their non-gunnie friends to the range. The truth can be killed but rational self-interest is the basis of all human action. By growing our numbers we increase the number of individuals whose rational self-interest leads them to oppose new gun control legislation. I’ve said that education is the most important tactic in the fight for gun rights, which is true, but education can only happen if somebody is willing to listen. Taking people to the range gives you an audience, it opens new minds to new ideas, and stands to increase the number of potential educators in the gun rights movement. It’s one of the few tools that can be used to create an underground resistance in the memory of our beloved comrade, the truth.