File this under, “never let the truth get in the way of a liberal narrative.” On Thursday, Nicholas Fondacaro reported at Newsbusters that the alphabet soup known as the so-called “mainstream media” has been pushing fake news that President Trump signed a bill that would let mentally ill people purchase guns.
“Fresh off their disinformation campaign in the immediate aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in which they falsely claimed there had been 18 school shootings this year, the three major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) moved on to another fake news topic they wanted to push on the American people: President Trump and the GOP made it easier for mentally ill people to buy guns,” he said.
According to Fondacaro:
The accusation that a bill designed to remove restrictions and allow the mentally ill to purchase guns was passed by the GOP and signed by President Trump had long been debunked. As the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote over a year ago, what got removed was “in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a ‘mental defective.’”
And the bill wasn’t even supported by the NRA. But it was supported by the liberal ACLU and the American Association of People with Disabilities. Yet that didn’t stop the networks from pushing lies and being appalled that the President wasn’t exploiting the situation to push gun control as their previous president did.
“The President’s efforts to comfort the nation tonight striking for what he didn’t say,” chided White House Correspondent Peter Alexander during NBC Nightly News. “President Trump in a nearly seven-minute statement not once mentioning the word ‘Guns.’ Instead, again signaling his focus is on the mental health of shooters, not the weapons they use.”
Fondacaro then documents statements made by the so-called “big three,” all of which parroted the false claim.
Broadcast networks, however, weren’t the only ones to push the fake narrative.
The Boston Globe also made the claim, citing “critics”:
In February 2017, (Trump) signed legislation cutting an Obama-era regulation that added to the national gun background check database the names of people who are receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people who are deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs.
Trump signed the bill without fanfare, NBC News reported.
The action was applauded by the NRA. “Today marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our right to keep and bear arms,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, said at the time.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., also pushed the fake news:
Not accurate to say #GOP did nothing on gun violence. They actually made the situation worse:
But they did do a lot of moments of silence. https://t.co/te7UoDuLFK
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 16, 2018
As did fake “conservative” Jennifer Rubin:
almost a year ago Trump signed a bill rolling back Obama measure making it harder for mentally ill to get guns
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 15, 2018
The last 24 hours demonstrate Republicans are unwilling to consider any reasonable gun measures, even reconsidering the bill they passed last year making it easier for mentally ill Social Security Disability recipients to get guns https://t.co/RT1NBEd47w
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 16, 2018
And the Daily Beast:
A year ago today, the Senate rolled back an Obama regulation that would have prevented 75,000 severely mentally ill people from buying guns and put them "in the hands of people too mentally unstable to manage their own bank accounts" wrote @cliffschecter https://t.co/57YCKPDiqf
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 15, 2018
And of course, CNN’s Chris Cuomo:
are you aware that one of the regulations you got rid of made it more difficult for mentally ill to get guns? https://t.co/r5lRKZHhnd
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) February 15, 2018
But, Reason said, none of this is even remotely true.
According to Scott Shackford:
A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments.
This is a regulation that potentially deprived between 75,000 to 80,000 people of a right based not on what they had done but on the basis of being classified by the government in a certain way. The fact that these people may have these impairments did not inherently mean that they were dangerous to themselves or others and needed to be kept away from guns.
As I noted when the regulation was repealed last March, this rule violated not just the Second Amendment but the Fourth, because it deprived the affected people of a right without due process. The government does have the power to restrict and even deny gun ownership to people, but it has to show that these people have engaged in behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands.
“Pundits,” Shackford said, “largely ignored the latter groups’ opposition to the rule, preferring to play up the power of the NRA and their influence on Republicans to turn the issue into a partisan fight.”
“It was hackery then, and it is still hackery today,” he said.
But to those with an anti-gun agenda, facts don’t matter — only the narrative. Naturally, this theme has made its way onto social media where thousands of Trump-haters continue to eagerly advance the media-generated propaganda lies.
“It’s shameful to ignore the serious constitutional problems of this poorly conceived rule just to sow panic and implicate one’s political opponents,” Shackford said.
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And if you’re as concerned about online censorship as we are, go here and order this book: