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WaPo editorial reveals lack of gun law knowledge while playing blame game

The Washington Post has used last years spike in murder involving firearm, most of which involved handguns, to call once again for a ban on so-called “assault rfles.” (Dave Workman)

Second Amendment activists have long contended what newspaper editorial boards don’t know about guns or current gun laws around the country would fill huge libraries, a contention that gathered even more credibility Wednesday when the Washington Post once again played the blame-the-gun game for last year’s dramatic spike in murders.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2020—released Monday—says last year saw a 29.4 percent increase in killings over the number posted in 2019. Last year, according to the FBI’s Expanded Homicide Data Table 11, the United States saw 17,754 murders of which 13,620 were attributed to the use of firearms.

Where the WaPo editorial states, “Many factors are at play — including an unprecedented pandemic that caused economic and mental stress — but what is most striking is the undeniable role played by guns,” there is no mention at all about the detrimental effect the loss of hundreds of police officers due to “defund the police” efforts in major cities might have had. Where there are fewer police on the streets, the void will be filled by opportunistic criminals looking to score.

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But Stephen Gutowski, founder of The Reload, a news site that focuses on firearms, challenged the WaPo with a lengthy tweet, calling the Post’s demand for more gun control “one of the laziest editorials I’ve read in quite a while.” He immediately follows that with, “On top of that, it appears The Post’s editorial board isn’t even familiar with the gun laws of their own city. They invoke a tragic accidental shooting in DC and immediately follow it up by suggesting universal background checks, an ‘assault weapons’ ban, and safe storage laws as a solution to America’s gun-violence problem. DC, of course, already has each one of those policies in place.” Fox News wrote about this Thursday.

He suggested the WaPo editorial board “should be embarrassed.” But they aren’t.

“Instead of putting in place sensible gun control — such as bans on assault weapons, universal background checks, safe-secure laws with stiff consequences,” the Washington Post laments, “Congress has remained gridlocked.”

There are several places where those laws are in effect, but they have not been shown to have had any effect in preventing or reducing gun-related crime. The demand for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” ignores the fact that rifles of any kind are used in a fraction of all homicides. This is once again confirmed by the FBI report, which shows only 454 murders in which rifles were confirmed as the murder weapon.

There may have been rifles involved in some of the 4,496 slayings in which the type of firearm was not identified, but the data suggests anti-gunners, including those on the WaPo editorial board, are using semi-auto rifles as a whipping boy.

When CFL checked the WaPo editorial, it had garnered some 1,700 reader comments, and there were some lively exchanges.

At every opportunity, proponents of gun control, which translates to gun prohibition, make the point of describing their proposals “sensible.” There is nothing “sensible” about banning an entire class of firearms and requiring their owners to either turn them in or become instant criminals.

But would the Washington Post or any other establishment media editorial board care? Evidently not, because they support for such bans. Their own editorial says so.

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