Saturday, March 16, 2019

Another Gun Fiction

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

That might be what Meghan McCain was thinking about when on Friday's "The View" she stated (in remarks beginning at 11:02 of the video below)

I agree that bigotry has to be called out wherever you see it, however you see it, agreed. New Zealand in particular- um, you know, guns are banned in New Zealand. So this obviously. There's obviously conversations regarding that to be had and it was obviously smuggled in or bought on the black market.

She might have gotten this from the NRA, or from a GOP politician, or from her husband, conservative Republican speechwriter/blogger/columnist Ben Domenech.

It's not surprising, then, that the allegation is fallacious.(She corrected herself after a couple of commercial breaks, but still....) As The New York Times reports, in New Zealand

an extraordinary number of people own weapons, with few restrictions. The authorities say the suspect in the assault used five guns he had acquired legally, including two semiautomatic assault weapons....

There is no dispute that acquiring a military-style semiautomatic weapon is relatively easy in New Zealand, where guns are plentiful. According to a 2017 small arms survey, there are more than 1.2 million firearms among the population of 4.6 million, or more than one gun for every three people.

Under New Zealand law, anyone 16 or older may seek a firearms license, and anyone 18 or older who has applied for a firearms license can seek a permit to possess a military-style semiautomatic weapon.

Perhaps McCain confused New Zealand with Australia, in which gun laws

were tightened following a 1996 mass shooting in which 35 people were killed by a lone gunman in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Within two weeks, Australian lawmakers banned rapid-fire rifles and shotguns and introduced tighter laws governing ownership of other weapons. New applicants must undergo thorough background checks and present a "justifiable reason" for ownership -- with self defense not applicable.

The laws have had a dramatic effect on the frequency of mass shootings, as well as homicides. In the years after the Port Arthur massacre, the risk of dying by gunshot in Australia fell by more than 50% -- and stayed there.

This is the core of the mythmaking conservatives practice. Something inaccurate gets passed off as fact to an unwitting audience and then is repeated a hundred times over.  It's what they do.  Meghan McCain should stick to her habit of honoring her father.

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