Debunking Moms Demand Action's Twitter "Facts"
By Nick Leghorn on November 14, 2013
It's no secret that the weapon of choice for the the Gun Control Industrial Complex is propaganda. They like to take numbers out of context, twist statistics to the breaking point and generally lie about the state of the world until they pitch enough of a hissy fit that people start paying attention to their point of view - no matter how flawed and uninformed. That's good for us - these people typically work solely from emotion, so facts and statistics aren't really their strong suit, and they tend to make a ton of mistakes along the way. Anyway, the Moms Demand Action crew have a webpage setup where you can select a Congressperson, choose a pre-written message (what they laughingly refer to as a "gun fact"), and then have the website auto-tweet that message on your behalf. The only problem: all of their messages carry the fragrant scent of bullshit. Allow me to elaborate, one by one . . .
First and foremost, while all of their "facts" have a link that says "source" at the end of them, those links go to a second page on their own site that just re-states the same horse hockey in a slightly different way. No third party source, no further context.. In short, totally unsupported.
Don't dodgy facts without any legitimate source just give you the warm fuzzies? Yeah, me neither.
We here at TTAG strive to present ACTUAL facts, complete with well-researched sources and supporting documentation. You can find some of the gems on our "Gun Facts" page above. And if we ever don't cite a source, feel free to call us out.
FACT: Concealed carry permit holders have committed at least 26 mass shootings since 2007. #MomsDemandAction
The interesting thing about this number is that MDA never actually say what their definition of a "mass shooting" is. As far as I can tell, anything with a body count of two or more qualifies in their effort to evoke the same emotional response that Newtown brought on for incidents as small as a lover's quarrel gone wrong. Not to say that murder isn't bad, but calling these mass shootings is disingenuous at best, an outright lie at worse. Especially when NPR, that bastion of right wing reactionary reporting, says that "mass shootings" are on the decline, even as gun sales skyrocket.
In fact, that's the sole fact that you need to know to debunk virtually everything else coming out of Shannon Watts' mouth. Gun sales are through the roof, yet the murder rate (including "mass shootings") continues to decline - as evidenced by this Forbes article. That pretty much blows their whole "guns equal crime" theory out of the water. But they don't care.
As for their number, keep in mind that there are around 15,000 murders committed with firearms every year. In the six years since 2007 only 26 of those incidents involved people with a concealed carry license (or just living in constitutional carry states). We've proven this time and again through actual math and statistics, but concealed carry holders are MUCH less likely to commit a murder than the average population. Which means that while the number might seem "unacceptable" in a vacuum, when you give it just a splash of context you realize that it's virtually background noise.
Oh, and FYI, Shannon, police officers committed more murders than concealed carry holders in that time period. Just sayin'.
FACT: Concealed carry killers were involved in at least 386 fatal incidents since May 2007. #MomsDemandAction
Again, the MDA bunch are looking for the emotional reaction - they want you to see the number and be shocked, shocked! that such a thing could happen. But as I just finished pointing out in the last paragraph, concealed carry holders are more law abiding and less likely to commit murders than the police, let alone the rest of society. So unless you're wanting to disarm the cops, that number is completely useless as an argument against concealed carry.
FACT: 6.6 million guns are sold EVERY YEAR in the U.S. without background checks. #MomsDemandAction for #GunSense
I'd love to see how they made up arrived at that number, since private party gun sales are (by definition) conducted outside the purview of gun stores and therefore unrecorded. But that brings us back to the minor issue of Moms Demand Action not citing any actual sources, and in this instance probably just parroting the Mayors Against Illegal Guns' party line.
Let's take their number at face value, though. Even if we accept their "fact," and accept the premise that all of those sales will result in some form of criminal action, what do they demand we do about it? Do they have any suggestions as to ways to get criminals to use gun dealers for their illegal firearms transactions? Of course not, because that would require the use of logic. They just want to use the number to jar you into supporting their cause. Financially speaking, of course. Nevermind that even if the number is true, and we assume that all guns used in crimes are sold this way, there are still WAY more guns sold every year than crimes committed. Like, by several orders of magnitude. Perhaps a ratio of about 440:1.
FACT: From 2009-2013, only 23% of mass shootings took place entirely in so-called "gun-free zones." #momsdemandaction
Again, we bump into their definition of "mass shooting." By expanding the pool of shooting incidents, they dilute the actual facts (you know, facts, those things that lead us to actual solutions that might solve issues rather than promoting a political agenda). Newtown? Gun free zone. Washington Navy Yard? Gun free zone. Virginia Tech? Gun free zone. Aurora? Gun free zone. Heck, even the latest LAX incident was a gun free zone. But they apparently lump in every double homicide in the nation to make up their numbers and we see that things start getting murky and useless.
Also, they aren't "so-called" gun free zones. They're all to real. It says so right on the signs. The use of the phrase "so-called" is a dog whistle term used to try and associate the use of the phrase with "extremist" gun nuts.
FACT: 87% of child gun fatalities throughout 23 industrialized nations happen in the U.S. #MomsDemandAction #votegunsense
Well, yeah. And 100% of Disneyland-related fatalities happen at Disneyland. What would be more convincing is if they said that kids in the United States were more likely to die because of guns, but they can't even twist their own facts far enough to make that statement. Kids here are safer, on average, than almost anywhere else in the world. Guns included.
For reference, the United States ranks 87th overall for death rate internationally, including murder and other causes.
Oh, and the accidental death rate for kids is FALLING in the United States despite the increased sales of firearms. If the MDA opinion were to be true (that guns cause accidental deaths), then that number would need to at least remain the same if not increase.
FACT: There are 59,000 licensed gun dealers in the U.S., almost 5x the number of McDonalds franchises. #votegunsense
And their point is╔what? Oh, right. Guns are inherently evil and gun owners are despicable people. So it makes sense that anything related to guns or gun owners is, by extension, evil. It's just "common sense" that more is worse. They don't stop to think that perhaps there are more gun stores because guns are more popular than hamburgers, and their opinion about them is diametrically opposed to what most Americans want. But that doesn't even register with them because of their hatred for guns and gun owners.
FACT: Gun-related deaths are projected to surpass automobile related deaths in 2015. #MomsDemandAction for #GunSense
My bank account is also projected to surpass $1,000,000 in 2015. But projections don't always come true, and I'm really really bad when it comes to budgets. Keep in mind that these gals are also counting suicides in their analysis of "gun deaths," which as we all know thanks to Bruce Krafft is independent of the availability of guns. Japan - I rest my case.
Nevertheless, these gals want to count not only suicides but also self defense deaths as "gun violence" deaths, meaning that even the Tsarnayev brother (who bombed the Boston marathon) is listed on their roster of tragic and avoidable gun violence victims.
FACT: Every 30 minutes a child or teen is injured or killed by gun violence. #MomsDemandAction for #GunSense
Again, this is more about shock value than actual facts. The issue with this statistic is that the Moms Demand Action crowd want you to believe that small children (like, 12 years old) are the ones being senselessly killed by gun-wielding wackos, but the reality is that about 77% of this is gang member on gang member violence between the ages of 16 and 24. Yeah, the latest reports that MDA has latched onto include people up to the age of 24 as "children." personally, I put my cut-off for the age I will call someone a child at the age when they are able to drive a car, but that's just my common sense kicking in.
FACT: More than half of youth that commit suicide got the gun from their own home. #MomsDemandAction
Another attempt to make you think that little 12 year olds are finding daddy's AK-47 and offing themselves. But here's something interesting I'm starting to notice. They never tell you the raw number when they talk about rates, and they never tell you the rate when they talk about raw numbers. Statistics is all about context, and Moms Demand Action is doing everything in their power to remove all traces of context from their "facts."
FACT: America has 9X the accidental firearm deaths of other countries. #MomsDemandAction for #GunSense
Like with the "fact" about deaths among children compared to the rest of the world (where guns are heavily restricted), the interesting finding would be that American children have a higher fatality rate than other "developed" countries. But they don't. Even with guns thrown in the mix, kids in the United States are less likely to die before the end of their childhood than anywhere else. Then again, Moms Demand Action keep pushing the end of childhood back so far that we might be calling 40 year olds "children" soon.
FACT: A gun in the home makes it 3X more likely you or someone you love will be murdered. #MomsDemandAction for #GunSense
First, the whole idea that a gun makes you more likely to be murdered has been thoroughly debunked by Mr. Lott and others. But as usual, these people don't care about actual statistics - they just want to shock you on an emotional level into running with their herd. But it is interesting how they don't consider the circumstances before they come to a conclusion. Perhaps it's that people who are more likely to be murdered buy guns to try to arm themselves against their attacker? Nope, doesn't fit the agenda, gotta throw that idea out.
FACT: Background checks already stop 211 felons per day from buying guns. #MomsDemand background checks for ALL gun sales
Interesting fact: this number is based on the observations of a SINGLE DAY of NICS checks. In order to be at least somewhat legitimate, I'd expect MDA to use a number that was based on two or three days of data and not just a single data point. But they didn't. That's like only ever watching a movie featuring Pamela Anderson and saying the average bust size of the American female is 32DD.
Even so: And? As I said before, they don't really have an answer for the question of what to do about those pesky gun sales that don't go through a gun dealer, other than making it extremely easy to turn gun owners into felons. Besides that, I think this tweet is more about how few people who buy guns are classified as felons. They believe that all gun owners are evil, and therefore they don't believe we can pass a background check. So the hundreds of thousands of NICS checks that pass successfully are, in their minds, simply not thorough enough to pick up on the fact that we are all criminal scum.
FACT: More children die from gun deaths every year than die from cancer. #MomsDemandAction for our kids' safety.
More kids die from car accidents than from cancer too, but you don't see Shannon Watts going around stumping for sports car control. Nope, to these people the manner of death is more important than the death itself. The fact that a gun was used means more than the raw numbers. They don't actually care about saving kids' lives, they just care about confiscating guns.
Oh, and also, I like how they've stopped even trying to define "child" in this context. I wonder how high they had to go (30?) before they could scrape together that number? Oh well, we'll never know because - again - no sources.
FACT: #StandYourGround laws increase murder rates up to 9% #MomsDemandAction on bad laws.
This is another attempt for the gun control advocates to label "stand your ground" laws as something completely new in the world, when in reality the laws were introduced to combat the insanity that was the "duty to retreat" craze of the last couple decades. Never mind that George Zimmerman never claimed that he was standing his ground in court, they still blame the law for the reason that he wasn't lynched for killing an "innocent" Martin.
FACT: Guns were used in 68% of homicides in the U.S. in 2010. #MomsDemandAction
Gang violence is a terrible thing, but the fact of the matter is that it's the driving reason behind the murder rate in the United States. I'm trying to get some funding to identify exactly what percentage of the murders in the United States are gang related, but some estimates put it as high as 77%. Gang members prefer to use guns. QED high percentage of murders using guns. It's a simple logic exercise, but the Moms Demand Action group doesn't seem real keen on logic.
So, as you see, the issue isn't the prevalence of guns. The issue is gang violence. But the Moms Demand Action crew would rather focus on disarming the victims than confronting the real driving factor behind crime, because that would just make too much sense.
FACT: 26 states have versions of #StandYourGround laws that endanger our kids. #MomsDemandAction on bad laws.
"Stand your ground" is an attempt to fix the Democrat's "duty to retreat" laws that imprisoned people to defending themselves from murderers and rapists. The fact that so many states have them might be an indication that they're popular. And there's no evidence to support the idea that the laws are endangering anyone, except criminals. Which, of course, Moms Demand Action does indeed use criminals as "innocent victims" to bolster their numbers and increase the appeal of their group, so it makes logical sense to them,. In a sick, twisted kind of way.
FACT: #StandYourGround laws have resulted in 700 more gun deaths a year. #MomsDemandAction on bad laws.
Notice how they never state whether these "gun deaths" were actual innocent victims or murderers and rapists? Yeah, me too. Seems almost like they're trying to be misleading on purpose, but that would require them to have enough intelligence to find the correct answer and then purposely distort it for their own use. Which might be giving them too much credit. These are the same folks that would rather die at the hands of a murderer than use a gun to defend themselves, so we know that their psychology is all about preventing gun use and not preventing deaths - they wouldn't care if these were knife deaths, just that there was a gun used.
And that's it. That's all of the "facts" that they can muster. Seems a little╔ light? Lacking substance? Probably because it's all a crock. . . .