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When Famous People Write Stupid Things About Guns

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julannemooreOnce in a while, I get political here on ThruMyLens.  Today I read the following article written by actress Julianne Moore.   I like to read different perspectives on issues I feel strongly about, and gun control is one of those issues.  Note right off the bat the title of the article was selected no doubt to be innocuous – “When Gun Safety Got Personal for Me.”  I thought perhaps Julianne Moore had actually purchased a gun, and was writing about actual gun safety.  But no.  When Hollywood liberal types speak of “gun safety” what they’re really talking about is gun control and banning firearms.  Never once do the words “gun control” appear in her article – “gun safety” appears throughout.  Diabolical.

Opinion pieces like the one Julianne Moore penned generally come in two different flavors:  Thoughtful, compelling, well-supported, and well-written articles designed to change opinions, and not-so-compelling pieces “preaching to the choir” which aren’t really designed to change anyone’s opinion.  Ms. Moore tries very hard to be the former, but falls squarely in the latter as any thinking person simply won’t be swayed by after reading the article with any sort of critical eye.

Ms. Moore starts her article by explaining that her activism on this issue began on December 14, 2012 – the date of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.  OK.  This of course means she was so moved to action that it only took her three plus years to write an article…but OK.  Then, she starts quoting statistics like this one:  “An average of 91 people a day are killed by gun violence.”  No source was cited for this statistic.  So I did a little research and it would appear this statistic was drummed up by (or at least shared with) a liberal anti-gun website called Everytown.  And I quote:  “Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that on an average day, 91 Americans are killed with guns.  To calculate this, Everytown relies on a five-year-average of data from the Centers for Disease Control, whose National Vital Statistics System1 contains the most comprehensive national data, currently available through 2014.”  If you scroll down the page a little bit, you’ll also find the following quote:  “There are nearly 12,000 gun murders a year in the U.S. – and despite falling crime rates, that number has barely changed since the late 1990s.”  That would seem to at least somewhat corelate with the Center for Disease Control’s (the generally accepted as being the most reliable source for gun related firearm fatality statistics) number of firearm deaths for 2013 of 11,208…if you consider 11,208 as being “nearly 12,000.”  But even if you go with 12,000 as the number, if you divide that number by 365, you get an average of about 33 deaths per day…not 91.  Would the liberal anti-gun agenda overstate the number of deaths in the US by firearms by nearly two-thirds?  Noooo….Never….  Well, maybe Julianne Moore would…and then not cite her source.  She does state at one point that she joined Everytown for Gun Safety, so I guess it’s a safe assumption that’s where her (faulty) “data” is sourced even if she’s apparently ashamed to admit it.

Ms. Moore also states in her article that “There is a new website, Singled Out, that specifically highlights how America’s lax gun laws put single women at risk.”  I was understandably curious as to how US gun laws could put any one demographic at risk over any other, so I visited  Singled Out.  This veritable paragon of wisdom labels those who support the 2nd Amendment and are against further gun control as “gunsplainers” and claims that due to the (I’m not making this up…) “boyfriend loophole” that abusive boyfriends can legally buy a gun thereby putting single women at undue risk.  Factually speaking, there are 10 types of people who would be rejected for purchasing a firearm by a background check: felons, fugitives, drug addicts, the mentally ill, illegal immigrants, some legal immigrants, people who have renounced U.S. citizenship, people under restraining orders, people convicted of domestic violence and anyone charged with a crime that could bring more than a year in prison are ineligible.  The suggestion that there is a “boyfriend loophole” is laughably ridiculous.  GUN STORE:  “Are you a convicted felon?”   GUN BUYER:  “Yes…but I have a girlfriend.”  GUN STORE:  “Well OK then!  I can sell you a gun!”  But keep in mind these Singled Out folks also advocate that in response to a “gunsplainer” points out that outlawing guns will only keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens and that criminals will always find ways to acquire guns, the appropriate female response should be (again, I’m not making this up…check the website if you don’t believe me) “why outlaw bank robbery since bank robbers are always going to steal.”    I’m sorry, but this analogy fails on so many levels, there’s not enough digital ink to cover it all.  But it fails most in that it actually proves the point that pro-gun people continually and rightly make:  You can’t legislate the human condition.  Taking all the guns away won’t suddenly stop all gun violence any more than making bank robbery illegal will end all bank robberies.  Some people will always do bad things.  That’s why good people need guns.

In one of the more blatant examples of poetic irony, Julianne Moore goes in her article to justify the need for more and greater gun control regulation by citing the example of regulation of the automobile industry:  “It doesn’t have to be this way. I believe that gun-safety laws can reduce gun violence, even if they don’t eradicate it, because of the example set by the automobile industry. A car is also a machine. In order to drive it, we require licenses and training. We have added safety features like seatbelts, airbags, collapsible steering columns, and safety glass. We have made car manufacturers beholden to these measures. We have enacted speed limits and criminalized drunk driving. In the process we have reduced the auto fatality rate by nearly 40 percent in just the past 20 years.”  Well Ms. Moore, according to the most recent CDC data available, there were  33,804 fatalities caused by motor vehicles in 2013 – three times the number of deaths caused by firearms the same year.  So why are you picking on firearms Ms. Moore?  Wouldn’t your efforts be more well spent on regulating/banning cars?  Why haven’t all this regulation and the “safety features” in the automotive industry brought auto deaths down to near zero Ms. Moore?

Now, I admit – I’m not exactly the demographic Ms. Moore was targeting when she wrote the piece.  “Lenny readers are primarily female, and most likely in the United States.”  If I were a woman reading this piece, I’d be pretty insulted.  Don’t you need to cite sources when writing to women?  Is it OK to used ultra-biased and grossly exaggerated statistics when writing to women?  Do you think that women readers are so stupid that when you call gun control “gun safety” that they won’t see what you’re trying to do?  That’s certainly the message Julianne Moore seems to be sending.   This of course assumes that Ms. Moore is bright enough to recognize the errors and omissions in her piece, and that it’s an intentional effort on her part to deceive people.  That, in retrospect, may be giving her too much credit.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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