The coronavirus pandemic is likely to change the way anti-gunners operate for a while. Here’s how:
1. “Mass Shooting” will be defined down
The first thing is we’re already beginning to see is that the anti-gunners and their lapdogs in the mainstream media are changing the parameters of what constitutes a “mass shooting.” The actual number of victims has always been less important to the anti-gunners than the identify politics at play. The FBI’s definition of what constitutes a mass shooting is four victims, but alert readers have no doubt noticed that in order for a shooting to get above the fold on the Washington Post, traditionally there needed to be at least 10.
That’s going to go away, because even though many states are lifting stay-at-home orders, social-distancing mandates and limits on gatherings mean that it’s going to be tough to find 10 people all together for months to come. That’s why, even as I type, the gun-grabbers are now starting to refer to gang violence that results in the deaths of a handful of people as “mass shootings.”
2. Identity politics will take a back seat (for now)
The primary factor that determines whether a particular shooting will make the news and stay there is the racial, religious, and political identity of both the shooter and the victims. That’s going to take a back seat for a little while, because the anti-gunners are in crisis.
What is meant when I say they’re in crisis? Well, the central mantra of their entire philosophy is that “more guns in American hands always means more crime.” It’s always a crisis when your central mantra is provably false, but the COVID-19 pandemic has really sharpened just how wrong they are. Two months in a row of record-breaking NICS checks mean that thousands of firearms just landed in American hands, so they’re under the gun–so to speak–to try and create the impression that those record-breaking gun sales figures are creating record-breaking crime.
To try and protect their central mantra, the anti-gunners will temporarily sacrifice their burning desire to make every violent act about identity politics. so, just for a little while, expect to see things like gang violence and domestic violence make the news, rebranded as “mass shootings.”
In the past, they’ve avoided doing that because, although gang violence and domestic violence are terrible things, they’re not scary to the average reader. These types of violence are extremely unlikely to reach out past the immediate circle of people involved, and everyone knows it, So expect that the headline will scream about how this is a “mass shooting,” while the eighth paragraph will include the information that the shooter was a gang member who shot other gang members.
Is the above just about the most cynical thing you’ve ever read? Maybe, but I challenge you to keep an eye on the headlines in the mainstream media…you’ll probably see the pattern emerge, too.
We appreciate Trace Munson and Freedom’s Lodge for this article.