By Adam Dick
Since the San Bernardino killings last week, many statements of politicians and stories in the media are painting a picture of “gun violence” in America that, on a closer look, appears to be far from reality.
These are some of the messages we hear in constant rotation: Be afraid of your neighbor who has a few guns and some boxes of ammunition; he must be planning a violent attack. Panic about the mass murders epidemic. Dread the explosion of violent crimes of recent years.
The barrage is deafening. But, should it be believed?
It is true people use guns to kill other people, including in mass murders. But, it is also important to not fall for exaggerated claims related to guns and mass murder.
Below are a few observations on guns and mass murder that should be considered when evaluating the fear-building messages that seem to be favored by many individuals in politics and the media:
Be cautious of tales spread in times of heightened fear. These tales are often spun for the purpose of converting fear into support for expansions of government powers that the communicators have long supported but could not implement in calmer times. Though it may be difficult when fear is burning all around you, give a try to stepping back, taking a breath, asking questions, and looking for alternative viewpoints. You just may find that the people promoting the fear are the ones who pose the greatest danger.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.