Tom Rodgers

Rodgers

You are being brainwashed.

I saw an image the other day of a person looking at their TV with the phrase “You are being brainwashed” repeated from the top to the bottom of the screen.

Brainwashing: The process in which a group or individual systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person(s) being manipulated.”

The mainstream media (MSM) (including TV, print and internet) are using unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of their left-wing, liberal media owners, producers and reporters.

Don’t believe that? What about the narratives on gun control, health insurance, the economy, impeachment, etc. that are being constantly purported as truth by the MSM? The facts don’t support the MSM “position.”

Here, for example are a few of the narratives concerning gun control:

• The U.S. has violent crime because of legal civilian gun ownership, most notably, semi-automatic rifles.

It should be noted that the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (2013-18) show that rifles (of all kinds) account for less than 3 percent of gun-related homicides. The overwhelming majority of gun-related homicides are perpetrated with handguns. A person is more likely to be bludgeoned to death with a blunt object or beaten to death with hands and feet than to be murdered with a rifle (of all kinds). The use of illegally possessed handguns are statistically the primary factor in violent crimes. Further, it’s not well known that the majority of “homicides” by handguns are white males committing suicide and the next largest percentage is predominately black males involved in gang/drug related conflicts, mostly in major metropolitan areas.

• Guns in the hands of legally armed citizens are no benefit to our society and are actually a threat to our society.

The facts are that the incidents of violent crime have decreased as the number of legally armed citizens has increased (U.S. Department of Justice and Pew Research Center studies). If the criminal believes that the invasion of a home or the assault of an individual has a high probability of them facing a gun, they will think twice about it.

• The mainstream media always tells you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The MSM “cherry picks” the information that supports their narrative, excludes facts that don’t support their narrative and uses information from unidentified “reliable sources” in order to influence your vote. The following statements are backed by data. When did you ever hear the MSM report the following facts or have a “special” TV show/publication/website to present them to the public?

Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades (U.S. Department of Justice).

The principal public safety concerns with respect to firearms are suicides and illegally owned handguns (Pew Research Center).

A small number of factors (residence location/your partner/in a gang/ your age) significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a firearm-related homicide (Heritage Foundation and others).

Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people: the mentally ill, extremists, prior violent offenders, and those with “domestic issues.” (Heritage Foundation).

Higher rates of legal firearms ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime (Heritage Foundation).

There is no clear relationship between increasingly strict gun-control legislation and the decrease of homicide or violent crime rates (Crime Prevention Research Center).

Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide (CDC, Institute of Medicine, National Research Council reports).

This “brainwashing” on gun control as well as other topics (health insurance, the economy, impeachment, etc.) is obviously intended to influence your vote in the 2020 elections.

Please seek out multiple sources of information from as “neutral” or “balanced” sources that you can find. Look for “fact-based” information, not just emotional rhetoric. The MSM only presents “news analysis” that supports their narrative. They misrepresent their “news reporters” as journalists, when, in fact, they are actually “activists” with very biased political and social agendas.

Please listen to all sides of the issues and then vote in 2020.

Tom Rodgers lives in Cullowhee.