5 Myths of Gun Control Propaganda

Nothing compares to the pain of losing a loved one --- and when the loss is sudden and violent, the agony is compounded. In the wake of a tragedy, especially one involving violent crime, it's understandable to desperately reach out to try and grab hold of anything that makes sense. Finding a place to lay the blame can become a life's work for some and a way to find closure and peace for others.

Often the blame from the media and politicians is swift and concrete --- it's the guns fault. The war cries bellow for 'common sense gun reform' and people from all over demand 'something must be done.'

In this haste to bury the second amendment, in the heat of the moment and with passions peaking, there are many misconceptions when it comes down to 'what must be done.' Here are five of the most important myths that tend to either be overblown or completely fabricated.

Myth #1 | Nobody Is Trying to Take Your Guns

The script is basically written prior to any mass shooting. The left will explode in a chorus championing gun control while the right cries out claims the left wants to confiscate their guns. Mockery from the left ensues and the right is singled out and marginalized Saul Alinksy style. But what is the truth? Progressives truly do want to eliminate as many guns as possible and some even prefer an all out ban.

"'Gun grabber' is a mythical boogeyman. No serious person, including Obama, is even proposing taking away owned guns. #StopFearmongering." --- Toure´, February 16, 2013 (via Twitter)

The truth is Progressives do want to eliminate as many guns as possible and some even prefer an all out ban. In 1995, Diane Feinstein let her true intentions be known on 60 Minutes talking about the assault weapon ban she helped craft.

"If I could've gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them --- Mr. and Mrs America turn 'em all in --- I would have done it."

Or how about President Obama after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

"We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it."

What do those countries have in common? An all out ban. The insinuation is clear to see despite the vague language, if they could get away with it, they would love to take a sledgehammer to the second amendment.

Myth #2 | Buying a Gun Is a Piece of Cake

At last check, buying celery does not require a photo ID and background check. Nor does it carry a federal penalty for providing false information.

The left's agenda is on full display when the President makes such a ridiculous claim as this:

“It’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.” --- President Obama

Buying a gun is nowhere near as simple to buy as a bushel of corn or a head of lettuce. Maybe a shady back-alley deal to buy raw milk across state lines from the Amish is a better comparison but even then, this argument is a real head-scratcher.

Despite media depictions, you cannot simply walk into a store, pick up a gun and check out at the self-serve kiosk.

Myth #3 | Gun Violence Is Skyrocketing

This is a lie so oft repeated, even conservatives start to take it as fact. The media is in the ratings business and there isn't a more sexy headline than the epidemic of gun violence and the call to 'do something.' But guess what, this one is simple --- the numbers don't lie.

The truth is, gun homicides are down 49% since 1993.

"Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades." --- The Pew Research Center

Myth #4 | The 2nd Amendment Only Applies to Muskets

Celebrities are always good for a laugh when it comes to gun control, especially Piers Morgan.

"The 2nd amendment was devised with muskets in mind, not high-powered handguns and assault rifles. Fact." --- Pierce Morgan, December 3, 2012

By this logic, flying cars must be banned as well. How could our laws for terrestrial-bound automobiles accommodate such a dramatic change? Technology is always on the march and thankfully the second amendment does cover it.

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. --- Second Amendment

'Shall not be infringed' seems to crystallize things. It's the language game the left plays that really muddies the water. By calling certain guns 'weapons of war' or 'military style' the public is pushed in a direction in contradiction with reality. The most vilified gun in the media is hands down the AR-15, which looks like a machine gun but only fires one bullet at a time. But by calling it an 'assault weapon,' the connotation in the court of public perception is completely skewed.

Semantics aside, the constitution didn't say anywhere Americans have the right to bear muskets. We have the right to bear arms, and that's the bottom line, a line that 'shall not be infringed.'

Myth #5 | It's the Gun's Fault

A gun is just as culpable in any shooting as the keyboard is for writing this article. It's a tool and can be used for good or for evil. Is it the keyboard's fault for cyber bullying? Should a laptop be banned because it wrote a hateful manifesto before a terrorist attack?

What matters is the intent of the user === and this is where the left and right should be able to find common ground can be f. People who have a history of violent crime or mental illness should not be allowed to legally purchase a firearm. This is something most on both sides of the issue can agree on.

To solve the issue, it will require dedicated care to help the mentally ill as well as preventing them from owning a gun. It will require the country as a whole to heal the anger and conflict that drives these violent outbursts. There are no simple answers and there will be plenty of obstacles in the road but there is good cause to keep up the fight.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.