How the Social Security NICS Repeal is Being Spun

Most of us are aware that the Obama Administration finalized the Social Security rule in the lame duck period, leaving it open to repeal by Congress, and repeal Congress did. So one might thing much of the media would have headlines much like the Hill, right? Something along the lines of “Congress Repeals Obama-era Social Security Gun Rule.” But why do that when you can get away with headlines like “Congressional Republicans Vote to Allow Severely Mentally Ill to Have Guns.

Fortunately, Charles C.W. Cooke is the voice of reason on this.

And, given the way the headlines are written, you could be forgiven for drawing any one of those conclusions. But here’s the thing: None of them is true. Not at all. This was yet another sordid episode of The Press Is Having a Breakdown, coupled with a special installment of Celebrities Tweet Falsehoods Without Knowing It.

I keep wishing people would argue over the actual issues, instead of the cartoonish delusions that people with agendas are putting in everyone’s heads. This is not a new problem, certainly. But since the election, it’s reached epidemic proportions.

How many times have you seen someone you know posting something on Social Media you know is bullshit, but you don’t bother to engage because of the effort it would take to get any discussion working off the same set of facts? And for what? Many of these folks aren’t really interested in that kind of discussion; it’s all about cheering one’s team. Look at what someone would have to have some idea about to have a discussion on the facts:

  • What are the existing laws in regards to crazy people having guns.
  • What is due process, and what is generally required to deprive people of their Constitutional Rights.
  • What the Obama Administration’s Social Security rule actually does and does not do.
  • How NICS under the Brady Act and how adjudication generally works under the Gun Control Act.

I like Charles Cooke’s take on this, showing how many mainstream disability advocacy groups also opposed the Obama-era rule. It’s a good go-to source if you see the Guns for Crazy People meme in Social Media. This blog has long been a critic of the traditional media’s shallow and often ignorant coverage on this issue. I don’t see  why in this era of Social Media we should not also be critics of it.

8 thoughts on “How the Social Security NICS Repeal is Being Spun”

  1. I tried engaging with someone on this, and they immediately blew off my links as “fake news” (being NRA’s press release and the NRO article) without reading; and a snide shot that I had linked to the Right’s equivalent of Democratic Underground.

    I dug around a bit and found the ACLU’s “letter to Congress.” Crickets…

  2. Another problem with this crap is that only applies to those with representative payees; they receive no money themselves. The payees are usually relatives looking out for the recipient, only some of whom are actually mentally ill. So imagine the dialog:

    “The CIA is draining all of my bodily essence from me. Daughter, can you give me $500 to go buy a rifle so I can go to Langley, and stop them?”

    1. I don’t have access to any data from the SSA but based on conversations, I would suspect a lot of these people are recipients who travel a lot in retirement and are Internet challenged. Thus they leave one of their children, the keys to their finances so that routine stuff can happen while they are out of town.

  3. The coverage of the MSM is not ignorant; far from it. MSM typically picks the topic to report on, as well as the overall tone of the article before a single electron is redirected. Reporters go out and seek to find (their preferred) facts. if they’re able to gather the facts they want by consulting a single side, that’s the end of it and the article goes to print. If the agenda goals are not met by the resulting article, it’s sent back to get more “pop” or scrapped.

    a reporter might then seek out a secondary source. Not to prove or disprove, but to support their conclusions or theme of the article. it’s then brought back and if it passes editorial review, goes to print. Here’s where it gets a little vague Some news outlets have the editorial staff choose the headline of the article, no matter what supporting data there is. Others give more input to the actual reporter.

    Regardless of how the sausage is actually made, the end result is very seldom an article to convey topical information to readers. Instead, the vast majority of original content from reporters is to drive people’s opinions. In this, it is key to remember that humans are pretty simple animals in this regard. An overwhelming majority will accept a news outlet account as “fact” without anything resembling a critical review. Reporters and editors know this.

    Their “articles” or reports are there to created or support a narrative. That narrative forms the “boundaries” for subsequent discussion. Anything outside those boundaries, such as a correction request gets ignored. Unless you have something of epic proportions.

    Think back to Memo-gate, when Rather smeared GWB with the fake Killian documents. Though the alleged documents were challenged almost immediately based on … well, fonts. Though buzz continued to foment around the almost certainly faked “documents” the narrative continued for days until editors with more respect for the truth looked at the same documents and fact set and thought the documents were at best, suspect.

    but, the narrative was already established so its momentum continued until CBS could no longer sustain the scrutiny of their bad acts.

    What was the story for? It fit the narrative that the left wanted to believe.
    Fact checking the media is a noble undertaking because they’re every bit as biased and partisan as the simple minded, single issue voter ( not that there’s anything wrong with this ) all the way through the ultra enlightened politico.

  4. “But why do that when you can get away with headlines like “Congressional Republicans Vote to Allow Severely Mentally Ill to Have Guns.””

    They still don’t get it — this is EXACTLY why Trump won the Presidency.

    More “fake news” from the dishonest mainstream media. They really are NOT “getting away with it” — most people are smarter than that.

  5. Yep I ran into the same thing with a friend. Basically made fun of the NRA for being supporting mental illness prohibitions yet supporting this. When I pointed out the facts it was “well I don’t want people who can’t manage their finances being able to own something that can kill that quickly”.

    He didn’t care. It fit his narrative so facts didn’t matter. The fact that even the ACLU was against it didn’t matter.

  6. Another common tactic is to make it seem some longstanding rule was overturned, when really it’s overturning a recent change and returning to status quo. How many of you saw this headline: “The GOP just made it so coal mining companies can dump toxic waste into rivers”? Equal in hyperbole to the guns/SS case. Net Neutrality is another example: “The Internet as we know it will die under Ajit Pai”. Oh, you mean as we’ve know it over the last year? And that it will return to the Internet we’ve know during the 90’s, 2000,s and first half of this decade? The thriving internet which was possibly the greatest technological achievement of our generation? That Internet?

Comments are closed.