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What the News Media Gets Wrong About Guns and Armed Defense

We know that the news media distorts our view of the world. We see it every day in the way the mainstream media selects and edits their stories. I’m sure you see unusual things in the news that I miss. That is because each of us sees this media distortion most clearly in the individual subjects we know best. For the last decade, I’ve studied what our neighbors do with guns. I see where the news media dangerously twists the truth about armed defense. As ordinary citizens, we need to know more about the world than to be simply fed a copy of the police report after a crime. In fact, ordinary citizens keep their families safe every day but the media sells us a different story. Here is what the mainstream media won’t say.

Evil exists. We face real dangers. The world is simply not the way we want it to be. On average, someone in our family will be the victim of a violent crime during our lifetime. Merciless criminals use force to take what they want and the police are not there to stop them. It is not safe to be defenseless, not even at home. To begin, we face about 30 thousand home-invasion robberies a year, and two thirds of sexual assaults begin with a home invasion. Being unable or unwilling to defend the people we love is not a virtue. Those truths sound obvious to me, but they are absent from our contemporary news.

The media wildly over-reported stories where we were victims of violent crime. At the same time, the media horribly under-reported the many stories where we successfully defended ourselves. It is almost as if the news media didn’t want us to know that we faced dangers and saved lives.

Violence is sometimes the best answer. Your armed neighbor faced an unfair fight when three thugs broke into her home late at night and tried to rob her. She wasn’t out for vengeance or revenge when she grabbed her gun. She didn’t use a gun because she wanted to be famous, but so she wouldn’t be seriously injured or killed. She defended herself with a firearm until the criminals ran away. Our neighbor grabbed her gun so she could safely call 911 and get help on the way.

Time and again we saw our neighbors use the threat of deadly force to defend themselves. That is the real pattern of armed defense that is repeated.. and unreported.. thousands of times a day. If the media presented the truth, then we’d know that we defend ourselves with a firearm over a million times a year. That works out to over 45-hundred cases of justified armed defense a day here in the United States. That is real news and somehow we don’t hear it from news media. We’d know that if the media reported the facts.

Armed defense is common. Our neighbors did a remarkably good job of defending themselves and their family. Firearms accidents by legal gun owners were wonderfully rare. Times have changed, and half of new gun owners are women. The bad guys ran away when they realized our neighbor wasn’t the unarmed victim the robbers hoped to find. Our neighbors didn’t shoot very often because the threat seldom rose to the level where it demanded the use of lethal force. When they were forced to shoot, then the good guys usually stoped shooting as soon as they could.

Together, we’ve faced over a million violent crimes a year. Despite that threat, armed citizens were forced to shoot and kill only a few hundred criminals each year, virtually the same number that the police were forced to kill. That is an amazing tribute to our character under very difficult circumstances.

We are wonderfully reluctant to take a life if there is any alternative. We also know who belongs in our home. That explains why armed citizens shoot the wrong person much less often that the police do. Since armed defense happens every day, you and I would know facts like these if the media actually reported the news.

Media distortion is dangerous. Because of biased reporting, we think that mass-murder is common and that armed defense is rare. In fact, the reverse is true. We thought our armed neighbor was a danger when she was in fact an armed savior. That truth has real world consequences. Since armed defense is so frequent, it is unbelievably hard to restrict the use of firearms without doing more harm than good. Gun-control laws disarmed the victims of crime rather than disarming the perpetrators. That puts all of us at risk. Media bias costs lives, but not everywhere.

Most counties in the US did not have a single murder all year. Most criminal violence is localized to our failed cities. We see criminal violence explode where we’ve robbed young men of their future. We’d know that if the media didn’t spin their stories to fit their political agenda. Media bias cost the lives of young urban men.

The truth is out there and we have alternatives to the mass media. We can do our own reporting. We must do it because the mainstream US news media failed us so badly.


I gave you 1000 words. Please share them with a friend.

I was traveling out of the country and it is good to be back. RM


Trust in the news media- “

Frequency of home-invasion robbery- “

Statistics on media distortion of armed defense vs criminal use of a firearm- “

Firearms accidents in perspective- “

Many new gun buyers are women- “

Frequency of armed defense from US National Firearms Survey- “

Justified homicide by law enforcement in 2019- “

Justified homicide by private citizens in 2019- “

Injury to the wrong person during an armed defense- “

Licensed concealed carry holders have few firearms accidents- “

Murder is localized to a few counties in the US- “

Rob Morse

Rob Morse works and writes in Southwest Louisiana. He writes at Ammoland, at his Slowfacts blog, and here at Clash Daily. Rob co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast, and hosts the Self-Defense Gun Stories Podcast each week.