G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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A piece I wrote for The Daily Caller focuses on an episode of The Newsroom about gun control. Here’s the set up scene in the show from which the gun control discussion ensued:
In the show, in which the newsman focuses on the lies pushed by conservatives about Obama’s gun control record, Will McAvoy cites the Brady Campaign to Stop Gun Violence as giving Obama failing grades on gun control measures and states that “President Obama is the best friend the NRA ever had.”
Later in a scene with a date, McAvoy uses the cryptic phrase “statistics show” when describing how using a gun to defend yourself (in this case, the date pointed an empty gun at McAvoy and said that she has a gun to defend from rape). I tracked down these “statistics” and determined that Aaron Sorkin and his writers took gun defense studies out of context. Nobody has studied the effectiveness of a gun used for self defense in this type of setting. The show seems to rely on research conducted on gun use in Philadelphia. The controls are out of whack, and the research doesn’t seem to account for the fact that some people wielding guns might put themselves in situations where a gun might be used against them. In which case, yes, “statistics might show” that carrying a gun for “self defense” might backfire. But if you aren’t an idiot or a thug and if you know how to handle a gun then Sorkin’s rhetoric doesn’t fly.