New York Times Attempts to Revive the Viral Theory of Gun Control



Pity the poor New York Times.  Like most of the so called mainstream media, their ad revenue and readership have been declining for years.  They must know that their extreme leftward bias has accelerated this death dive, yet they strive to spew propaganda all the way down.

Polls say that trust in the media is at an all-time low and a recent article in the Times (titled: “When Gun Violence Felt Like a Disease, a City in Delaware Turned to the CDC”) is a good example of why.

Our first clue that something is rotten in the newsroom is the timing.  This was news about six weeks earlier, as you can see from this piece done by Delaware Online, dated November 5th, 2015.  So why did the Times run the story on December 24th?

This sad excuse for a news article is part of the current anti-gun offensive being waged by the Times.  The obvious goal is to breathe some life back into the discredited old concept that guns are like viruses and we need a public health approach to eradicate them.  Most likely, the editors have a quota of anti-gun stories to run each week and their high-capacity clip of articles was running low.

As you can see from this series of articles on the web site of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, the viral theory of gun violence has a sordid history.  Starting in the late 1980’s, a group of gun control true believers hijacked one small division of the Centers for Disease Control and used millions of taxpayer dollars to fund what were essentially fabricated anti-gun studies.

Eventually, Congress found out and, in 1997, made them stop using public money to lobby for gun control.  DRGO’s Dr. Tim Wheeler was there and has documented the real story of this issue in The History of Public Health Gun Control.  It includes many quotes and copies of documents from that era which make it impossible for agenda-driven news organizations like the Times to re-write history.

The Christmas Eve article in the Times could have been something useful, if it simply told the story of a group of epidemiologists who went to Wilmington, Delaware to see what they could learn about the factors related to a sudden increase in urban violence.

The team found that “gun violence” in Wilmington was almost exclusively carried out by young men and boys with a history of certain factors.   Those include dropping out of school, having been shot or stabbed themselves, involvement with police and all the other indicators of delinquency that you would expect.

If an honest journalist had written this article, they might have used the remaining space to discuss what people in other cities are doing to address the real causes of urban violence.  An ethical reporter might have wandered over to West 59th Street and dropped in at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  A professor there named David M. Kennedy is the go-to guy for real information about the causes of inner city violence.  He has some great ideas for solutions too.

Sadly, the junior reporter, or perhaps an assault editor, chose to turn the article into an anti-gun diatribe filled with pro-forma quotes from the usual supporters of the old virus theory.

We know that the editorial board of the Times has been in an apoplectic frenzy of anti-gun hysteria, so I’d bet that the Times story was written properly by the junior reporter, then mutilated by an ideologically driven editor.

If your eyes don’t glaze over while reading, you will notice an important slip up in the logical chain, such as it is.  The quotes from the gun controllers are the usual bemoaning of how Congress cut off their funding. But that presumed assault editor slipped up and forgot to delete something.

The article clearly states there was no outright prohibition on research.  The law simply says that none of the agency’s funding can “be used to advocate or promote gun control.”  So the controllers picked up their toys and went home when told that they could not use public money to fund their campaign of disinformation.  In fact, it sounds as though they are still pouting.

Judging by this story, journalism is truly dead at the New York Times.  It will apparently spend its final years as a propaganda mill while slowly circling the drain.


Dr. Tim Wheeler

—Dr. Michael S. Brown is a pragmatic Libertarian environmentalist who has been studying the gun debate for three decades and considers it a fascinating way to learn about human nature and politics.

All DRGO articles by Michael Brown, OD.