Dr. John Lott has a new piece up at Fox News about the media attacks on the NRA and the Trump administration regarding their supposed hypocrisy over gun-free zones. The piece starts here:
The news media love to criticize hypocrisy – at least by conservatives – even when it doesn’t exist. This week they gleefully targeted the National Rifle Association for criticism – but as usual, they made errors in their claims.
First, the media reported that the NRA has banned guns at its annual meeting in Dallas during speeches scheduled for Friday by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. But then the media soon acknowledged that the gun ban was the Secret Service’s decision – not the NRA’s.
And following that admission of error, many in the media still derided the NRA for not pushing back on the Secret Service’s gun ban.
In one of the Washington Post’s articles this week on the NRA’s “hypocrisy,” the paper asked an NRA spokeswoman whether “the NRA tried to convince the Secret Service that more guns would make Trump and Pence more secure.” The Post reports that the NRA “did not answer the questions directly.”
Piling on, USA Today, the New York Times, national television news broadcasts and other mediaacross the country also joined in the criticism of the NRA. There was even criticism from international media. Student activists from the high school in Parkland, Florida that was the scene of a mass shooting where 17 people were killed Feb. 14 called the NRA hypocritical.
But there is an obvious and very simple response. Protecting the president and vice president of the United States from assassination is not the same as protecting a group of people from a mass public shooting or protecting you or me from being robbed on a dark street.
First, the president and vice president already have armed Secret Service agents flooding an area and guarding each of them. Local police are also always on hand to help provide security. Ordinary citizens don’t have this kind of protection.
Second, if a shooter has only one big target, the attack might be over with a single shot before gun permit holders have a chance to respond. So having armed NRA members in the audience for the Trump and Pence speeches wouldn’t provide any protection to the president and vice president beyond what the Secret Service and police already provide.
By contrast, mass public shooters are trying to kill as many people as possible. They know that the more people they kill, the more media attention they receive. If the target is protected by a couple of uniformed officers, killers will know to take out the officers first.
Alternatively, mass shooters can move on to an unprotected target. This gives them a strategic advantage that . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.