A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.
The gun control debate continued to dominate conservative discourse on Thursday. In a column at his blog the Resurgent, Erick Erickson attacked the mainstream press for “lies” about guns spread in the wake of the shooting:
After the tragedy in Las Vegas, the media declared the shooter firing an automatic rifle. He did no so such thing. He used a bump stock, which is a device that causes a semi-automatic gun to increase its rate of fire. But, and this is important, it does not convert a semi-automatic gun into an automatic gun, though the media would have you believe that. It is also important to note it was the Obama Administration’s ATF that okayed bump stocks. CBS News, having failed at claiming the shooter used an automatic weapon declared the shooter had used “automatic rounds” in his gun. Such things do not exist.
Not only has the American media and political left lied about guns, they have also exaggerated mass shootings. According to their preferred statistics, mass shootings in the United States are common and increasing. In fact, they are rather uncommon and are decreasing. To show otherwise, the left includes home owners protecting their property, hunting accidents, police shootings, gang land shootings, home accidents, etc. You and I may hear “mass shooting” and think of an event like Columbine, Newtown, or Las Vegas. The left hears it and thinks of a gang drive by.
A few writers took aim at conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who argued for repealing the Second Amendment and thus doing away with the right to bear arms. National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke:
His column is not a rigorous one. Indeed, it is barely a column so much as it is a brusque list of ill-considered assertions that do nothing to grapple with the many arguments to their contrary. Stephens asserts confidently that “more guns mean more murder,” a claim he bases on a single flawed study that is contradicted both by numerous others and by the recent experience of similar nations. He asserts that there are fewer justifiable homicides than there are accidents with guns, and that therefore that “more guns mean less safety,” but seems not to have considered that one does not have to commit a justifiable homicide to deter a crime; that in fact an enormous number of Americans — at least 100,000; possibly 2 million — deter crimes each year without firing a shot; and that many would-be criminals will avoid even attempting a transgression out of fear the victim might be armed. He asserts that a handful of historical rebellions illustrate the futility of resistance to government, without stopping to note that this country was in fact founded in successful revolution, and that the most effective resistance to Jim Crow came, per Ida B. Wells, from the barrel of a Winchester.
“Without getting into the practicality of confiscating more than 300 million guns, it seems odd that someone would let murderers and madmen decide what inalienable rights we should embrace,” the Federalist’s David Harsanyi argued. “It is almost humorous reading someone advising you not to worry about domestic tyranny as he explains why the state should eradicate a constitutional right and confiscate your means of self-defense.” Meanwhile, National Review’s Robert Verbruggen endorsed treating bump stocks like machine guns. “There may be an argument that the [Supreme] Court got it wrong — that the people are to be allowed any kind of firearm that exists, all the better for resisting tyranny — but few constitutional rights are so broad in scope as to completely override any threat to public safety they pose,” he wrote. “And, if nothing else, imposing such a broad interpretation is a good way to get the Second Amendment repealed. Self-defense is not a compelling reason for bump stocks to be easily available, either.” Like Erickson, Breitbart’s Joel Pollack noted that the ATF approved bump stocks in 2010 during the Obama administration. “Somehow, Obama did not address the ‘bump stock’ issue — not in the 23 executive actions he took in 2013, and not in the follow-up executive actions he took in 2016,” Pollack wrote. “Instead, he obsessed over ‘smart gun’ technology and tightened background checks.”
In other news:
Conservatives reacted to the New York Times’ report on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. At the Washington Free Beacon, Sonny Bunch contended that Weinstein’s apology letter, in which he promises to take on the NRA and describes both an upcoming film about President Trump and a scholarship program for female directors at USC, amounted to an attempt to marshal his liberalism in his defense:
This is grotesquely brazen. Because it’s so transparently obvious what Harvey Weinstein is saying here: “Guys, I’m a liberal, I’m going to go after the NRA, I’m going to make a movie that’s about how terrible Trump is, I’m giving money to liberal causes, whaddaya say about maybe giving me a pass here, huh?”
I would be flabbergasted by the brazenness of it all if I hadn’t just read several thousand words about him trying to get well-known actresses to give him rubdowns in the nude or trying to get a pass from grabbing the breasts of models and writing it off as, hey, just part of my job. What a remarkable scumbag. What a disgusting ploy.
In the New York Daily News, S.E. Cupp accused Hollywood women of hypocrisy. “Weinstein has reached as many as eight settlements with women over sexual harassment allegations,” she wrote. “His sexual demands and inexcusable behavior was practically an open secret. But it was apparently one that was tolerated, presumably by the some of the same famous women who demanded Ailes’ and O’Reilly’s ouster, and who call President Trump — rightly at times — sexist and anti-woman.”
The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti was among those to note Weinstein’s history of Democratic campaign contributions. “This is undoubtedly bad news for Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who relied on Weinstein for thousands of dollars in campaign donations across their careers,” she wrote. “In the last cycle alone, Weinstein gave nearly $100,000, through a series of small-bore donations, to both the Hillary Victory Fund as well as major left-leaning organizations supporting the Democratic nominee’s campaign.” Other conservatives weighed in on Twitter:
Apparently Harvey Weinstein is trying to win the "I'm the Liberal Trump" contest.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) October 5, 2017
My understanding has always been that when it comes to sexual abuse, Hollywood is the undiscovered country.— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) October 5, 2017