The Economist is a worldwide read, widely respected publication based in England, with a circulation of about 1.5 million, half of that in the United States. The publication has always had an elitist, progressive editorial stance. They have been supportive of restricting access to firearms to all but the elite.
The publication has also had a reputation for facts. Ideology overcame fact finding in the August 1st edition, with an article titled "God, good guys and guns".
The article is simply an advocacy piece for draconian restrictions on guns. It makes no attempt at fairness or balance. It cites the widely discredited FBI "study" that even the study authors admit used "imperfect data". It cites the rabidly disarmist Violence Policy Center. It cites the Bloomberg funded Johns Hopkins Centre for Gun and Policy Research without mentioning the disarmist source of funding.
The article ignores John Lott, the NRA, or any statistics that disprove its blatantly biased "facts". From The Economist:
This impulse to self-defence in kind is natural—but mistaken. A recent FBI study of 160 public mass murders (committed or attempted) with guns between 2000 and 2013 found most ended when the assailants fled or killed themselves. In 21 instances the attacker was restrained by unarmed people; in only one did the shooting stop after an intervention by a civilian armed with a gun (rather than by a security guard or policeman). The Violence Policy Centre, an advocacy group, points out that Americans who legally carry concealed weapons are far more likely to perpetrate mass shootings than prevent them; it counts 29 such events since 2007. And while gun-wielding bystanders rarely curtail killings, they may aim badly and confuse the cops.At Gun Watch, I assembled a list of 22 incidents where armed defenders stopped attempted mass murders. Ten of those incidents occurred during the FBI "study" period, but the authors only find one that was stopped by an armed citizen. The authors accomplish this sleight of hand by ignoring half of the incidents, and ignoring important facts in the others. The Clackamas mall incident is included, but no mention is made of the confrontation of the shooter by an armed man with a concealed carry permit. The shooter committed suicide shortly after the confrontation. The New Life Church incident, where the shooter was stopped by a church member with a concealed carry permit, is characterized as being stopped by "church security", though she was a volunteer and unpaid. Off duty police officers, which are, after all, armed citizens, stopped the attacks in the other two of the five incidents included. Off duty officers are not allowed to carry guns in England.
The Economist author ignores critiques of the political studies she quotes, and ignores any studies that contradict her desired political outcome. The claim is made that gun ownership in the United States is declining, based on survey results roundly critiqued as flawed, and in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary. Gallup, for example, published contrary results.
Based in London, it is not hard to see the cultural biases that push the Economist toward promoting a disarmed public. When you allow your prejudices to determine the facts allowed, it is not reporting. It is advocacy.
It is sad to see the Economist as unable to overcome their prejudice.
Definition of disarmist
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch