Freedomnomics

Article published Friday, February 16, 2012 at Fox News.

David Brock, Media Matters and gun control hypocrisy

By John R. Lott, Jr.

David, say it isn't so!

The news from the Daily Caller website is surprising: David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, had a personal assistant illegally publicly carry a concealed handgun in the District of Columbia in order "to protect Brock from threats.” Few organizations have declared their opposition to gun ownership or concealed carry laws as strongly as Media Matters.

The group's opposition to guns has largely been a “scorched earth” approach, demonizing supporters of gun ownership and concealed handgun laws.

According to Media Matters, laws letting law-abiding citizens carry concealed handguns for protection are "dangerous." They assert these citizens "endanger" police officers and "compromise public safety." And derisively refer to the “cult of victimhood,” where crime victims and defensive gun uses are pointed at to justify gun ownership. They claim that it is a “myth”“extremist” that concealed handguns reduce crime and label those who disagree “extremist”.

Of course, Media Matters never mentions the published research finding that right-to-carry laws reduce murders of police officers.

Nor do they mention that there has been a total of 29 peer reviewed studies by economists and criminologists, 18 supporting the hypothesis that shall-issue laws reduce crime, 10 finding no significant effect on crime, and that just one claims that right-to-carry laws temporarily increases one type of violent crime, aggravated assault (a summary is available here).

Ironically, for a media organization, neither Media Matters nor David Brock returned multiple calls from me about the Daily Caller story.

No explanation has been offered by the group explaining why Brock has an assistant carry a gun to protect him if he really believes all the postings put out by his organization.

No explanation was provided for why Media Matters advocates punishing permit holders who accidentally carry permitted concealed handguns into gun-free zones, but simultaneously think that it is fine for their organization to carry guns in Washington, D.C. where no other civilians are allowed to do so by law.

It doesn't stop there. Media Matters continually engages in name-calling, misquotes, and selectively edits statements. It has even posted doctored photos of opponents. For example, I am referred to by the group as “the gun lobby’s apologist-in-chief” and they assert my “apparent disregard for scientific rigor.”

In one interview that I did with Fox News chief judicial analyst and former "Freedom Watch" anchor Judge Andrew Napolitano, the group inaccurately asserted: “Napolitano and John Lott advocate for allowing people to carry concealed guns without permits.”

In another example, Media Matters falsely claimed that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has written that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons are constitutional.

But Scalia was merely stating those regulations were outside of the Washington, D.C. handgun and gunlock case that they were considering. He was only making it clear that the concealed handgun issue was not an issue before the court (see bottom of page 54).

And now, with the Daily Caller's revelations this week, Brock joins a long line of gun control advocates who take the "do as I say, not as I do" approach to guns.

For years, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley surrounded himself with armed guards even when he visited relatively low-crime areas. Yet, he supported banning handgun licenses for people to keep a gun in their home, even in the most dangerous parts of the city. At the time, Chicago had the highest murder rate of any large city in the United States, but Daley had no problem imposing large penalties on Chicago taxi drivers who refused certain fares over fears of crime.

Remember comedian Rosie O’Donnell, who emceed the so-called Million Mom March for gun control? She claimed: “I also think you should not buy a gun anywhere.” It created quite a ruckus when her body guards applied for permits to carry concealed handguns.

Yet, whatever Daley and O’Donnell’s personal contradictions, neither of them were committing a crime. Brock’s actions are arguably much worse: carrying a concealed handgun in Washington, D.C. is a felony. Media Matters is also much more vicious than most critics in making up claims to personally destroy their opponents.

The media gives extensive negative news coverage to conservatives (more than liberals) who are caught engaging in extra-marital affairs because of the family values hypocrisy angle. But that same hypocrisy argument should also certainly apply to Media Matters and gun control.

Between November 1st and February 14th, Media Matters ran 34 pieces containing the word “NRA” in 81 business days. 41 stories contained the word “guns.” 26 stories contained the term “Second Amendment.” Yet, despite this obsessive advocacy of gun control and Brock’s prominence in the media, there has been a virtual news black out on his hypocrisy. A Google news search on February 14 turned up only two news stories on news websites: one from Fox News and the other from the Daily Caller. Three other stories were located on other types of websites.

Here's the bottom line: All too often liberals such as Brock really do understand the safety benefits of gun ownership -- when it comes to their protecting their own personal safety. Remember that the next time you read one of Media Matters’ attacks on gun ownership.

John R. Lott Jr. is a FOXNews.com contributor. He is an economist and co-author of "Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future.".

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