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Facts are pesky, annoying and inconvenient things

February 19, 2018

“Truth,” we sometimes hear, “has a liberal/conservative/libertarian bias.”


Allow me to suggest to my friends, whether progressive, conservative or libertarian, that truth has no bias. When truth happens to coincide with progressive thought, then progressive thought has a truth bias. Likewise with conservative and libertarian (or any other) thought. Suggesting otherwise is simply ideological posturing.

There is a recurring theme, seen again in reactions to the horrid events in Florida, that frustrates me. That is the tendency of some people to substitute what they wish to be true for what is actually true. This was brought home to me recently, when someone shared a post from another blog, The specific post is this one.

A caveat, before I proceed. While I disagree with the views of a lot of people all across the political spectrum, I really don’t like conflict for its own sake. I do, however, absolutely despise things stated as fact that objectively are not fact. In particular, this one caught my attention:

With this in mind, is anybody surprised that nearly every mass shooter in recent US history has used an AR-15 to commit their crime?

There is but one thing wrong with this statement. It is not true. Both Statista and Mother Jones note that semiautomatic handguns are the most common weapon used in mass shootings. The stats from both sites reveal they (handguns) are preferred at a rate of almost 2 to 1.

This little gem was followed almost immediately by this one, also referencing the AR-15:

“You can buy one at Wal-Mart…”

As it turns out, Wal-Mart stopped selling AR-15s in 2015.

Look, you think no one should have an AR-15 (or anything else)? Fine. Make your case. But if you make your case with falsehoods, it is reasonable to expect people to call you on it.

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