Do You Want to Sort Fact from Fiction in the Gun Control Debate?

Written by What Is Gun Control on September 1, 2013. Posted in Homepage

Gun control statistics

In the wake of several tragedies and mass shootings, the nation is deeply entrenched in a gun control debate. But what is gun control, and why is there a debate? Gun control is the act of regulating or controlling how guns are sold. Many Americans believe that guns should be more closely regulated, and many Americans are afraid that their rights will be taken away if gun control becomes too strict. This is the premise of the debate.

Both sides of this debate have valid reasons for their positions, and very often feel strongly about the issues. Because the debate is so polarized, it can be difficult to sort the fact from the fiction and find unbiased gun control facts. If you would like to become more educated about the debate, you will have to approach what information you find with skepticism. Here are three things you can do to find objective gun control facts.

1. Familiarize yourself with both sides of the debate.

Watch an actual gun control debate, or Google your way to a debate that you can read through. When you familiarize yourself with the way gun control facts and statistics are portrayed on both sides of the debate, you will better understand what it looks like when you come across biased portrayals of information.

2. Beware of manipulated statistics.

When you do start seeking out hard facts, you should be skeptical. Gun control statistics can be presented in a way where a correlation can be implied. For example, In 2008 there were 16,272 murders in the United States. About 67 percent of those murders were committed with the use of firearms. That information taken alone implies that more gun control may be necessary. If presented next to statistics about some nation with stricter gun control and more firearm murders, then our original statistic no longer implies that gun control is the answer. Beware of the context in which you are given statistics.

3. Find the source.

If you are looking at an infographic, look for an author name, logo, or organization behind the collection of statistics. If you are reading a website, scroll to the very bottom to see which organization is really behind the website. As you search for the source, you may have to Google a few names and do a little research to come to a definite conclusion about what the bias or lack thereof might be behind the presentation of facts.

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