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Obviously Misleading Headline that is Also False

Many times, there is a news headline that is obviously trying to mislead people with the insinuations contained in the wording. Sadly, too many people fall for it without applying any critical thought at all and it doesn’t help when the news story then uses the same sort of absurdity to try to persuade the readers.

A recent headline is a sterling example: Poll: Most Republicans support assault weapons ban, despite Trump saying ‘no appetite’.

To begin with, the headline has no meaning at all. There is no such thing as an “assault weapon”. This is an invention of the media. It is impossible to ban something that doesn’t exist so it makes absolutely no difference what any group supports in regard to supporting the non-existent object. Incidentally, assault is banned in the US.

This story was written after the two mass shootings that recently occurred in the US and they are referring to a certain style of rifle that looks ‘bad’ but isn’t any more dangerous than any other rifle. In fact, it could easily be pointed out that if someone throws a rock with the specific intention of hurting someone else, the rock would be an ‘assault weapon’, though the term still has no meaning.

Most gun-owners or people who are knowledgeable about firearms are fully aware of this, regardless of party affiliation. Despite what the media wants people to believe, there are many Democrats and Independents who own guns. 

The story then goes on to say that 70% of Republicans are in favor of a ban on assault weapons. This is absolutely false and the article even admits it, though twisted in an attempt to deceive. What 70% of Republicans are in favor of is strict vetting of people buying guns. Many don’t know that the process is already strict, but even if they are aware of it, supporting that process has nothing to do with banning anything.

Would stricter laws or bans have stopped the killing? No. In neither case were the weapons or actions taken by the shooters legal. There were very strict laws in place to prevent it. It is hard for me to comprehend why it is so difficult for people to understand that if a person intends on performing an illegal act, they are going to, regardless of the laws that are in place. The guns used were illegal and the act in which they were used was illegal.

Many drugs are illegal and banned. The laws are strict in regard to them. That doesn’t stop people from manufacturing, selling, and taking drugs and those drugs kill many times more people than guns do. This wouldn’t be true if bans actually worked. Interestingly, most Republicans know this and most Democrats do, too. 

There is are transparent reasons for the deception in this headline. One is control. The gun control crowd doesn’t even hide it. It is half of the term “gun control”. They want to control even law-abiding citizens who own guns. The second transparent reason is found in the ninth word of the headline; Trump. The media still hasn’t forgiven Trump for winning the election and are still hellbent on making anything he says appear wrong or evil even if it isn’t. The headline and article are absolutely not about guns or the loss of life, it is about getting a dig into the president. 

Headlines like this one show that the media is intent on manipulating people by their choice of wording. Sadly, in many cases, they are able to succeed in their manipulation.

  • When you first saw the headline, “Poll: Most Republicans support assault weapons ban, despite Trump saying ‘no appetite'”, what did you think?

    • I saw it as a farce immediately
    • I was surprised
    • I thought that most Repbulicans were in favor of banning firearms
    • I thought that Trump was going against his own party
    • I didn’t think of much of anything at first
    • I would have read the article
    • I don’t care


What do you think?

11 Points

Written by Rex Trulove


  1. ok.

    So let’s cut through the crap.

    Present the other side. The NRA produces misleading information all the time. In fact, in 2016 the FCC forced them to pull four ads from Television (Hillary Clinton wants to remove your guns from your house was the tag line.)

    Let’s get real here.
    Both sides lie.

    An Assualt weapon is a military term. It applies to a weapon designed for one purpose. To quickly and rapidly fire a number of rounds of ammunition without significant aiming other than pointing. The intent and system were developed post-WWII. In WWII the Tommy Guns were used but they were not effective.

    So one, the term Assult weapon is military term
    it refers to automatic firing and stability while firing as stated in the example above.

    The firearms guide presents a similar argument as your first statement but then points out that there is, in fact, a military definition for the concept.

    32 people lost their lives last weekend.

    2 of them tragically died protecting their infant child that will now grow up an orphan.

    The reality is that more than 1/2 of Americans now support reasonable gun control. It is not an issue of mental illness.

    It is an issue of hate.

    What happened in El Paso was directly called Domestic Terrorism.

    • “Assault weapon” isn’t a military term. It never has been. “*Assault rifle*” is a military term and the two things aren’t the same. To the military, an assault rifle is one that can be switched easily from semi-automatic fire to fully automatic fire (this is called ‘selective-fire’. Thus, an M-16 is an assault rifle. The look-alikes that private citizens can purchase aren’t assault rifles because they can’t be switched to fully automatic fire. If they could, they would be illegal because of bans that are already in place.

      ‘Assault weapon’ has no meaning. Anything at all used to assault someone; fists, rocks, clubs, a car, knives, a pencil, a fork, and even a pillow would be an assault weapon. Almost anything can be used by one individual to assault another. I suspect that the media came up with the term for a simple reason. A bolt-action or lever-action are not assault rifles because neither can be set to fully automatic fire. A shell must be chambered every time the rifle is fired. Thus, the media can’t use that phrase on them. However, by inventing a new phrase; ‘assault weapon’, that can be used to include all firearms, and pretty much anything else that they want to target as well.

      This is the sort of thing that happens every time there is a shooting, too, and by focusing on guns, it is doing a huge disservice to people. The issue is obviously not the guns. If the person who pulled the trigger was taken out of the picture, the guns would have just laid there, doing nothing. It doesn’t take much thought to see that the lunatic that pulled the trigger was the real problem and until that issue is resolved, mass killings will continue no matter what laws are put into place or what tools are used to do it.

      Gun bans only affect the people who aren’t going to be using the guns to kill other people in the first place, because they already follow the law.

      Anyway, the point is that the headline was specifically designed to imply things that are false and which they know are false. Oh, I get it, that is how they sell news and make money. That still doesn’t make it right. The headline is both false and meaningless, though it no doubt brought in some money. After all, if it wasn’t for the wording, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      • the reality is – first let me clearly state I am not for gun bans.

        I am for a modification of the 2nd amendment so that it properly reflects the difference between military and non-military weapon.

        As for your statement on Assult weapon, actually, if you read the link I shared originally that was copied from the US Army weapons description guide.

        i know a lot of Vietnam Vets. The issue with the M016 was that it, for the most part, required a manual switch from auto-matic to semi-automatic.

        The AR-15 and later weapons do not. Semi-automatic is accomplished by pumping the trigger. Automatic by holding the trigger.

        finally and most telling you did not address my statement that the side backed by the NRA also lies.

        Since both sides lie, it becomes a different question.

        • First, I am a Vietnam vet, so you can add me to your list of vets you know. The navy training on assault guns was quite clear and it was pounded into people.

          I am decidedly not in favor of changing the second amendment (or the others that would need to be changed if the second amendment was changed). However, it is simple to change the amendment. It only requires the 2/3 majority vote from both houses and agreement by 34 of the 50 states. This isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

          In regard to the NRA, they don’t publish any newspapers that I’m aware of and don’t use headlines to sell newspapers. Since the NRA is made up of private individuals, they are as likely as any group of individuals to misspeak. In the case of them claiming that Hilary wanted to take away guns, the statement was probably based in large part on Hilary saying that she wanted to do so. That isn’t very surprising in as much as Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Harry Reid have all said similar things.

          Still, that is immaterial. The NRA exists primarily to train people in the proper and safe use of firearms. They don’t publish newspapers and definitely aren’t considered to be a major media outlet. The small part of the NRA that is involved in politics and this is separate from the NRA as a whole, is charged with protecting the second amendment. Being an organization made up of several million Americans, I wouldn’t expect that all of the statements they made would be accurate.

          • I agree.

            I am completely in favor of the NRA’s original message and mission of training gun owners.

            I do, also know that the Hillary quote about taking guns away was a specific statement about a specific group of people. The FCC rules that the NRA ads were illegal and pulled.

            I don’t care about either side at this point. They both dive far too deeply into disinformation campaigns.

            Time for the truth. Gun control isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t however, the only solution to the problem we have.

            Time for a middle ground!

  2. We all know, at least we should, that banning anything won’t stop criminals from getting it, selling it or manufacturing it. As far as stricter gun laws, how much farther can we go???? They are already strict.

    • That is true on both points. Banning something has never removed it entirely and often has the opposite effect since demand can increase.

      Many of the people who want to ban firearms have no idea of how strict the laws are, simply because they’ve never tried to purchase a gun. To be fair, not all gun laws are enforced, either. A law is worthless if it isn’t enforced.

      The really interesting thing is that in areas where gun laws are relaxed, the number of shooting nearly always drops. That is quite telling, as in it shows the truth. Unfortunately, it isn’t the media that is telling about it.

    • I’m to the point that anytime I see a headline that points to the majority of one group believing this or that, red flags immediately go up. The media virtually got their faces thoroughly smeared with rotten eggs when they virtually guaranteed that Hilary would win in a landslide. Even though the error was self-inflicted, they’ve blamed Trump ever since for making them look bad and uncredible.

        • Me too. That part is nothing new.GW Bush was blamed for a hurricane, after all. It has just never been taken to this sort of extremes in the past. The media cast him and by extension anyone who voted for him, as a racist, anti-woman, people hater. Then they totally ignore the fact that he’s done more for minorities, women, and people in general than any of the last 4 presidents or try vainly to say that he didn’t do the wonderful things that are documented that he’s done.

          • At last, the truth prevails among American citizens. Your President Trump is no angel but from out here, (Sh**hole Africa) he is seen to be doing his best. He is a very shrewd businessman for certain. If reasonable folks would just be a little more tolerant of his actions, just give him some credit where it’s due, your fine country will indeed be even greater. The continuing witchhunt against him must now be brought to ahead. If he is innocent hunt down the democ rats and make them accountable and if they are right, which I doubt, take him down! Because just trust me, I KNOW… America – China – Russia – English and the loose cannon nations have enough explosive on hand, to blow us up 50 times over. Thank you for stating the truth here. Regards, Andre