I [Emily Miller, senior opinion editor at The Washington Times] am a member of the mainstream media, but I’m also pro-Second Amendment. There are few in the journalism profession who share my beliefs. The public, therefore, gets a heavily biased view of firearm ownership and gun violence in America.
The anti-gun media bias has had a serious impact on the public’s understanding of the issues. Most tellingly, the majority of Americans don’t know that gun violence has been going down every year. Firearm-related homicides in the U.S. have declined 39 percent in the last 30 years, according to the Justice Department.
However, over half of the public wrongly believes gun violence is higher now than 20 years ago, according to a recent Pew Research poll. Only 12 percent of Americans know that firearms-related crimes are down.
The media are largely to blame for this misconception. There are two main reasons for the distortion of the facts. “If it bleeds, it leads” is a saying that originally described local TV stations that started their news broadcasts with stories about violent-crime victims, but it also applies equally to the national media after a mass shooting.