That’s the only way to explain the AMA’s position regarding media coverage of mass shootings, based on the group’s conclusions from a recent study.
“Nearly 40% of major mass shootings were followed by a significant rise or fall in Americans buying guns, a new study says, with researchers concluding that understanding the mechanisms propelling these choices will be an important part of the public health community’s response to future gun violence,” the AMA said in a news release last week.
The AMA cited an analysis that was published in the JAMA Network Open which found that following mass shootings with a high number of deaths (five or more), a drop in handgun sales most often occurred.
Researchers examined data from 124 mass shootings from November 1998 to April 2016 and found that 18 percent of the time, according to a cross-sectional study of federal background check data, sales of handguns and long guns fell.
But, “handgun purchases rose after a mass shooting 21 percent of the time,” the AMA press release stated, a statistic that is associated “with mass shootings that received extensive media coverage defined as 1,000 or more articles being published about a shooting within a month.”
Researchers from Oxford University in the U.K. and the University of Pennsylvania hypothesize that Americans purchase guns, in many cases, out of fear they could become victims if they remain unarmed. Also, researchers say that people will buy guns following any actions they see being proposed or taken by lawmakers that restrict or could limit their access to a gun in the future.
New, additional gun control measures are go-to policy proposals for Democrats after all mass shootings, despite the fact that while horrific, they are statistically insignificant in terms of overall gun deaths in the U.S. annually — which are low considering that nearly 328 million people live in America.
Gun sales, researchers said, are driven post-shooting by outsized media coverage. (Related: Gun control advocates refuse to place 'gun free zone' signs in their own front yards.)
“As the media coverage that mass shootings receive is disproportionate and frequently sensationalized, it thus inspires fear and motivates gun purchases for self-defense,” wrote the authors, Gina Liu and Douglas J. Wiebe, Ph.D.
In addition, they wrote that “as the shooters race/ethnicity and ideological motivation are also associated with an increase in the extent of media coverage as well as with its content, media focus on the perpetrator rather than the victims may also contribute to increasing handgun purchases.”
Those findings, coincidentally, “buttress” an AMA policy that was adopted by the organization last year calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to develop recommendations or best practices for coverage of mass shootings.”
In other words, the AMA wants the government to limit the amount of coverage our supposedly free press can produce regarding mass shootings — all because researchers believe media coverage drives sales.
The fact is Democrat calls for more gun control following highly publicized mass shootings are more likely what produce additional gun sales. While some shootings are certainly hyped and overhyped, during the same news cycle the Left-wing establishment media also provides outsized coverage to any and all Democrats to give them a platform for spreading more anti-gun hype and calls for new gun control laws.
We have anecdotal evidence for that. Whenever a mass shooting occurred during President Obama’s reign of authoritarianism, he would obsessively discuss gun control and new measures aimed at restricting our Second Amendment rights. And sales would reach new records.
There is no mystery as to why gun sales rise following an overhyped mass shooting. It’s because the additional media coverage gives Democrats another opportunity to push for new gun control.