CNN’s “One Day of Gun Violence” is an interact map intended to give readers the chance to see how “gun violence” rears its head on an average day in America.
The map lists “83 incidents” that took place on July 12, 2014, and these include a sheriff’s deputy shooting an attacker and a law-abiding citizen shooting a man intent on killing him.
The incident with the sheriff’s deputy took place in Iberia Parish, Louisiana and involved an officer shooting a man who approached him with a gun in his hand. The citizen’s self-defense gun use involved a man who went from hotel room to hotel room in San Antonio, looking for someone to kill. He came across an armed guest, and the guest shot him dead. The Chicago gang violence story involved a gang member who handed a gun to teenagers and asked them to jump out of the car and “target… a member of a rival gang.”
CNN lists these incidents of defensive gun use and gang violence as evidence of “gun violence.” They also include other incidents where police shot in self-defense and where shots were fired but no one was even harmed, much less killed.
CNN then summarizes this smorgasbord of stories in a way that does not allow readers to make heads or tails of which incidents were justified, which were criminal, and which were not examples of “gun violence” at all:
This represents bits and pieces of… the impact and role of guns in U.S. society… It tells us that on an average day, people use guns to hurt themselves and others. They shoot out of spite, for revenge or by accident. On an average day, people use guns to defend themselves and others. On an average day, children, adults, police and criminals are among those using guns.
Someone is the shooter, someone the survivor, the witness, the traumatized, the dead. These are the stories that happen every day.
Guns are used for defensive purposes over 2,000 times a day. A figure which all but eclipses CNN’s “83 incidents” of “gun violence” a day.
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