I have known for a long time that US news is agenda-driven. Last night (December 18) I was made aware of the extent to which agenda-driven US news drives the news of the rest of the world.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Russia Today Moscow requested a live TV interview via Skype about the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings that killed 20 young children and several adults. I was interested to know what was Moscow’s interest in the shootings, and I agreed to the interview.
I was surprised to see that RT Moscow’s interest was to spread the official US story of the shootings and to ask me if I thought “assault weapons” would be banned as a consequence.
Many things can be an assault weapon. A baseball bat, a knife, a fist, a foot, a single shot .22 rifle, a double-barrel shotgun, a fireplace poker, a six-shot revolver, a brick, a sword, a bow and arrow, a lance. A person can add many items to this short list.
Gun-control advocates have defined “assault weapon” to be a semi-automatic civilian version of military weapons, such as AR-15, the civilian version of the military M-16, and AK-47. During the Clinton administration the civilian version of these weapons was not permitted to have various harmless features because the features made the rifles have a military appearance, and the weapons were restricted to magazines that held no more than ten rounds.
Today 20 and 30 round magazines are available. For a professional, the capacity of the magazines is immaterial. With experience a person can change clips in a second. A button is pushed, the clip drops out and a new one is inserted. For reasons hard to follow, gun control advocates think that a ten-round clip turns an “assault weapon” into something else.
I told RT Moscow that the United States was the most compete police state in human history. Thanks to modern technology, Washington is able to spy on its subjects far bjeyond the capabilities of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Even George Orwell’s imagination in his dystopian novel, 1984, has been surpassed by Washington’s current practice. The “war on terror” is the excuse for the American Police State.
A police state, I said, was inconsistent with an armed population, and as all other constitutional amendments have fallen, the sole remaining amendment, the Second Amendment, will not survive much longer.
But why RT Moscow’s focus on “assault weapons”? The accused, Adam Lanza, was immediately declared guilty. According to the Associated Press, the Newtown, Connecticut medical examiner, Dr H. Wayne Carver said that “all the victims of the Connecticut elementary school shooting were killed up close by multiple rifle shots.”
Yet Fox News reports that “A CNN reporter said police recovered three weapons at the scene: a Glock and a Sig-Sauer, which are handguns, as well as a .223 Bushmaster rifle. The rifle was in the back seat of the car the gunman drove to the school, the handguns were inside the school.”
The same Fox News report says: “Security measures implemented this year at Sandy Hook [the school] kept doors locked during class hours, and people have to be buzzed in before entering. There is a camera to view whoever enters the building.” If this report is correct, how did an armed Lanza gain entry to the school?
I tried to point out to RT Moscow that these news reports indicate that the accused dead gunman, whom no one can interrogate, if he is indeed the culprit, killed the children with handguns, not with an “assault rifle” left in the car, but that the medical examiner said the children were killed with rifle shots.
The discrepancy is obvious. Either the news reports are incorrect, the medical examiner is wrong, or someone other than Adam Lanza shot the children.
This was too much for RT Moscow’s news anchor. She cut me off with her statement that the children were dead by whatever gun. Yet, the focus of the program was on “assault rifles.” This focus was reinforced when I was asked to stay online for a post-interview question.
The question from RT Moscow was whether I thought assault weapons would be banned. I answered that I thought all guns would be banned. I had already told the TV anchor that I thought that all guns would be taken away from US subjects, but that I doubted the efficacy of the ban. I told the news anchor that during the early part of the 20th century, the US, in all its wisdom, had a ban on alcohol, but alcohol was everywhere available. The alcohol ban was the origin of the crime syndicates’ fortunes. Today we have the drug ban, going back decades. The result is that drugs are everywhere, and drug syndicates are making billions. It will not be much different with a gun ban. England has a gun ban, but criminals have guns, and today the formerly unarmed British police are heavily armed. When I lived in England, guns were not banned and the police carried nightsticks, not firearms.
The focus on “assault weapons” is puzzling for another reason. According to news reports Lanza had a personality or mental disorder, or perhaps he was just different.
Regardless, he was on medication. So does the blame lie with guns or with medication?
As the agenda is to ban guns, the blame is placed on guns.
In the previous mass shooting at the Colorado movie theater, eyewitness accounts differed from the official account, and according to news accounts the suspect was involved with the government in some sort of mind control experiments and was found after the shooting sitting in a car in the movie theater parking lot.
Similarly, the Connecticut school shooting has puzzling aspects. In the real time report to the police, a teacher says that she saw “two shadows running past the gym.” The police radio recording also reports two men in a van at the school stopped and detained, and various news sources report that the police arrested a man in the nearby woods. The man says, “I didn’t do it,” but how would a man out in the woods know what had just happened? There are no TVs to watch in the woods; yet, the man denied doing the shooting. Very strange.
What often happens is that there are a number of initial false reports, such as in the Connecticut case the report that Lanza’s mother was a teacher at the school and was killed at the school, that Lanza had also killed his father, and that Lanza’s brother might have been involved. Any discrepancies in the official story then get thrown out with the false reports. As the media simply goes along with the official story and does not investigate, it is impossible to know what really happened. People just accept the official story.
It seems odd, however, that RT Moscow would uncritically follow the US media in reporting the official story after experiencing, for example, the US media’s intentional misreporting of the Georgian-Russian war, which was started by the former Soviet republic of Georgia but blamed on Russia. Does RT Moscow really believe the US media that the US missile bases surrounding Russia are directed at Iran?
Americans have been well armed for several centuries, but “gun violence” is new. Why?
Are there more disturbed people? More medicated people? Have Americans lost self-control, their moral conscience? Are Americans being molded by violent movies and video games and by eleven years of their government’s slaughter of other peoples? Have Americans lost empathy for others?
Tom McNamara, a lecturer at the French National Military Academy, asks: “Do Arabs Cry For Their Children Too?”
The Connecticut school shooting is a tragedy in more ways than one. Children lost their lives, families lost their children, and the tragedy is being used to disarm Americans faced with a police state growing in power and menace.
Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. His home page is paulcraigroberts.org.
He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.