Narratives are incredibly powerful. The decisions that people make and the politics they choose to support are deeply influenced by what they believe — and a narrative repeated over and over can sway elections and impact culture, even if it’s completely untrue.
If you listen to liberals, their big-government policies are direly needed because of how terrible and unjust America has become.
You know the claims: Crime is out of control, so we need sweeping gun control laws. Mass shootings are sweeping the nation, so we must ban common rifles. Racism and intolerance are rampant, so we need government enforcers to level the playing field.
There’s only one problem with those narratives: They’re untrue. A vast amount of liberalism is based on assumptions that are either false or deceptively exaggerated… and we have the data to prove it.
“Even as we mourn the victims of hatred and violence, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that, historically speaking, Americans live in very safe and tolerant times,” stated journalist Marian L. Tupy in Human Progress, a project that tracks advances in society.
That premise — America is actually safe and tolerant — is the complete opposite of what the left and mainstream media constantly parrot, but the facts back it up.
Look at crime and gun control. According to opponents of the Second Amendment, guns are deeply evil and responsible for spiking death rates. If only we could go back to a time without guns, everything would be perfect.
But would it?
No. Contrary to the narrative, the introduction of firearms is closely connected to a dramatic decrease in homicide.
In the centuries before guns and the Second Amendment, murder was dramatically more common… and even in the last several years, more firearms in the hands of civilians correlate with dropping crime rates.
Let’s look at history. “In 1450, for example, Italian homicides averaged 73 per 100,000 people,” reported Human Progress, citing a Harvard University psychologist named Steven Pinker. “England was relatively safe, with just over 13 homicides per 100,000 people.”
And in the modern world, even with widespread civilian gun ownership? The homicide rate is a fraction of what it was in pre-Second Amendment times.
“In 2011, in contrast, homicides in Great Britain and the United States averaged 1 and 4 per 100,000 people respectively,” explained Human Progress.
But what about mass shootings? The last month has seen countless demonstrations and student walk-outs. Surely based on all that outrage and news coverage, mass shootings must be extremely common and American schools must be some of the most unsafe places in the world.
Actually, no. It’s another false narrative.
“Overall, the homicide trend in America has been positive – mass shootings notwithstanding,” Human Progress continued.
“Between June 18, 2015, when a suspected white supremacist killed 9 people in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and June 12, 2016, when a suspected Islamic extremist killed 49 people in a gay club in Orlando, Florida, 89 Americans died in mass shootings in the United States.”
Let’s be clear: 89 Americans dying in a year is tragic and we should strive to lower that number… but we should also make decisions based on logic and facts, not raw emotion and hysteria.
“The population of the United States is approaching 324 million, which made the likelihood of dying in a mass shooting over the last 12 months 1 in 3.6 million,” the report pointed out.
“The likelihood of being struck by lightning in 2014 was 1 in 1.2 million, by comparison. Such statistics are of no comfort to those who died and to their families, but they do put the evolution of violence in America in proper context.”
Yes, you have a much higher chance of being struck by lighting than being killed in a mass shooting in America — yet you don’t see this being acknowledged in the news. Fear sells, while facts do not.
The numbers are even lower for school shootings. There were about 51 million kids attending school in the United States as of 2017, according to data from the Department of Education.
“Over the past quarter-century, on average about 10 students are slain in school shootings annually,” stated criminology Professor James Alan Fox in USA Today. Bad? Yes. An out-of-control crime wave? The facts say “no.”
Around ten times the number of students are killed every year walking or riding their bicycles to school, than in school shootings. Again, this fact is buried by the liberal media.
“Compare the school fatality rate with the more than 100 school-age children accidentally killed each year riding their bikes or walking to school,” expert James Fox pointed out.
How about intolerance, then? Much liberal rhetoric is based on the assumption that America is deeply racist and bigoted, and that intolerance is getting worse.
“In 1942, 68 percent of white Americans thought that blacks and whites should go to separate schools,” stated the Human Progress report.
“By 1995, only 4 percent of American whites thought that. In 1958, 45 percent of white Americans said that they would ‘maybe’ or ‘definitely’ move if a black family moved in next door. That number fell to just 2 percent in 1997,” it continued.
Here’s the real kicker. “So rare were segregationist attitudes by the mid-1990s that the federal government discontinued collection of such statistics.”
One only has to look at the turnout to elect America’s first black president in 2008 to see the amazing progress that the nation made in just a few short decades.
Considering that only 13 percent of Americans are black, it was mathematically impossible for Barack Obama to win without support from every race in the country. Obama’s actual presidency may have been a disaster, but his election was without a doubt a sign that the landscape had changed since Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous dream.
It turns out that contrary to what liberals want everyone to believe, America is actually ahead of the curve when it comes to accepting other races and cultures. The 2014 World Values Survey asked people if they were opposed to racially different neighbors. The United States was much more accepting than many “progressive” nations, including some in the leftist paradise of Europe.
“The United States ranked better than the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru” when it came to accepting neighbors of different races, Human Progress reported. Cross out another liberal talking point.
It looks like the America the left describes — ridden with hate and intolerance — simply doesn’t exist. They need people to believe that our nation is terrible and broken in order to snag votes and consolidate power. Don’t buy into the narrative.
America may not be perfect, but it is much more safe, tolerant, unified, and welcoming than the media would have you think. While bitter voices spread shame, there is actually much to be proud of in the United States.
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