Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Our view

False arguments

Maybe it just appears as though politicians and pundits are more prone to fabrication and logical flaws these days. The 24-hour news cycle, the advent of online programming and the election of those appealing to narrow electorates allow for such abuses, after all.

But neither party benefits from misstatements, selective data or outright abandonment of fact.

On the house floor, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.) charged during a diatribe against revisions to FBI intelligence terminology in training manuals under the Obama administration that “they can’t talk about jihad, they can’t talk about Muslim, they can’t talk about Islam.”

Yet others reviewing training materials suggest just the opposite, that revisions did not extend to Islam, American Muslims. And records show the lexicon program took place during the Bush administration.

We all know that fabrication, when exposed in the political world, makes supporters shrug, opponents gain strength and those in between doubt the veracity of the party issuing false statements. Gohmert’s misguided assertions undermine any Republican attempt to challenge the administrations handling of the war on terror or prevention of home grown terror plots.

Meanwhile Glenn Beck is promoting his new book “exposing the truth” about gun control. In it he implies that the existence of multi-shot weapons dating back to the 1600s proves America’s founding fathers’ intent to include high capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles in Second Amendment rights. He notes that gun related deaths in the U.S. are overemphasized, as murder rates in Africa, Southeast Asia, Mexico and similar nations are higher. He then conveniently overlooks data that disputes his beliefs.

The rights defined in the Second Amendment are critical. The rights of gun owners to hunt, collect, shoot for sport or protect their families are important, as well. But with more than 80 percent of Americans supporting reasonable limits on weapons, Becks wild claims and selective use of information adds little to the debate other than ammunition for those who advocate more control.


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