NBC’s Smith Lectures: ‘Arms Race Has Been Lost’ to Villainous ‘Gun Lobby,’ ‘Defenders’

Closing out Friday’s NBC Nightly News, special correspondent Harry Smith surfaced to provide another emotion-laden, fear-fueling, and far-left commentary about the El Paso and Dayton shootings as evidence that “[t]he arms race has been lost” with common sense, decency, and safety losing out to those villainous “gun rights defenders” and “the gun lobby.”

Much like CNN’s Brooke Baldwin hours earlier and The Washington Post would do days later with its sanctimonious special section on the nearly 1,200 killed in mass shootings over the last 54 years, Smith listed the dead from Parkland to two weekends ago to bolster his punditry and, while one life lost was far too many, instill fear in viewers that being a victim of a mass shooting could easily happen. 

 

 

“City by city, school by school, the idea that it can't happen here gets erased and erased again. The anguish and suffering strewn across community after community is an epidemic, an epidemic so virulent the medical community views it as a public health crisis,” Smith began. 

So here, nothing nefarious at all. Yes, it feels like these have been happening more (though the media coverage amplifies it) and it harmed the country’s psyche.

But then things quickly unraveled in the remaining time before dipping out for piano music, soundbites from loved ones and survivors, and a list of those murdered. Smith fretted that’s “astounding to us that so little has been done to combat it” as “[w]ith each new mass shooting, cries for change ring out and with each act of terrifying violence, they are drowned out by the silence of our response.”

Smith then seemed to mock those who supported gun rights before concluding with the liberal media tactic of trying to strike fear in viewers (click “expand”):

We are told it is unreasonable to equate these acts with the number of ultra-effective killing machines that the gun lobby has made so easy for Americans to purchase and gun rights defenders point to instances where armed civilians successfully intervened, but the score is hopelessly lopsided. The arms race has been lost. Add to this the confluence of our country's unanswered mental health crisis and an internet where hate flows unfettered on to the screens of millions, and you have week after week of images of cops attired in battle gear facing off against an enemy combatant, an American with a tactical weapon. The idea you recover from a mass shooting is a false positive. The wounds never really heal. The scars are forever tender. So, yes, this is a lament and a cry for help. We are killing ourselves and that “can't happen here” thing is pure illusion.

Now, how would he propose turning the tide in “the arms race?” What kind of guns would he propose confiscating? And wasn’t this issue too about how these mass murders come from broken homes? None of this was answered because he couldn’t let arguments get in the way of emotional pleas.

This wasn’t Smith’s first attempt to peddle fear and/or lecture viewers. Here are few other instances from his time at NBC chronicled by NewsBusters (click “expand”):

As this writer wrote on Friday, the liberal media thrive on wanting to strike fear in viewers and, in turn, cause them to arrive at asinine conclusions such as there being an increase in crime when the opposite has happened.

Along with airplane crashes, mass shootings, or even shark attacks (ex. summer of 2001), the number of 1,196 killed in mass shootings since 1966 should be put into perspective even though everyone from all of CNN to Harry Smith to even liberal media ally Shannon Watts should have already laid this.

According to the CDC and National Center for Health Statistics, 70 times more people (70,237) people died in 2017 from drug overdoses compared to mass shootings. In 2016 (which was the last available year), the CDC put the number of drunk-driving deaths at 10,497. 

And according to a CDC database, Stanford University researchers found that 1,610 died from animal-related incidents between 2008 and 2015.

So, again, was gun violence a problem? Absolutely. Are mass shootings unacceptable? Absolutely.

But when it comes to things that everyday Americans should be fearful of happening to them anytime they go to the grocery store or school, the odds are still in their favor of returning home safe. 

To see the relevant transcript from August 9's NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, click “expand”

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
August 9, 2019
7:21 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

LESTER HOLT: We're back in a moment with some thoughts on a tough week in America. 

(....)

7:25 p.m. Eastern

HOLT: Finally tonight we're all still bewildered and saddened from last weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. And we want to leave you with some thoughts on this from Harry Smith, along with the names of some of those who died in the most deadly mass shootings since Parkland. 

HARRY SMITH: City by city, school by school, the idea that it can't happen here gets erased and erased again. The anguish and suffering strewn across community after community is an epidemic, an epidemic so virulent the medical community views it as a public health crisis. Astounding to us that so little has been done to combat it. With each new mass shooting, cries for change ring out and with each act of terrifying violence, they are drowned out by the silence of our response. We are told it is unreasonable to equate these acts with the number of ultra-effective killing machines that the gun lobby has made so easy for Americans to purchase and gun rights defenders point to instances where armed civilians successfully intervened, but the score is hopelessly lopsided. The arms race has been lost. Add to this the confluence of our country's unanswered mental health crisis and an internet where hate flows unfettered on to the screens of millions, and you have week after week of images of cops attired in battle gear facing off against an enemy combatant, an American with a tactical weapon. The idea you recover from a mass shooting is a false positive. The wounds never really heal. The scars are forever tender. So, yes, this is a lament and a cry for help. We are killing ourselves and that “can't happen here” thing is pure illusion.

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN DAYTON AND EL PASO]

ARMY PFC. GLENDON OAKLEY JR: I'm looking at a hero for it, but that wasn’t th reason for it —

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN VIRGINIA BEACH]

FRED LANGER: He took one of the best things I had, I can guarantee you that. And he took a lot out of family's pride and joy away from them too.

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN AURORA, IL]

JASON COFFMAN: Son, I love you so much. 

[DEAD IN THOUSAND OAKS, CA]

THOUSAND OAKS, CA SHERIFF GEOFF DEAN: Sergeant passed away at the hospital about an hour ago.

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN PITTSBURGH, PA]

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN ANNAPOLIS, MD]

MARIA HIAASEN: I don't know how to move forward.

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN SANTA FE, TX]

[LIST OF THE DEAD IN PARKLAND, FL]

CAMERON KASKY: This just doesn't happen in schools. Americans are being attacked in churches, night clubs, movie theaters, and on the streets, but we, the people, can fix this. 

EDNA CHAVEZ: My school, every other mass shooting, will no longer be a statistic and we will never stop fighting.

[COLLAGE OF NAMES]

NB Daily El Paso/Dayton shootings Guns Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats NBC NBC Nightly News Video Government & Press Harry Smith
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