Maybe the rate of pandemic infections is finally starting to go down, certainly there seems to be in most locations a clear drop in the number of patients being hospitalized with Covid-19. But one thing which hasn’t seemed to be negatively impacted by the pandemic are the stories about guns and gun violence which continue to be wrong.

              The latest nonsense came out yesterday in a story from WENY News in Ithaca, NY with the headline that has become all too common everywhere: ‘Gun Background Checks Soared in April.’ Let me tell you how they ‘soared.’

              FBI-NICS background checks for handgun transfers ‘soared’ from 1,392,677 in March to 961,947 last month.  Want to tell me how a month-to-month drop of 31 percent is some kind of soar? As for year-to-date sales, there were 984,872 handgun checks in April 2020, as opposed to 961,947 in April 2021. That’s only a drop of 2 percent, but it sure ain’t no increase at all.

              So, where’s all these soaring gun sales taking place? They are taking place, according to this story, in high-crime areas where people now feel they need guns to protect themselves from the hordes who are making the street unsafe. One such high-crime area is the town of Des Plaines, IL, where the owner of a gun shop says that he’s selling every gun in the place.

              Now the fact that the crime rate in Des Plaines happens to be 50 percent below the national crime rate average, so what? Obviously, this gun shop is being overwhelmed by all the people coming up from Chicago, right?  Meanwhile, the reporter who wrote this story could have asked the owner of the Des Plaines gun shop to scan through the FBI-NICS background check forms from last month just to see exactly how many customers who bought guns from him actually live in the Windy City. God forbid a reporter would actually attempt to verify what she is told by someone who has a vested interest in promoting the sale of guns.

              But the story gets better as we read down through the text. Demand for guns in Illinois may not be reflected just by counting FBI-NICS background checks in that state. The next-door state, Indiana, according to this story, had 187,000 background checks last month, the third highest in the entire U.S.A.

              In fact, this statement is so far away from being true that I really don’t understand how it got into the story at all. Background checks in Indiana for gun transfers didn’t even reach 50,000.  The reporter seems to believe that when the FBI-NICS phone bank does a background check on a gun license renewal that this should be counted as the transfer of a gun.

              Good. Let the reporter believe whatever she wants to believe. She can also believe that the Covid-19 virus actually came back from a secret mission to Mars, or maybe it’s another new weapon being tested at Area 51.

              I’m going to cut today’s column off a bit short, but I think you get the point. When it comes to disinformation floating around the last several years, you don’t need to get disinformed by watching Fox News or CNN. You can just go to Google, do a search for ‘guns,’ or ‘gun violence,’ and what will come up are endless stories from various news sources which are just as misinformed as the story published yesterday on WENY.

              In the interests of full disclosure (a phrase I love almost as much as I love the phrase ‘we are fully cooperating with the investigation’) I should add that the story contains this following statement: This story and headline have been corrected. An earlier version overstated the number of gun sales that have been recorded in Illinois.

              If the editors at WENY believe that the story is now accurate and true, all I can say is what Grandpa would have said, “Oy, zuch en vai,” I’d rather not say what it means.