Psychology Today: Guns and cognitive dissonance in America

March 8, 2018

Unfortunately, in the U.S. we have conflicting “facts” about guns. We also have facts that are suppressed and, therefore, they remain unknown to most Americans. Conflicting information creates cognitive dissonance— contradictory beliefs held simultaneously. In addition, this is the age of “fake news,” which allows anybody to simply say facts they don’t like are “fake news” or even that there are “alternative facts,” whether they are accurate or not. Because of confusion about the accuracy of facts and the suppression of facts, finding accurate information is not easy. Finding the truth requires research and fact checking. Why don’t we have easy access to this information? Because in 1996, “the federal government banned the use of any finds from The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (part of The Centers for Disease Control) from being ‘used to advocate or promote gun control.'” The Union of Concerned Scientists verifies this clamp down on finding information as well in greater detail. Our own government is preventing us from knowing the truth about gun fatalities and injuries. To reach some sort of compromise on the gun issue, we have to know the facts.