About Veracity News
Increasingly dynamic social, cultural, economic, and geopolitical issues require flexible and adaptive reporting. Veracity News unearths latent bias to cut through polarization and pop information bubbles. We believe news is best served across multiple sources and with context.
Healthcare is a human right!
Mask mandates are the beginning of the end!
I can't believe they think that way
I can't believe they think that way
From 1949 to 1987, the Fairness Doctrine was the law of the land for American broadcast media. The policy required any group that held a broadcast license to cover "issues of public importance" and devote a reasonable amount of time to opposing views. The Fairness Doctrine was repealed by Ronald Reagan's FCC due to concerns over broadcasters' First Amendment rights and fears that the policy may cause them to avoid discussing certain topics altogether. The Doctrine would have become mostly irrelevant with the dawn of the internet and cable TV as its guidelines would not have applied to those channels without considerable expansion. Still, the lesson remains: American news media is no longer compelled to cover issues of public importance from multiple perspectives.
News organizations have become profit-focused in order to cope with an increasingly competitive landscape. Monthly subscriptions and ad contracts are the coin of the realm, and they grow with every click, view, and share. To stay afloat, many organizations serve up partisan content that will keep their readers coming back. As a result, many people exist within tightly guarded echo chambers cultivated by news organizations to keep users happy—or angry—rather than informed. A vicious cycle has emerged where people cling to increasingly polarized political beliefs that are reaffirmed by the organizations that peddle them. A new and unique distrust of American news media has sprouted as a result.
Over time, the line between fact and opinion has blurred to the point that it is nearly impossible to distinguish one from another. Many news sources pride themselves on representing the truth, when in reality they often represent their truth. Although some sources attempt to steer closer to the middle of an issue, there remains a discernible degree of bias—often represented more through omission than deceit. As long as a news source claims that they come closest to the truth, detractors will pick up on any evidence to the contrary.
There is only one way to provide a complete representation of a story so that a reader feels confident with its reporting: through the thoughtful exploration of a given issue through the lenses of multiple political perspectives. In order to inform people this way, Veracity first labels the biases found in our work by categorizing each perspective. Both conservative and liberal perspectives are assigned a 1-3 rating to indicate partisanship.
We have provided a breakdown of our rating system and a sample article for your reference.
Almost no one adopts every value of a given political party. If they did, we wouldn't have primary elections. For example, not every Democrat believes in single-payer healthcare, and not every Republican believes in the continued criminality of marijuana at the federal level.
With this in mind, we can't treat the left or right as a monolith. Many Americans hold beliefs that vary within their party from one issue to the next, or even stretch across the aisle.
We will identify our perspectives as belonging to one of the following six groups:
America's Complex Relationship with Guns
From constitutional carry to gun seizures and buybacks, Americans form a wide spectrum of belief when it comes to guns
Data from the CDC shows that in 2019 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 39,707 people died from gun-related injuries in the United States. This represents 12.1 deaths per 100,000 Americans, a number that is down slightly from the 2017 high of 12.2, but still in excess of the 20-year average of 10.8.
Further data suggests that defensive use of guns happened at least 60,000 times per year in America, with a high-end estimate of 2.5 million occurrences.
Of these deaths, 60.3% were suicides and 36.3% were murders. The remaining 3.4% includes accidental gun deaths, law-enforcement related firearm deaths, and deaths that involved a gunshot wound that was not determined to be the principal cause of death.
In 2016, the US trailed only Brazil in total firearm deaths worldwide according to this study published in JAMA titled Global mortality from firearms, 1990-2016.
It was further shown that the US joins six developing nations in South America who combine to account for 50.5% of global firearm-related deaths.
30% of American adults report owning a gun, and more than 40% either own a gun or live with someone who does.
48% of Americans grew up in a house with a gun, and 72% have fired a gun at least once.
66% of American gun owners say they own more than one gun
72% of gun owners have a handgun; 62% own rifles, and 54% own a shotgun
67% of owners cite protection as their main reason for gun ownership, with hunting (38%), and sport shooting (30%) trailing
60% of Americans believe gun laws should be more strict
Only 31% of Republican-leaning Americans want stricter laws, while 86% of those who lean Democrat would support tightened restrictions.
From The Left
1/3 — Leans Left
Americans have come to see guns as a normal part of life. Some reasonable restrictions ought to exist to prevent hot-headed purchasers, or to prohibit the sale of unreasonably large magazines, but the sporting and hunting habits of Americans should not be made illegal. The Second Amendment to our Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. However, just as there are exceptions to the first amendment which the Supreme Court has recognized as "well-defined and narrowly limited," so too should the Second Amendment be reeled in for the common good.
With due regard to states and their sovereignty, this is a uniquely national (and federal) issue. If citizens in St. Louis can't count on those in Albuquerque to go through the same protocols regarding gun safety, then there is no such thing as gun safety in America—only the illusion of safety in St. Louis. It is for this reason that rules must be universal. Without national consistency, we risk the deadly results of legislative inequity.
It is unreasonable to suggest that national buybacks would be welcomed by Americans. The right to bear arms is as strong as the right to free speech or protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. Guns are nearly everywhere, and they are here to stay. We are obligated to keep our citizens safe, while protecting the rights that are guaranteed to them.
A good way to continue the governance of guns in America would be bipartisan legislation. It ought to be popular for guns to be registered in a similar manner to cars, and it should be equally sensible to restrict magazine size to 10 rounds or less. These measures hardly restrict the rights of any buyer, and would go a long way to reel in the inconsistency of gun laws across the US.
2/3 — Moderate Left
The Second Amendment may guarantee the right to keep and bear arms, but it is not a limitless right. We have come a long way in our efforts to bolster the structures surrounding our gun culture through legislation and law enforcement, but we still have progress to make. Simple measures such as requiring gun purchases over the internet, at gun shows, and through some private transactions to go through the same background checks as those that happen through a federally licensed dealer ought to be a bipartisan slam-dunk.
There is simply no need for excessively large magazines that make shooting massive amounts of people easier and faster. Americans primarily use their guns for home defense, which is a fair and well-founded use. The bump stock was made illegal at the hands of a memo from former President Trump. It is not enough that our neighbors cannot own machine guns; there is no justification of self defense or sporting fun that is strong enough to knock down the thousands of lives lost every year to guns.
3/3 — Liberal
In 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified, there was a reasonable expectation that a group of disaffected civilians may need to rise up against a tyrannical government. These groups would have protected communities, towns, even entire colonies. At the time there was a rational fear that soldiers might act in their own personal interest, or in the interest of some faction of the government, and not that of a united federal government run by and for the people. America then looked nothing like America now. Slavery had been codified in the Constitution through the three-fifths compromise, women did not have the right to vote, and changes to federal law required 9 of the first 13 states' approval, virtually gridlocking federal legislation (see: filibuster).
Critics might say that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are sacred founding documents that have made America what it is today. They would be right, but it is only because the Constitution has been amended time and again, and because our legislation has been able to adapt to problems posed by modernization, war, and collective growth the likes of which our founders never could have imagined. Through circumstances such as slavery and women's suffrage, we have seen these documents bend without breaking. Guns belong in history books, along with slaves and systemically disenfranchised women.
From The Right
1/3 — Leans Right
Americans have come to see guns as a normal part of life. Guns are in many households, and kill at less than 10X rate of heart disease. There are some restrictions which can make Americans safer without infringing upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Measures already exist that require buyers to wait a few days before completing their purchase, or restrict the operation of some weapons so that they cannot function as a machine gun (see bump stocks and sears). Many states do exactly that, and they have the right to do so: the Supreme Court case US v. Miller tells us that restrictions on guns can be imposed, citing the lack of "a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia" in owning a sawed-off shotgun.
While some restrictions have been shown to be appropriate by unanimous Supreme Court decisions, those restrictions should be left to state legislatures. Efforts to involve the federal government by way of registry, buybacks, or blanket restrictions on magazine sizes or arbitrary gun features will only complicate matters for lawful owners unnecessarily. Our efforts to reel in gun violence thus far have been successful, but we have come far enough regarding legislation. Illegal use of guns is exactly that: illegal. Just as with drugs, further criminalization will shift guns out of the hands of the lawful, and into the hands of criminals.
2/3 — Moderate Right
Every legal use of arms in the United States is all the justification for guns that is necessary, but the Constitution's guarantee of our right to bear arms offers compelling backup.
As we know, 40% of Americans either own a gun, or live with someone who does. Those 40% recognize that guns are not dangerous, people are dangerous. They use their guns for home defense, self defense, and defense of others. They also legally and freely use guns for sport. It is their right to do so, and it is not the responsibility of gun owners to explain why they ought to be able to exercise rights that are just as well-founded as any other contained in the Bill of Rights.
A minority of cases are often peddled as the primary justification for gun control measures. If nearly 40,000 deaths occur from guns every year and 60% are suicides, that leaves just 16,000 deaths from gun violence where one person harms another. We also know that the lowest estimate of defensive gun use is around 60,000. The disparity is alarming: guns are used for their primary purpose, protection, far more than they are used in violence—even with suicide deaths included.
If America wants to restrict the scope of rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, there should be data to support that change. Instead, isolated incidents are dragged out before a horrified public to show the evils of all guns, when in fact the perpetrator often had to violate several restrictions already in place in order to carry out their attack. We know that criminals who want to cause harm won't be stopped because of any legislation, and we shouldn't restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens with the thought that it would change criminals' behavior.
3/3 — Conservative
The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear: it tells us that "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." It does not say that it shall not be infringed save some petty restrictions, it does not say that it shall not be infringed unless a few elected officials wish for it; it is unequivocal in its assertion that Americans have the right the bear arms. It is for this reason that any restriction whatsoever on guns ought to be deemed unconstitutional.
It has been said that the framers could not have anticipated the kinds of weapons that we have today. This argument actually supports the Second Amendment in some important ways. Around the time that the Second Amendment was ratified, the most lethal arms—and the framers did say arms, not just guns—were far less efficient than today. Still, when the Bill of Rights was written, it included all of the available arms of the era. Following that logic, there is no reason to restrict the magazine capacity, fire rate, or any lethal capability of guns today.
Today a few states have what is known as constitutional carry, where that state's legislature has recognized the full authority of our federal Constitution and stated that gun owners do not need any special certification in order to carry firearms in a concealed manner.
As the evidence in this section shows, 60% of all gun-related deaths result from suicides. If we want to tackle the majority burden of guns, why aren't we looking closer at suicide? No restriction on magazine size, fire rate, or weapon style will change those figures. The war on drugs has raged in America for decades, yet addicts still find their fix easily—why should we expect a different result with guns? The question of gun safety should be left to individual Americans.