The media agenda against guns is nothing new. But recent mass shootings have encouraged supposedly neutral journalists to push for gun regulation instead of reporting the facts surrounding the tragedies.
One thing the media seldom mention is that both the Newtown and Aurora shootings occurred in gun free zones. In the Clackamas Town Center Shooting in Oregon, however, a gunman was stopped when someone with a concealed carry permit intervened. There were only two casualties in this shooting which received little media attention. If this incident was mentioned, the concealed carry part of the story was almost completely ignored.
Some journalists have gone after after the NRA, calling for them to be labeled “terrorist organizations” or lamented that they “yield too much power.” Others simply attacked any pro-gun advocate they had on their program. Still, a few went straight for the Constitution, with calls to “repeal the Second Amendment” or revise it. Many tried to imagine a world without guns … forgetting that even without guns, violence would still exist.
1. Donald Kaul Calls to “Repeal Second Amendment”
The most egregious case of anti-gun advocacy has got to be Donald Kaul. Kaul, who retired from writing a weekly column in The Des Moines Register in mid-2012, came back after Newtown to speak out, taking anti-gun advocacy to a whole new level.
He had three solutions to the so called gun violence problem. The first of these was to “repeal the Second Amendment” since the founders never intended for private gun ownership as it is today.
After that, he would like to “declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal.” He argued that this would make owning guns less desirable, like how Communism was made illegal. Except… joining the Communist party was never actually made illegal in the United States.
He continued that he would like to “tie up Mitch McConnell and John Boehner” and “drag them around.” Kaul seemed to think that a good way to end violence is with more violence towards those with whom you disagree.
On Jan. 4, 2013, Kaul followed up on his piece on lefty site AlterNet. In his feel-sorry-for-me piece, he contemplated why people simply didn’t understand that his call to tie up McConnell and Boehner was satirical. “I was using it as a metaphor for making politicians pay a price for their inability to confront the gun lobby.”
But that wasn’t all. He later explained that his suggestion to repeal the Second Amendment was also satirical, to “point out that it’s being misinterpreted and misused.” He then said how he was flabbergasted that NRA members might be upset about his call to label the NRA as a terrorist organization. “I may now be closer to believing the NRA is an organization of terrorists, however.”
Surprisingly, people don’t like it when someone demonizes an entire organization.
2. Piers Morgan’s Vendetta against Guns
Piers Morgan never misses an opportunity to immediately politicize a tragedy and call for gun control. Newtown is no exception. The backlash against Morgan’s statements had been fierce this time around, though, with a petition to the White House to have him deported back to England.
On Dec. 19, 2012, Morgan claimed to respect the Constitution – including the Second Amendment – but then called for gun control anyway. “If he didn’t have guns, none of those children would have been shot,” he stated matter of factly. The previous day, on Dec. 18, Morgan went after a gun advocate on his show, calling him “an unbelievably stupid man” and “dangerous.”
Morgan is a legal resident of the United States, who is originally from England. He is host of CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” which replaced Larry King when he retired in 2010. He is a British journalist, and studied journalism at Harlow College.
3. New York Paper Publishes Addresses of All Local Gun Owners
Nothing can be more helpful to a criminal than giving them an exact map of which homes are armed and which ones aren’t… and that is exactly what the New York paper Journal News did in its Dec. 25 edition.
In a protest against gun rights, the newspaper published all the addresses of those who owned guns, not thinking through the consequences of such actions. Now, potential criminals are armed with valuable information that puts people at risk.
On Jan. 7, 2013, New York State Senator Greg Ball went on Huffington Post Live to discuss the Journal News escapade. He stated that while gun permits are public record, this list does not include criminals who may have illegally obtained guns in their possession. “We're talking about people who obey the law.” He continued by saying that permits belong to “many victims of domestic violence who got a permit to protect themselves.” He called this map a “public safety nightmare.”
It gets better. On Jan. 4, the Rockland County Times, another New York paper in the same area as Journal News, reported that 25% of the gun map was incorrect. “Rockland residents have reported that the information on the gun map is sometimes more than 20 years outdated.”
4. Bob Costas Blames Murder/Suicide on Guns
After the tragic murder/suicide of a Kansas City Chiefs football player and his girlfriend, NBC’s Bob Costas wondered during halftime whether these two people would still be alive if the football player had not owned a gun. “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today,” he stated. According to Costas, guns are the problem, period. There are no other ways to kill someone and there were no other factors contributing to this tragedy.
5. Soledad O’Brien Doesn’t Understand Gun Ownership
Soledad O’Brien is no stranger to stating her liberal opinions as opposed to balanced journalism, but after the Newtown shootings, she really lost it. On Dec. 17, O’Brien attacked pro-gun proponent and author John Lott. “Your position completely boggles me,” she gasped. A few days later, on Dec. 20, O’Brien expounded on her confusion by promoting a ban on hand guns. “Is going to the assault weapons far enough?” she pondered. “Does this … open up a conversation toward limiting handguns?”
6. David Gregory Promotes President Obama’s Gun Control Speech
NBC could never find anything wrong with anything President Obama had ever said, even when it comes to calling for gun control at a candle light memorial. In fact, NBC’s David Gregory went along and helped politicize the tragedy on Dec. 21, 2012. Gregory included many sound bites of the President’s call for gun control, but failed to interview any gun advocates. He then concluded his segment with: “The politics, it's just so hard to hear about people in so much pain as we go into the holidays. But it's all over that area, and we all feel it.”
On Dec. 23, while interviewing Wayne La Pierre of the NRA, Gregory produced a high capacity magazine as a prop, which is in violation of D.C. gun laws. This caused an investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police, who stated that they had denied NBC permission to use the magazine as a prop when they were asked. No word yet on whether charges will be filed.
7. Don Lemon’s Anti-Gun Tirade
On Dec. 17, 2012, CNN anchor Don Lemon went on a tirade against guns, calling for them only to be in the hands of law enforcement. “We need to get guns and bullets and automatic weapons off the streets,” he declared on his program. But what Lemon failed to consider is that in a time of crisis, it can take law enforcement minutes to get to a crime scene. A law abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit could, in fact, neutralize a situation sooner, like with the Clackamas Town Center shooting in Oregon.
8. Dylan Byers is Sad Gun Control Talk Didn’t Survive Christmas
In his Jan. 2 post on his blog for Politico, Dylan Byers lamented about how the gun control talk had dropped off before Christmas. “This time was supposed to be different,” he wrote. He listed possible diversion for the subject, like Christmas or the fiscal cliff, but to Byers, this just isn’t acceptable. He then pondered as to whether it was possible for the discussion to heat up again post-holidays. “Barring a post-holiday resurgence – which is certainly possible – the gun control discussion has once again gone the way of … the gun control discussion.”
9. Bill Plante Slants Debate with Four Gun Control Liberals to One Gun Advocate
On Dec. 17, Bill Plante played sound bites about guns on CBS’s “This Morning” that included four gun control advocates versus one pro gun viewpoint. After playing bites from staunch gun control supporters Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Representative Carolyn McCarthy and President Obama in succession, Plante showed a short clip from Texas Representative Louie Gohmert.
After the clip of Gohmert defending the rights of gun owners, Plante commented on the politics of gun control calling them “toxic.” He then stated that “gun rights groups, like the National Rifle Association, wield tremendous influence.”
10. NBC’s Nancy Snyderman “Sick” Over “Guns and Violence” in Political Ad
On the Feb. 16, 2012 edition of NBC’s “Today,” Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman went after then-presidential candidate Rick Santorum for a satirical political ad that depicted Mitt Romney firing a mud-filled paint ball gun at a cutout of Santorum. “I’m sick of guns. I’m sick of violence. I’m sick of it all. And I know it’s tongue-in-cheek … I don’t like it.” Although Snyderman’s comment predates the recent shootings, it shows how anti-gun more journalists really are. No word yet about how Snyderman feels about Tarantino’s latest film, “Django Unchained.”