On Friday February 22, the Washington Post took a double-barreled approach to pushing more gun control In a 52-paragraph front-page story, staff writer Stephanie McCrummen highlighted the efforts of anti-gun activist Susan Beehler, a North Dakota woman “going against the gun culture” in the Roughrider State. Elsewhere in the A-section, staffer Philip Rucker devoted 23 paragraphs to boosting Vice President Biden's push for gun control.
McCrummen's article began by promoting Beehler as, “one activist challenging the status quo.” Beehler, who herself admits she does not own a gun, started the North Dakota chapter of the Million Moms for Gun Control group, and McCrummen went through a plethora of examples of her efforts to, “find a few other brave souls” to push for greater gun control.
Beehler describes herself as the “lone ranger” travelling around North Dakota discussing what she calls, “responsible gun ownership, not guns or no guns.” Beehler said she:
More or less agreed with what Obama has said about gun owners. As a North Dakotan who grew up around guns and once sold them at a Woolco in the 1980s, she felt qualified to take on the cause.
Woolco went out of business in the 1982 recession, so it's been three decades since Beehler has sold any guns.
One of Beehler and President Obama’s big pushes is the ban of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines, with both individuals claiming there is no need for either. To her credit, McCrummen did include a perfect example to refute Obama’s argument:
Beehler moved on to the subject of 30-round ammunition clips. [NRA member Dick] Coleman made the point that rapid-firing guns are useful for hunting quick-moving coyotes, a real nuisance during calving season. He said his son had 30-round clips.
But wait, there's more. A few pages deeper in the A-section is a gushy piece on Vice President Joe Biden’s recent gun control speech in Connecticut. The Post’s Philip Rucker describes Biden as “pleading for gun control” in a puff piece on Biden’s gun-control agenda.
Rucker described Biden as delivering a “point-by-point rebuttal of arguments made by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights activists. He contended that people do not need AR-15s and other military-style assault rifles for protection.”
Although he did toss in a brief quote from an NRA spokesman, Rucker surrounded it with talking points from pro gun-control activists. Rucker highlighted the fact that Biden, “accused some questioners participating in his online chats of planting questions designed to place roadblocks to his gun-control agenda.”
And, of course, Rucker allowed a pro-gun control politician to have the last word, closing the article with this plea from Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D):
We run a risk of letting this critical moment in history pass. None of us want that to happen, and none of us should let it happen.”