It’s Not Like The Media Isn’t Already In The Tank For Them (Update)

The mainstream media isn’t our friend. They have a narrative and they consider us to be on the wrong side of it. The only exception to this is, on rare occasion, the local media. They will sometimes do favorable stories on concealed carry and women or some other aspect of the gun culture that has a human interest component to it.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors is funding a two-day workshop  put on by the Columbia School of Journalism’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma for local and regional journalists. As Sebastian noted, “most journalists don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to this topic, so they won’t be able to tell they are being spoon fed bullshit.”

The workshop will:

offer independent expert briefings and specialized reporting skills training to enhance the practical ability of journalists to report on guns and gun violence knowledgeably, ethically and effectively. The workshop will cover such topics as state and federal gun laws; patterns of gun sales and gun trafficking; national trends and polling; education and prevention initiatives; social, economic and public health impacts; and special populations (e.g. children and youth, women and returning veterans.) Speakers include national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors.

Speakers include national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors.

I find it particularly interesting that they want to concentrate their efforts on reporters, editors,  news directors, photographers, and producers in the Southwest. If I were to speculate, I would say this concentration on the Southwest is intended to bolster their efforts to win universal background check initiatives in states such as Nevada and Arizona. The price that Bloomberg is paying for this workshop pales in comparison to the return that they could potentially get in terms of stories slanted towards their agenda by a local media that has bought into the narrative. Money spent here means much less money has to be spent during the initiative campaign.

While the NRA doesn’t put on such workshops for the media, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has done training in the past. That said, I doubt it was intended to indoctrinate gullible journalists in quite the same way as Everytown intends to do. From what Michael Bane has said on his podcasts in reference to it, the NSSF events were more about educating journalists on firearms in general.

UPDATE: According to a story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Everytown spent $48,000 to fund this gun violence (sic) propaganda training event for journalists. Bruce Shapiro, director of the Dart Center, insists that the Center will be the one assembling the curriculum content and not Everytown.

“The Arizona workshop is funded by Everytown, but the Dart Center alone will determine the content. If Michael Bloomberg, or any funder, tried to determine the content of our programs we’d give the money back,” Shapiro said in an email. “At this workshop as in everything we do, we’ll combine briefings by diverse, independent scholars on key issues (and I’d welcome any suggestions there) with journalist-to-journalist conversation about the craft of reporting on this challenging debate. And that’s it.”

I’m with Lee Williams of the Herald-Tribune on this one – “I don’t buy it.”

One thing I missed about the story earlier is that it will be open to 30 participants of which half will have their expenses paid. I had thought the event was only for 15 journalists.

UPDATE II: For more on the former NSSF’s Media Education Project, see today’s blog post by Michael Bane.

Metcalf Responds

The mainstream media has now officially taken notice of the Guns & Ammo/Metcalf controversy. The Complementary Spouse was watching ABC’s Gun Good Morning America a few minutes ago and saw a news scroll that read “Editor of Guns & Ammo Magazine Resigns After Publishing Column Pushing For Gun Control”. The controversy has also caught the eye of the New York Times, The Atlantic, HuffPo, New York Magazine, CNN, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Media Matters for America. Their articles are full of tut-tutting about the intolerance of gun owners for any dissent. As Miguel points out, Metcalf’s article made him the “new darling of the anti gun groups.”

Jim Shepherd, publisher of The Outdoor Wire, in a rather classy move asked Dick Metcalf to respond. He did and Jim has published his response. I will leave it to you to read rather than summarizing it.

After reading his response I’m still not clear on what Metcalf hoped to accomplish with his original column. As to why he wrote it, I’m voting for Stockholm Syndrome.

UPDATE:  The Metcalf response has drawn some equally strong counter-responses.

Bitter at Shall Not Be Infringed does an excellent job at taking it apart bit by bit.

It’s as if he doesn’t even comprehend that those “voices” are the very customers and readers of Guns & Ammo and purchasers of the firearms products advertised in the pages. Not everyone may be a subscriber, but they are all part of the target market.

The industry is shifting. The markets are adapting. The audience, as a whole, is more sophisticated. I think the evidence suggests that it’s Metcalf who isn’t ready to have a serious discussion on these topics, not his audience.

Michael Bane terms it lame.

This is not, as Bitter so lucidly notes, a “free speech” issue. Let me go a step farther than that…as I noted in my earlier post, we have been having a “dialog” about the role of firearms in American society at least as long as I’ve been alive. IMHO, the “dialog” ended when the war began.

Let me say this again…we are at war with a segment of society whose sole goal is total civilian disarmament. We are not in a dialog. We are not in a debate. We are not in a healthy give-and-take in the Cornell University academic lounge. The primary weapon used by our blood enemies is the Big Lie.

Lest it be forgotten, Michael was in the front lines of this war in Colorado. He has seen the Big Lie used against those of us who believe in freedom time and time again.

Bob Owens at Bearing Arms notes that Metcalf’s response seems more incoherent than his original column.

Why Wait To Find Out What Happened When You Can Blame It On Gun Laws

The facts are just starting to trickle in on the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. A number of people have been wounded or killed and the police say three men in “green and khaki military style clothing” are the suspected shooters. One of the shooters is dead and the authorities are searching for the other two.

The bottom line is that we don’t know enough about what is going on to make a reasonable judgment. It could be a terrorist attack or it could be disgruntled former employees.

However, this lack of solid information does not stop Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak from condemning US gun laws and the gun culture. This in a city where the gun laws are so strict that Emily Miller got a number of columns and a whole book out of her journey to gun ownership.

Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson, Aurora, Newtown. And now Washington.

At least 12 people were killed in a burst of gunfire at the Navy Yard on Monday morning, including one of the suspected shooters. And the toll could climb higher.

Another rampage. This one, for me, very close to home. My kids and I biked to the Navy Yard on Saturday.

How can this country tolerate another mass shooting, after we’ve endured so many others? And why have we allowed ourselves to grow accustomed to this awful bloodshed? Because that’s what these slaughters have become: practically routine.

“How many this time?” we ask as we watch the number of dead and injured climb on TV or Twitter.

 We don’t have all the details, the cops don’t have all the details, and Ms. Dvorak certainly doesn’t have all the details. But what are details and facts when you have an agenda to push?

Quote Of The Day

Jim Shepherd, publisher of the Outdoor/Shooting/Tactical Wires, has been doing a series of road trips this summer for his MyTime2Stand project. Currently he is on his western swing visiting many western states on his way out to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun event.

One of his stops was in Oklahoma City at H&H Shooting Sports Complex. Miles Hall of H&H likened his complex to a mall experience with its variety. This led Jim to write:

Later, while Hall gave me a tour of a bustling shooting complex he likens to a “mall experience” (more on that in a later column) I couldn’t help but believe the levels of interest in shooting, hunting, reloading, archery and almost any aspect of shooting sports was an indication of why many mainstream media outlets were concentrating so hard on negative stories about firearms: shooting is gaining in popularity-across the classic demographic lines. The mix of customers in H&H very closely resembled a typical Saturday crowd at the mall: all shapes, colors, and sizes.

If anyone understands the mindset and narrative of the mainstream media it is Jim. In another life he was one of the founders of Ted Turner’s CNN and served as their VP for News.

No Research Like Misleading Research

When it comes to recommending studies on firearms dealers, regulation, and gun sales to journalists, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School is consistent. Consistently bad and consistently biased, that is.

When you see journal articles referenced that have been authored by the likes of Garen Wintemute of UC Davis’ Violence Prevention Research Program , Daniel Webster of  Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health, you know that they have an agenda and that agenda is anti-gun.

And then there is this:

Finally, media outlets such as the New York Times continue to investigate the various mechanisms by which guns are sold on the Internet, often with little oversight or rules in place (also see Wired magazine’s explainer on the issue).

Really? The New York Times? A paper that has never seen a restrictive gun law that it didn’t like unless it was a more restrictive one? As to little oversight and no rules for Internet sales of firearms, these “investigations” totally ignore Federal law that mandates interstate sales must go through a FFL and get a NICS check.

Never let it be said that facts got in the way of promoting an anti-gun agenda at Harvard.

Media Rumors On Carry Compromise In Illinois

The Illinois Observer and the Associated Press are both reporting that a compromise has been reached on a concealed carry bill in Illinois. That said, the Illinois Carry forum has generally been more accurate and more timely than the media. At this time (9 pm Eastern), they are saying they have nothing yet on a compromise.

From the Illinois Observer:

A top source tells The Illinois Observer that lawmakers have an agreement that will preempt home rule only on firearms transportation and existing conceal carry laws.

The legislators, State Senators Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), State Reps. Mike Bost (R- Murphysboro), Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein), Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) and Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) meeting House Speaker Michael Madigan’s conference room on Thursday afternoon, have also agreed that all existing assault weapons bans will remain in place.

However, the lawmakers, who excluded the governor’s Illinois State Police representatives from the negotiations, have agreed that any new assault weapon bans must be adopted by home rule communities within 10 days of the law taking effect. In reality, the new conceal carry law will ban any further assault weapons bans.

Additionally, the bill will abolish Chicago’s gun registry.

The Associated Press is quoting Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) as saying a compromise has been reached. The compromise legislation will be introduced on Friday by Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton)

Raoul told The Associated Press that lawmakers are “still tightening up details” but the package has reached common ground on key issues. Those compromises include preserving local gun ordinances and prohibiting weapons from being carried in places including schools and public parks, and tightening penalties.

Raoul says the bill will preserve elements from two pieces of legislation considered in a Senate committee earlier this week.

Until we see the actual bill – if there is actually a bill – we won’t know for sure what sort of compromise has been reached. The fact that it is Sen. Raoul being quoted as saying a compromise has been reached makes me just a bit suspicious. If it were Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) who has been one of the leading pro-gun legislators in Illinois, I’d believe it.

UPDATE: Todd Vandermyde, the NRA’s lobbyist in Illinois and one of the most plugged-in guys I’ve ever met, had this to say on the forum about the compromise.

The senate has adjourned for the night.

We are awaiting an amendment on a carry bill. Lots of rumors surrounding what is in and what is out.

Rumor is that the bill will go through the senate first.

With the senate adjourned, the mag ban SB1002 is impossible to pass into law as the bill requires three days in the house,there is only one left.

We may still see a lost or stolen type bill such as SB841 but again it needs 3 days to pass the house on all 3 readings. This assumes they don’t tack it onto a houseboll and try to kick them, back on concurance.

Frankly, if Todd hasn’t seen the language on the compromise, then I can assure you that no one in the media has seen it either.

Bob Schieffer And Godwin’s Law

Cam Edwards of NRA News fisks Bob Schieffer of CBS News and his attempt to invoke Godwin’s law with regard to the NRA. Godwin’s Law states that the longer an online discussion goes on that the likelihood of someone invoking Hitler or the Nazis approaches one.

Schieffer said that if we could find and kill Osama bin Laden, pass civil rights, and defeat the Nazis then America surely could take on the easier task of defeating the gun lobby. The only problem is that as Cam points out the gun lobby isn’t a bunch of gun manufacturers – it is you and me. So what Bob Schieffer really wants to do is to take away the civil rights of gun owning Americans just like that other group did in 1930s Germany.

Media Misinformation

Cam Edwards fisks a recent NBC Today Show episode with Matt Lauer in the YouTube video below. Lauer was aghast that someone would publish personal information of the publisher, editor, and staff of the Journal News. You will recall that this is the newspaper that thought every pistol permit holder in a two county area – including retired police officers and domestic violence victims – should have their name and address linked to an interactive Google map. It looks like burglars have also used the list to target at least one home owner to steal firearms.

This is a short video but Cam does an excellent job in pointing how Lauer sets the tone and then how the panel tries to marginalize gun owners as some strange and exotic breed of American.

High Capacity, Standard Capacity, Or Reduced Capacity

I had a thought provoking comment left the other day by a John Ryan that bears repeating. It was in regard to an infographic I had posted by the American Preppers Network that discussed “high capacity” magazines.

We have to be better at getting the right terms out there. Especially getting them to the talking heads on our side ( they are making lots of mistakes). Otherwise hyperbole wins the day. “Standard capacity” is the winning term. They are proposing “reduced capacity”. “Reduced capacity magazines” diminish a persons ability to defend themselves. 10 is a random # made up out of thin air.

If we meet them on the terms they set, talking about “ high caps don’t save that much time” we lose because nobody ( other that shooters) wants to follow that. We, as proponents for the preservation of the 2nd, have to make sure our arguments are not just convincing to us, but to lay people as well.

“Standard capacity” is what a pistol was designed for. It’s what a rifle was designed for. Artificially limiting that capacity harms a persons right to self defense as codified in Heller. Spread this rationale around.

The Browning Hi-Power was one of the first pistols to use a double-stack
magazine. The magazine size was 13 rounds. That was the size of
magazine that the pistol was designed to use. Likewise, the ubiquitous
Glock 17 was designed to use a magazine containing 17 rounds. Hence, I
presume the name.

I think Mr. Ryan is absolutely correct. We have to take charge of the discussion and to do that we need to be more precise in our language. We cannot let the media or the gun prohibitionists continue to dominate the discussion with the emotionally laden term of “high capacity”. There are good, solid reasons one needs standard capacity magazines in the non-military, non-law enforcement world and we should be making them daily.

All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others

Now more than ever we live in an Orwellian world. 

Thanks to Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned for pointing out a story on TMZ regarding BATFE intervention on behalf of David Gregory and his illegal in DC 30-round magazine. It seems officials in Comrade Napolean’s, err, I mean President Obama’s ATF contacted the Metro PD on behalf of NBC and were told Gregory could “display” the magazine.

Well-placed law enforcement sources tell TMZ … a staffer from “Meet
the Press” called ATF before the show aired to inquire about the
legality of David holding the empty magazine during a segment on gun
control.  We’re told the ATF person contacted the D.C. police to find
out if the District of Columbia — the place where the show is broadcast
— had a law prohibiting such a display. 

Our sources say the
D.C. police official informed ATF David could legally show the magazine,
provided it was empty.  An ATF official then called the staffer from
“Meet the Press” to inform them they could use the magazine.

From a reader comment that Glenn Reynolds posted on Instapundit along with his response:

Reader Stephen Johnson emails: “ATF approval simply makes no sense.
The ATF has no jurisdiction over DC gun laws. And if, in fact, NBC news
called the ATF to ask ‘permission’ this just reinforces how stupid they
are about gun laws and jurisdiction. This story smells…. bad.” Hmm.
If D.C. were a state I’d be sure this was correct. But since it’s a
federal enclave I’m not sure.

Insofar as comments go regarding this matter, I do like the one from rickn8or at Say Uncle:

So if we get caught with anything illegal in DC, all we gotta do is tell the cop we want a “David Gregory”?

Unfortunately, I think one has to be a member of the national propaganda corps aka the mainstream media to be able to get a “David Gregory”.