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Media Priorities

It’s interesting to note that the only article that the Chicago Sun Times manages to publish on the Leland Yee indictment is really more about Shrimp Boy and the the Chinese underworld in San Francisco than about Leland Yee, but an NRA lobbyist gets a ticket for not having his crossbow cased while hunting on private land? Scandal city!

They’re Just After “Common Sense” Gun Laws

The Hartford Courant is just fine with the idea of sending hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens to the gulags. In fact, they embrace the idea:

But the bottom line is that the state must try to enforce the law. Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law.

A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even much lesser penalties or probation would mar a heretofore clean record and could adversely affect, say, the ability to have a pistol permit.

If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

If you’re a gun owner in the Courant’s market, and you still subscribe, you’re part of the problem. They want you in prison.

Media Fails; Blames NRA

When I first noticed the “welcome” piece from the Indianapolis Star I didn’t comment on the bits where the author implied that NRA & the convention bureau were trying to keep the convention a secret, claiming that “the NRA was uncharacteristically low-key about its plans” and that tourism officials were “not touting one of the largest convention it’s bagged in years.” I just thought it was part of his hit piece.

It turned out that this seems to be a common view in the Indy media based on this article. They say that NRA is blaming a miscommunication, but they still imply that NRA was trying to hide their location.

It’s as if local reporters are looking to bash NRA for their own failures. Just in a quick search, we’ve been talking about Indianapolis as a known location since early 2012. It hasn’t been a secret. No one has been hiding anything, nor has NRA been particularly low-key. They usually don’t start advertising until the year of the event. This year, it’s a little more complex since a good portion of the people in driving distance are also in driving distance of the Harrisburg sportsman’s show, one of the largest shows in the country, that starts this weekend. They have to balance out advertising for each event, which historically hasn’t been an issue. Regardless, the fact that Indy is hosting the convention has not been some big secret, contrary to their assertions.

It’s as if the media is so desperate to attack NRA that they are now reaching make up new controversies that really comes down to a situation where journalists are just too lazy to use Google.

The Future of News

Boy, if you think the media is anti-gun now, it’s probably time to just turn it all off and cut off the subscriptions.

This article on the gun control debate in a New York City high school is recognized as one of the “best” pieces of student journalism in the entire region.

The most effort the team of three students made to get a remotely opposing opinion was to talk to a social studies teacher who acknowledged that there’s a legal right to own a handgun, only in the home for self-defense there. He makes it very clear that no other guns and purposes should be allowed, “just a pistol to defend the home.”

I get that these are just high school kids, but it is a little disturbing that they don’t even make an effort to try and present an alternative position or outline why someone might not agree with the vast majority of the proposals that other students and public school employees suggest. The fact that this lack of any real effort to present even an argument from the opposition is not only printed in a student paper, but actually awarded a prize for high school reporting is disturbing to me. It’s like the major mainstream media outlets are admitting that it’s not even worth it to pretend they aren’t just partisan hacks.

Now With “More Me”

In the mailbox this morning:

Discover the IMPROVED INQUIRER! If you haven’t seen The Inquirer in a while, it’s time to look again. Because there’s a better Inquirer, and improved Inquirer, now with MORE YOU.

There’s already enough of me, I think. In fact, there could stand to be about 50 pounds less of me. I don’t want more me in my newspaper, but I’d really like one that presents local news in a balanced fashion, and isn’t just a mouthpiece for the establishment left. So until they apologize for that, instead of saying “MORE YOU,” I’ll continue monitoring other sources.

Seriously, that has to be the dumbest marketing campaign I’ve ever seen. I hope they didn’t pay too much for someone to come up with the MORE YOU campaign. If so, I’d want my money back.

What Safety Rule?

Far be it for me to defend Bloomberg, but the only problem I can see here is that the slides aren’t locked back to indicate an empty chamber. But not all firearms have slides that lock back, so I consider that splitting hairs. No one is handling the guns that I can see, so unless you violate gun safety rules every time you go downrange with weapons cleared, there’s no problem here. The rule involves guns that are being handled. Guns sitting on a display table don’t magically go off. Otherwise your typical gun show is an egregious violation of gun safety rules.

Listen, I appreciate that the right media is getting into the gun thing, and trying to defend the right. But sometimes it’s not only the mainstream media, or left media, that needs to learn a lesson or two about guns.

Gun Magazine Sales Up

It looks like sales of magazines for firearms are on the rise. You might assume that I mean the firearms parts that go into guns, but it’s actually the paper product that lands in your mailbox or on store shelves.

In fact, the double digit increases are pretty much the only bright spot in the publishing world, according to AdWeek.

From the highlights of the research, it looked like Food Network’s magazine was also on the rise. I’m sure the combination of rising popularity of firearms & food magazines is enough to give Mike Bloomberg some heartburn as he chows down on his dinner tonight.

Scary Headlines vs. Not-So-Scary Facts

As gun owners, we’ve seen many cases where headlines and teasers for news stories involving firearms or perceived threats are played up in order to attract more eyeballs to a story or viewers to a newscast. It’s not something new to us.

But, a couple of recent observations have made me wonder if this is actually going to get worse across all issues and news outlets in order to compete for traffic and the possibility of going viral.

One great example of this is @HuffPoSpoilers. The description lays out the exact point of the account: “I give in to @HuffingtonPost click-bait so you don’t have to.” I follow because I think it’s pretty funny most of the time. But reading the original HuffPo teasers and headlines has really floored me about just how much of a stretch they take to make the most mundane sound interesting in order to get people clicking on their site.

The reason I wonder if this effort to stretch relatively run-of-the-mill stories into even more over-the-top headlines came from an incident today from one of our local news outlets. This is the headline: “Arrest Warrant Issued For Alleged Wedding Crasher

Now, if you’re like me and have actually crashed a wedding, this gets attention. Is this a case of insane prosecution? Do we have a new breed of Bridezilla that would actually file charges against that person who stumbled onto her dance floor and maybe had an appetizer or drink? My wedding crashing story involves no eating or drinking on the wedding party’s tab. However, my friend did end up in some reception photos. Still, as a person who has technically met the definition of crashing a wedding, this gets my attention.

It turns out that the story gets far less titillating in the second paragraph where we find out a closer version to the events: “…he allegedly crashed a local wedding reception and stole thousands of dollars worth of wedding gifts.” By the third and fourth paragraphs, we find it’s more accurately described as a man who simply broke into a car visibly stuffed with valuables. Somehow, the story of a pretty typical car break-in becomes a headline about arresting a wedding crasher.

I guess the reason I bring this up here is because I think it’s an interesting phenomenon to address as news viewers/readers. I think as gun owners, we’ve actually already been through the worst of it. Even when we still see bias in the media, it tends to be less over-the-top than in the 90s or earlier. I suspect part of that is because gun owners have managed to jump all over the really inaccurate stories and writers. The fact is that many reporters don’t want the hassle of many gun owners correcting their stories, so they’ll tone down the tendency to exaggerate claims. But does this trend to making other news even more overly sensational than it was before signal that maybe we’re headed back down that path? What do you guys and gals think?

A Response from MSNBC

MSNBC has quoted us on an article, based on my Thursday post on the topic. This article was actually released Thursday night, but I have not honestly had time to link it until now. It’s actually a pretty balanced article, on the whole. But I never know ahead of time when contacted by a reporter whether it’s something looking for some balance, or whether it’s going to be a hack job. Unfortunately, when it’s MSNBC, my gut tells me hack job. In this case that wasn’t the case.

No doubt MAIG is going to try to drive that 1.5 million number as hard and far as they can. The question is whether any politicians will buy it. Regardless of whether it’s real grassroots or not, it’s likely MAIG has accomplished more here than the Brady Organization has, even in the past.

Taking My Rights Won’t Bring Anyone Back

The Washington Post ran a story over the weekend lamenting that Sandy Hook didn’t change anything on guns, with this bit of grief porn. I don’t know how I’d react if I lost a kid, but I can be pretty sure I’m not going to involve anyone else in my grief, and damned sure I’m not going to let anyone write stories about it. I generally tend to view such external and public displays as fundamentally selfish. That might be harsh, but that’s just how I view it. Newsbusters Tim Graham has more on this story, and notes:

The other politically interesting part of this story was how the distraught parents are molded and shaped by P.R. consultants to say the market-tested things so they can win.

Yeah, I also don’t see myself hiring a PR firm if I ever lose a kid either.

h/t The Gun Wire for the Newsbusters link.

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