AP glosses over erroneous report with ''major change'' headline

Just four days after Associated Press reporter John McCarthy published an error-filled story claiming that, when introduced, Rep. Aslanides' sweeping firearms law reform legislation would "hide lists of gun permit-holders", the news service has published a follow-up story that glosses over the error.

    Bill introduced with major change

    Associated Press

    A bill making changes to a law that allows Ohioans to carry hidden guns was introduced on Tuesday with a major departure from the idea as first proposed: a procedure to allow holders to keep their name from the media.

    Under the proposed bill, an applicant for a concealed weapon can sign a sworn statement saying the release of their personal information could lead to a criminal attack and prevent authorities from releasing their name.

    Sponsoring Rep. Jim Aslanides, a Coshocton Republican, last week proposed withholding the lists altogether but allowing reporters to ask the issuing sheriff if a specific person had a permit to carry a hidden gun. He said backers decided the new language would be more "practical because public safety is at stake." His bill has 46 cosponsors.

But as Buckeye Firearms Association had reported hours before the original botched story, Aslanides' draft legislation did not contain language that the AP had reported. Rather than correct his error, the writer simply claims the legislation marks a "major change" from what he had originally reported.

On the upside, it is clear from this new story that the Ohio Newspaper Association has not yet figured out how to oppose the sensible language Rep. Aslanides has introduced to protect those who would be placed in danger by having their names publicized by the anti-gun news media.

Again, from the story:

    Under the bill Gov. Bob Taft signed into law last year, sheriffs were required to release a list of those holding permits to the media upon request. However, some concealed weapons advocates said releasing the information could cause them to become targets of burglars and other robbers.

    Frank Deaner, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association, had no immediate comment on Aslanides' bill.

    "Any attempt in the legislation to change the current journalists' provision is not surprising. This association will only take a position after we've reviewed the bill," Deaner said.

Despite their extreme anti-gun leanings, the ONA is going to be hard-pressed to come up with a reason to oppose legislation that would protect the privacy of persons whose life could literally be threatened by having their names and locations released to the news media.

If you can believe the AP, Gov. Bob Taft shows early signs of having no such concerns about victims of domestic abuse, stalking victims, etc. who are doing everything they can to hide from their assailants:

    Taft has always supported the media having access to the list of permit-holders, spokesman Mark Rickel said.

    "We see no reason to change," Rickel said.

With a lame-duck governor weakened by scandal and a conviction for fund-raising violations that would prevent him from even being a county sheriff in the state of Ohio, we believe the General Assembly is much more likely to do what it deems best for its constituents in spite of any veto-threats from Bob Taft.


John Lott’s famous studies show that reporting bad news about guns in society isn’t limited to just AP reports but standard operating procedure for the establishment media.

As Professor Lott points out in his book, The Bias Against Guns, there is either a concerted effort to shape the gun debate by the establishment media or gross negligence on their part. Either way the fact remains that the establishment media through their one-sided reporting of the gun issue is making the news instead of simply reporting it.

Right now, supporters who donate $30 or more to the Buckeye Firearms Association no later than September 30, 2005 will receive a complimentary copy of Dr. Lott's latest book, The Bias Against Guns. Supplies are limited.

Click the book cover or this link to make an online donation. Please act now! Campaign season is a crucial time for this political action committee, and your help is needed.

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