Media peddles the "You might be a potential crazy mass murderer if..." list while ignoring real clues
By Chad D. Baus
I spent the weekend away from access to news media, so upon my return home, if anyone asked me what I had been up to, I would have said:
Now that I've caught up a bit on the news from Binghamton, Pittsburgh and beyond, however, it seems my answer needs to change. Apparently, according to the news media and the talking heads they quote:
You think I'm exaggerating? Then you too may have missed the wreckless anti-gun bias displayed in the past few days.
Recently, much was made over a Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report entitled the "The Modern Militia Movement," which identified Ron Paul or Bob Barr bumper stickers, Gadsen flags, opposition to abortion on demand, bumper stickers for the Constitution and Libertarian parties, and other items as "indicators" that a person might be part of a domestic terrorist organization.
As Missouri resident Tim Neal (a military veteran and a delegate to the 2008 Missouri Republican state convention) said when the story first broke, "I was going down the list and thinking, 'Check, that's me,'" he said. "I'm a Ron Paul supporter, check. I talk about the North American union, check. I've got the "America: Freedom to Fascism' video loaned out to somebody right now. So that means I'm a domestic terrorist? Because I've got a video about the Federal Reserve?"
Well, folks, there is a new list, and it's being written by your not-so-friendly neighborhood news media.
Judging by news coverage of the Binghamton and Pittsburgh killers, YOU MIGHT BE A POTENTIAL CRAZY MASS MURDERER IF:
- You think the Obama administration may try to ban guns (being able to point to the fact that two of his cabinet members have already publicly called for a gun bans doesn't excuse your paranoia)
- You are really into politics and really into the First and Second amendment (pay special caution with all of those political science and constitutional law majors - they're so into this stuff they're paying to learn more!)
- You visit a shooting range regularly (you might get an exemption from this one if you are a police officer...but persons concerned about protecting your family, hunters, target shooters, Olympians...sorry, not you)
- You patronize your favorite gun store enough that the store owner recognizes you (yes, it is good customer service for a store owner to know his customers, but that's beside the point)
- You own a semi-automatic rifle that has cosmetic military-style features (no, of course it doesn't matter that they operate the same and are less powerful than your grand-daddy's old deer gun - they look evil)
- You believe that the police can't always be there to protect you (I know, you might think having actual quotes of law enforcement officials admitting they can't always be there to protect you might help, but it won't)
What is NOT being discussed, on the other hand, is that the site of the latest multiple-victim public shooting in Binghamton was a "gun-free" zone, and that locations with these prohibitions are a magnet for attacks like this one.
Nor is the media questioning gun control extremists about why these things have happened in states like New York and California, when they have already passed many of the very laws the Brady Campaign and other gun ban lobbyist groups say will prevent such things from happening.
While the media seems eager to blame all gun owners for the sins of a tiny fraction, they aren't blaming all police officers because this cop shot an unarmed man in the back - and then tried to cover up the crime.
And while it is perfectly acceptable to write about the body count from racked up by rampage killers like these, no one in the media is bothering to take score of how many innocent lives were protected with firearms in the same time period.
Instead, the drum-beat for gun control is getting louder.
Despite a relatively rapid response time of three minutes in Binghamton, Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen has told reporters that "nobody could have been saved, even if the police had walked in the door that first minute."
The next day, I overheard a report replaying that statement (or a very similar one from another N.Y. official). A reporter then asked (roughly) "with that being the case, is there anything they could have done to actually change what took place?" The official's response was (again, I am paraphrasing), "Not really. That's what makes these things so tough to stop. Passing the assault weapons ban could help, but there is no magic bullet." The official offered no explanation on how passing a rifle ban could have prevented the New York deaths, which were dealt with two handguns, a .45 caliber and a 9mm, and no one from the news media asked him the very obvious question.
Similarly, no one seems able to mention that because the Pittsburgh cop killer had been dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps, he was thus prohibited from purchasing a firearm, or that a California man who used an SKS rifle to kill four Oakland, CA law officers on March 21 was also a 'prohibited person'. No discussion of the fact that California already has a state-wide "assault weapons" ban in place either, or about why that failed to prevent the California officers' deaths.
Well then, maybe we should register all guns? That will work, right?
Before we go that route, which is now being touted by the Brady Campaign as a "common sense" gun law (via a mandatory background check on ALL transfers of firearms), we might want to consider another shooting rampage that occurred this past month - this time in Canada.
Despite the Canadians having already bought into the gun ban lobby's claims that gun registration will prevent the "wrong" people from obtaining firearms, and having spent billions of dollars trying to implement it, one of the guns allegedly used by a woman charged after a shooting rampage at a nursing home was a prohibited weapon, and another required a license for which she did not have.
So let's see. An "assault weapons" ban in California doesn't stop a cop killer with an SKS. Blood flows in yet another "gun-free" zone, this time in New York. Unlicensed, unregistered weapons get used in a Canada rampage. And the knee-jerk reaction is to pass more of these "common sense" laws.
And they say we're crazy?
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.
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