Mixed reporting from Columbus TV station on pro-gun legislation

Two pieces of gun-related legislation which have been introduced weeks or months ago, which have had multiple committee hearings, and in one case has been overwhelmingly passed by the Ohio House, were finally discovered and reported on by Columbus' NBC 4 last week.

While it is a sad commentary on the media that this is such a rare occurence as to warrant special attention, credit is due NBC 4 for its straight-up treatment of HB541 (which will receive yet another hearing this week in the Senate) without the misleading inflamatory headlines or obvious anti-gun bias.

Coverage of HB347, on the other hand, while fairly balanced in its written content, still left something to be desired when it came to what viewers saw on their television screens...

Click on 'Read More' for complete details.

HB541: Proposed Law Gives More Leniency In Self-Defense Cases

This report by NBC 4's Mike Bowersock is one of the most fair treatments of Castle Doctrine/ Stand Your Ground legislation we have seen from the establishment media, not just in Ohio, but anywhere.

    "What the law being proposed ... would say you don't have a duty to retreat," said Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

    Central Ohioans would still have to show they were in fear of their life. The proposed legal changes would give people the right to stand up to an attacker, and not run.

    "Someone who is approached by someone, and someone who is attacked with any kind of weapon, whether it's a tire iron or a baseball bat, they can resort to use of deadly force to protect themselves," O'Brien said.

    The woman who was cleared of murder charges said it was an experience she wishes had never happened, but felt she didn't have a choice.

    "People with guns should be allowed to protect their homes," the woman said.

In addition to the written story, the full video report is also available online.

An accompanying Web Poll is currently running 97% in favor of people being allowed to use deadly force in self-defense. Make sure to weigh in!

HB347: New Legislation Would Allow Statewide Gun Laws Only

Although it is likely this unattributed story was prompted by the baseless rhetoric of anti-gun Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman, the balance of the written article is spent allowing HB347 sponsor Jim Aslanides to refute Coleman's alarmism with fact.

    Coleman said he believes that city leaders should be able to make decisions about how firearms can be used within their city boundaries.

    "We need to have the ability and use . . . the ability to protect our citizens, and have the ability to do so. And the state legislature's taking that ability and that right away from cities," Coleman said.

    The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jim Aslanides of Coshocton, said that if gun laws are made only at the state level, gun owners will be better able to be aware of them and comply.

    "Because you have a modge-podge of different ordinances that vary from place to place, it becomes confusing and almost impossible to adhere to," Aslanides said.

Unfortunately, a Buckeye Firearms Association supporter reports that the video report which delivered this story to viewers was accompanied by file footage of fully automatic weapons being fired - weapons which, of course, are illegal to own by all but a very few citizens, and which have nothing to do with the legislation in question.

Journalists are used to hearing from gun owners when they get the facts wrong, or when they present a story full of anti-gun bias. Please take time to let NBC 4's Mike Bowersock and his superiors know you appreciate his fair reporting on HB541, and that you'd like to see more careful selection when choosing file footage to use with firearms-related stories...:

Email Mike Bowersock - Investigative/Special Projects Reporter

Email Craig Robinson - President and General Manager

Email Stan Sanders - Vice President, News

Email Craig Friedman - Managing Editor

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