Crime Stoppers chief draws handgun to fend off attacker; AP mum
By Mark Noble
On Tuesday morning, November 21, Columbus awoke to the news that the president of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, Kevin Miles, had been attacked near his home on Sunday morning by a bat wielding assailant.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that the attack was stopped when Miles "had to draw his handgun to stop a man from beating him". Other news media, however, omitted Miles' defensive use of a handgun from their reports.
According to the Dispatch account, when attacked, Miles "tried to block the bat with his arm, then was struck in the leg and went down. The attacker also hit Miles' dog before Miles pointed the gun at him. The attacker said something to Miles and left, he said." WCMH 4 reported that he was "told to drop the lawsuit" against a Pennsylvania businessman.
While the Dispatch story acknowledged that "Miles has a permit to carry a concealed weapon", this fact was omitted from the Associated Press account of the story, which has been posted on WCMH 4's website and read in their TV news coverage of the attack. News stories featured by TV news stations WBNS 10 and NewsCenter 6/28 also omitted the fact that Miles defended himself with a legally concealed firearm.
This incident is noteworthy since it is the first known case of a defensive handgun use by a citizen with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) in central Ohio (a radio personality with a CHL was working as a security guard was also involved in an incident, but that was in the scope of his armed employment).
When the TV news stations were called for comment, WBNS 10 reporter Angela An explained that an editorial decision had been made by the producer to omit the defensive handgun use portion of the story. She explained that it was not worth mentioning because defensive handgun use is so common in Columbus and that anyone could verify this by "asking any police officer".
WCMH 4 stated that they were unaware that a gun was used to stop the shooting or that a person with a CHL was involved. They were referred to the Dispatch article and said that they "would look into it." NewsCenter suggested we speak with reporter Carol Luper, but calls were not returned.
When Ohio news organizations pressed for media access to the lists of Concealed Handgun Licensees, they insisted that the purpose would be to enrich their stories with information on whether or not handgun users in news stories were licensed. Shortly after the law took effect, it became clear that the media only intended to use this information to highlight CHL mishaps, and not to illustrate the fact that no criminal shootings in the city (or state for that matter) have been perpetrated by licensees.
It now seems that most news organizations even refuse to present the facts to their viewers in cases where citizens lawfully use their firearms as intended to stop violent attacks and even prevent further bloodshed. Regarding his attacker, Miles was quoted as saying "fortunately for him I didn't have a bullet in the chamber," so Columbus's first reported CHL defense is also noteworthy in that it was not necessary to shoot the assailant to end the attack.
Kudos to Dispatch journalist Matthew Marx for printing the facts. Marx can be reached at [email protected].
Comments to the various Central Ohio TV news stations who omitted key facts from the story can be directed here:
Mark Noble is a Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer and former candidate for Ohio Lt. Governor.