Media attention focused on firearms

By Jim Shepherd

Last week, California Senator Dianne Feinstein said that there would be no big moves to reinstitute the "Assault Weapons Ban" because the "time wasn't right". That, however, doesn't mean the "assault on your weapons we want to ban" has died down on the liberal side of the question.

On Sunday April 12, CBS News' Leslie Stahl delivered one of Sixty Minutes' vaunted hard-hitting journalistic pieces dealing with the fact that gun and ammo sales were booming. A longtime CBS stalwart, Stahl set her story at a Virginia gun show where a variety of gunshow attendees were seen buying guns and ammo at a near frantic pace.

During that narrative, Stahl did a good job of explaining that all dealers making sales at gun shows had to submit to the same FBI background checks as any other federally-licensed firearms dealer. In fact, I found myself thinking that maybe Stahl's longtime Boston media bias had finally diminished to the point she could be evenhanded on a topic that makes liberals blanch - firearms.

Apparently, it couldn't.

From her evenhanded reporting, Stahl moved to the parking lot where license plates from other states were shown as evidence that Virginia was "a major source of guns used in the commission of crimes in the east". In fact, Stahl's report continued, there were "probably people selling firearms out of the trunk of their cars." When juxtaposed with images of individuals walking the show aisles with for sale signs stuck into the barrels of their personal firearms, it made a pretty convincing visual case that gun shows were a dangerous place to visit.

From there, it was only a hop, skip and jump up the highway to Virginia Tech and a creative -although not direct- connection between the mentally deranged young man who killed 32 Virginia Tech students, gun shows, gun owners, and the National Rifle Association.

It is, unfortunately, not an unusual piece of "reportage" or so-called journalism. Anti-gun groups' statistics are accepted as incontrovertible truth and video editing makes gun owners look like, well, neanderthals.

Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

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