When it came time to cover a Second Amendment story, this reporter decided it was time to face her fear of guns
By Chad D. Baus
All too often, it is apparent in news articles involving the Second Amendment, guns, concealed carry, hunting and shooting rights, gun control, etc. that the writer is completely unfamiliar with the subject.
When an Ohio radio show producer began working on a story about the U.S. Supreme Court case McDonald v. City of Chicago, she decided that she would not only use the suit as an opportunity to learn more about Ohio's firearm laws, but also as an opportunity to overcome her fear of guns.
From the Willoughby, OH News-Herald:
Anne Adoryan wants to help people think before they fear.
But, before she can do that, she first must face her fears.
Adoryan is a producer for a law radio show. She is researching the Supreme Court case McDonald v. Chicago, which could address if Second Amendment rights extend beyond federal to local and state laws. In short, the Second Amendment establishes the right to bear arms. Otis McDonald has sued the city of Chicago for an ordinance banning handguns and automatic weapons within its borders.
The Supreme Court has listened to oral agreements and will probably not make a judgment for several months.
The court already has struck down a similar law in Washington, D.C., on the grounds that it is a federal enclave but has not ruled on any place that is also subject to city and state laws.
Adoryan is using the suit as an opportunity to learn more about Ohio's firearm laws. The only problem — she's afraid of guns.
"I don't have a direct relationship with guns, and I think that's one of the reasons I'm afraid of them. And it's one of the reasons I want to learn more about it," she said.
This is the kind of wisdom and self-awareness that grassroots gun owners look for in a journalist, but rarely ever see.
Adoryan's experience with firearms is limited to one time she went rifle shooting with a former boyfriend. She said she's not necessarily scared of using guns, just scared of the power they have and how she would react to them.
Even after she had a few days to prepare herself, she was still nervous when she met Wednesday with two people from Sherwin Shooting Sports in Eastlake.
"I'm not shaking as much as I was earlier this week," Adoryan said. "I've calmed down because I thought about it more, rationalized it more, but I'm still apprehensive."
Leah Madachik, a firearms trainer at Sherwin, is not so different from Adoryan. She grew up in a household without guns, partly because her grandfather shot himself.
"I was terrified of guns before I got involved with them," Madachik said.
Madachik first worked with Sherwin as a model. Then, some of the guys who worked there took her to the shooting range so she could better understand what she was modeling. Now, she's comfortable with guns. She teaches the class needed to carry a concealed weapon and carries a handgun herself.
Madachik assured Adoryan that the best way to beat fear was with knowledge.
"It's very easy to overcome that fear, though," she told Adoryan. "The more you know about it, the less afraid somebody is going to be of it."
Adoryan talked to Madachik and Blake Frederick, the owner of Sherwin. She asked questions about the McDonald suit, Ohio firearm and CCW laws, and guns, in general.
After detailing their discussion, the story goes on to sat that Madachik took time to show Adoryan different handguns and explained the differences between semi-automatic handguns and revolvers as well as double and single actions. Then, she took Adoryan to the range.
Adoryan fired three different handguns. She hesitated less each time she pulled the trigger.
"You're a deadshot," Madachik exhorted after Adoryan nailed one bull's-eye.
Adoryan admitted that she still had some trepidation after her interview and experience on the shooting range.
"Even after the first round or first few, it was still a shock every time, especially when I switched guns," she said.
"The more I learn about guns, the more I learn there is to learn about guns; and the thing that scares me the most is people don't know all of this. Even the people who own guns may not, apparently, know all there is to know about guns.
"So while I feel very comfortable with the people who are here on the range working with me, it seems like a much different thing to go into the real world and function in the same plane as other people who are carrying handguns around."
Anne Adoryan deserves a great deal of credit for doing her homework on an issue she knew little about, and yet was tasked with covering as a news item. We can only hope other self-respecting journalists will follow her lead.
For more on Adoryan's learning experience, click here.