The national news' perverted priorities: Heroics ignored while villains become famous
By Tim Inwood
Atrocities go national, but heroic news is buried. Why?
For many years it has irritated me a great deal what the national media decides is worthy to become national news. On April 1, I sat reading of a drive-by shooting in my old stomping grounds, Washington D.C. In the shooting, four were killed and five were wounded. Sensational stories dealing with the misuse of firearms always seem to make the headlines, and if the body count is high enough they go national. However, we almost never hear of a positive use of a firearm in the defense of the innocent stopping a slaughter.
In May of 2007 I wrote an article for BuckeyeFirearms.org entitled "Time for the sun to set on the Culture of Sheep ." In the article, I discussed how our culture indoctrinates us to the victim or sheep mentality of not fighting back or defending one's self. I regret to report that there has been little improvement in the three years since I penned that article. In those years the media have continued to harp on the negative.
In the wake of the Heller decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the recently-heard McDonald v. City of Chicago case, the media have continued to parrot the anti-gun talking points, assuming more guns in the hands of the law-abiding means more deaths and violence. We saw this mindset demonstrated in a recent Toledo Blade editorial "lamenting that armed shopkeepers are defending themselves and shooting at thugs. The editorial pompously told us theft is not a capital crime. I have to ask, how do journalists get to be so wrong-headed in their thinking? Why is their sympathy with the thugs? Could it be because we are conditioned from an early age to submit? I think I have answered my own question.
The night before reading the article about the D.C. drive-by shooting, my buddy George sent me an email about an "incident that took place last year, but which I had not heard of, but would have were the news media's priorities not so screwed up.
On a warm night in May, a group of college students gathered to celebrate a birthday at an apartment in the College Park suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. At some point in the evening, the party was disrupted by two armed thugs who kicked in the patio door. The miscreants robbed the guests of their valuables and then separated the men from the women. The men then heard the criminals discussing if they had "enough" ammo and then one comment that he did.
Well, it did not take a rocket scientist to understand the comments meant that they intended to kill the group. So the one thug went and closed the door on the room with the women and when the moment presented itself, one of the students got into his back pack, retrieved his own handgun and fired on the thug who was guarding the men. This hood fled for his life. The armed student then entered the room where the women were held captive and found Calvin Lavant preparing to rape one of the women. The student fired on Lavant, striking him. Lavant however was not immediately killed and fired back, striking one of the female students. Lavant then leapt through a window and beat a hasty retreat, crying for help. (Imagine that, the would-be killer begging for help!) Neighbors called the police, and they followed the blood trail leading to Lavant, dead in front of his apartment building only yards away from the crime scene.
The armed student saved ten innocent lives that night. He also sent a career criminal with a lengthy rap sheet, who intended to rape and kill that night, to his infernal torments in Hell. The guy should get a medal and the keys to the city in my opinion.
Naturally the local news media covered it, but the national news media ignored the story. The media is delighted to tell you in detail, ad nauseum, about school shootings or go wall-to-wall for days about something like the tragedy at Virginia Tech. A positive story like this is not permitted to leave the local news market. Why?
It is hard to prove a negative, but as demonstrated in situations like this or the story of Jeff May, recounted in the "Culture of Sheep" piece, the media are not interested in telling the stories of people defending themselves. It does not fit their mental template so they ignore it. The story of Jeff May would not be known nationally if it were not for Reader's Digest and radio talk show host Neal Boortz.
Right now, Ohio is looking at fixing some of the failings of our concealed carry law. It would allow carry in places that currently prohibit concealed handgun license-holders from carrying. The current law has unintentionally created these victim zones, and the track record has shown these places to be nothing more than tragic playgrounds for criminals to do what this wish with their unarmed prey.
It was sad to hear Nikki Goesler recount, in her testimony before the Ohio Senate committee that is considering the legislation, how as a Tennessee CHL-holder the law forced her to leave her gun behind and wound up watching a man murder her husband in such a "gun-free" zone. Her inability to carry her gun left her a widow. Her story will not make the national news, but it certainly warrants being told.
It is tiresome and predictable that Toby Hoover and Sarah Brady are trying to whip up hysteria by claiming that more guns mean more violence and death. Prior to 2004 they told us if we got concealed carry in Ohio it would be Dodge City gun fights on the streets every night. Somehow I suspect if that had happened anywhere the news media would have told us about it with glee.
If you hear of a positive story about self-defense by a citizen against a villain, pass it on to the NRA and then send it to websites like the Buckeye Firearms Association so we can spread the word about the truth of the benefits of gun ownership.
Clearly, guns in the right hands have proven to be a benefit to the righteous and the bane of thugs. Let's not let our opponents frame the argument with distortions or ignore the truth.
(Many thanks to my old friend Lt. Col. George Dragan USMC, for drawing my attention to the story in Atlanta.)
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA and Life Member of the OGCA, Republican Central Committeeman for Chester Township A, in Clinton County, Ohio, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.