Plain Dealer shoots its mouth off again

By Jim Irvine

Monday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer had a front page article entitled “Gun Shows in the crossfire”, and I think they meant “crosshair” because they are certainly aiming have them closed down. But why bother to learn about the issue you are writing on? It has long been evident that many at the Plain Dealer hate guns, and that is all that really matters to them. So they work hard to make others fear/hate guns too.

At least the first paragraph lets you know where they are headed:

    It's easy to build an illegal machine gun. Or to get the recipe for exploding gelatin.

Click on the "Read more..." link below for more commentary on this “news” article.

To further cement the idea that gun shows are full of dangerous criminals-in-waiting, the Plain Dealer got a retired BATFE agent to walk the isles and help them find dangers. Again from the story.

    He pointed out:

    - A .50-caliber rifle with bullets that can pierce steel. Price: $4,000.

With a $4,000 price tag one would think the Plain Dealer would be thrilled. After all, they hate those inexpensive “Saturday Night Specials” because they are affordable. Remember, they “don’t hate guns” They just don’t like the affordable ones, or the less-affordable ones. Got it.

The 50-Cal is a great gun, and certainly a high powered rifle. It is a gun that is used lawfully by gun enthusiasts across the country. The word “pierce” is probably meant to conger thoughts of “armor piercing” to make it scarier, but the truth is the 50-Cal is not used by criminals. But no one needs a gun that powerful anyway – right?

A Corvette is a fast car. It can go well over the speed limit, and “no one needs a car that fast” anyway. And there have been a lot more criminals use a Corvette in criminal activity, including running from law enforcement and injuring both civilians and LEO’s, than will ever use a 50-cal to rob stores, but cars aren’t scary to the plain dealer, so it doesn’t matter that 46,000 people were killed in them last year.

I don’t own a 50-Cal, but if money were no object, I would. It’s a great gun and fun to shoot. I don’t own a Corvette either, but again if money were no object, I would. It’s a great car, and fun to drive. One difference between them is there are a lot more places I could use a 50-Cal to its potential than I could a Corvette to it’s, thus I could probably have more fun with the gun. And that’s why people own and shoot them, because it’s fun. No matter for the Plain Dealer, they are scary to some, and thus should be demonized.

Again from the story:

    - The parts needed to turn a 9mm handgun into an illegal machine gun. They were scattered at several tables, but a knowledgeable buyer could collect what he needed.

So a BATFE agent spots the tools to make an “illegal machine gun” and that means what? Criminals possess this knowledge? Not likely. I am a “gun enthusiast” and I wouldn’t know how to make this modification if you set all the parts on the table in front of me, let alone find them at various tables and assemble what is needed. But to the uninformed reader, this sounds terrible, because certainly all of us “gun guys” surely know how to do this, and would have a desire to do so despite it being illegal. Writing a story with no gross mistakes, but one that takes readers to your completely wrong conclusion is not easy. That is why John Caniglia gets paid well for writing stories. He is good at what he does.

If a “Knowledgeable buyer” knew what they were doing, they could buy the ingredients to make a bomb at local home improvement stores too, but that is the wrong message, because people like green lawns, so fertilizer is good. No agenda, no story.

Again from the story:

    - A series of books that included "The Black Book of Arson," "How to Build Undetectable Hand Grenades" and "The Anarchist's Cook Book," manuals that detail a variety of ways to maim people from the simple to the complex.

I wonder what interesting books I could find visiting Borders® or Barnes & Noble® or® I’ll bet there are some “offensive” books there too, but of course you will not likely see a front page story demonizing book stores, because, well those at the Plain Dealer do not hate books, or book stores. They hate guns, and thus gun shows, and thus books at gun shows. Those gun people go to gun shows, and get these terrible ideas from the bad books, and then just imagine what could happen. Actually, you don’t even have to imagine, the story goes on to tell you one of these books “helped influence Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Federal building in Oklahoma City.”
So you see, that is what happens when you let people have these awful gun shows.
The story mentions how few gun shows federal agents investigate each year and the “overzealous federal agents” parked outside a Richmond Virginia gun show. The “gun show supporters…accused agents of harassing people who bought weapons…” And racial profiling, and trampling on all kinds of rights and a lot of other problems. Yes we did accuse them of that, because that is what they did! I don’t remember a front page story about the offenses committed by Federal Agents leading one to conclude that we should allow these agents to investigate though. What they did was good in the eyes of many, because guns are bad, and gun people are bad, and thus harassing them is good.
Criminals steal guns. They steal them from people’s cars (especially easy in Ohio where they must be stored in “plain sight”) and people's homes (made easier when the Plain Dealer prints lists of gun owners) and from stores and sometimes even gun shows (of course the writer pointed that last one out in the article).

I’m sure that with a large government grant I could prove that criminals “get food at grocery stores.” And with the logic that prevails from the Plain Dealer I could make a good argument for closing down grocery stores. The same could be said of Home Depot® where surely some rapist has acquired duct tape or cords used to commit heinous crimes. But my story would not work, because the readers themselves buy food at grocery stores, and buy useful tools at home improvement stores, so they have no fear of them, or the products they sell. My story would been seen as ridiculous by everyone with some basic knowledge of stores and products. Just like this story is ridiculous to those who understand gun shows.

The intended audience for this Plain Dealer article is the uninformed. Stories like this do not educate anyone, they are carefully scripted to layer fear on the uninformed. That is the key difference between “reporting the news” and “forwarding your agenda.” No wonder the Plain Dealer subscriptions continue to decline.
There story is not all bad. It has motivated me to take some new people to the range. And after I we go shooting, maybe we can stop by a gun show to let them shop for their first firearm. As we educate more people about the fun of shooting, we overcome the fear of the unknown that our advasaries exploit so craftily. And nothing is as fun as seeing a formally anti-gun person read a story like this and remark, “But I love shooting the gun I bought with you at that gun show.” Well, maybe shooting a .50 Caliber rifle.

Related strories: story on the Richmond gun shows with many links to other stories

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