Via Daily Caller:
I’m going to begin with some disclaimers: First, I support the right of same-sex vegan couples to use firearms to protect their homegrown marijuana crops. Second, I do not own any firearms. Also, I live in New Jersey, where the bureaucracy of buying a firearm is thicker than a leveraged buyout of General Motors. Of course, I could take a 15-minute drive down to Newark and pick up a stolen Glock, but to quote Richard Nixon: “that would be wrong.”
Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, we find ourselves in the gun-control debate cycle. As surely as night follows day, a mass shooting is followed by national grief, cries of “politicization” and various forms of kabuki (blustery speeches, staged “town hall” events augmented with social media thoughts and prayers, and of course, hashtags). This has been previously described in one of the cycles as “a sick clockwork.” It’s hard to disagree with that.
Journalists beclowning themselves
Part of the massacre-grief-anger-blame cycle includes journalists too-frequently beclowning themselves with stunningly idiotic statement about firearms. Now let’s be specific here. I’m not talking about different interpretations of law or policy (what works and what doesn’t). And I’m not talking about the factual errors that occur in the immediacy of reporting the shootings. After all, breaking news is only a snapshot of “what we know at this moment” and in the hypercompetitive world of news, honest mistakes as to identities, motives, numbers of victims and the like are inevitable. We must remember that journalism is history’s first draft.
No, I’m talking about stupidity for no good reason, or to be less charitable, in service of an agenda. One of the more recent brain farts was MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell saying that the difference of muzzle velocity between a handgun and a rifle projectile renders a teacher’s having a handgun useless. Huh? Hilarity ensued, of course, because the difference in speed would be measured in fractions of a millisecond. Maybe O’Donnell watched “The Matrix” a few too many times. (And for what it’s worth, there are plenty of reasons that President Donald Trump should reconsider arming teachers).
We’ve been down this road before. The emblematic episode of ignorance in gun reporting was when The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, filing from Ferguson, Missouri thought that foam earplugs might be rubber bullets. (PRO-TIP: Asking stupid questions on Twitter is not fact-finding).