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Round-up Of School Shooting Coverage & A Plea To The Media To Get The Facts Right.

by: countrycat

Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:03:27 AM CST

With the saturation media coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings, there hasn't been anything new that we could add here at LIA.  However, I have run across a few very interesting articles from various perspectives that are worth sharing.  I also have a slight rant about said media coverage....

Dear CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, local affiliates, etc:

Would you please stop jumping to conclusions, scrambling to be the first to report bad information, and reporting rumor as fact during a crisis?  And for heaven's sake, if you're going to presume to know the name of the shooter and disseminate that information - along with a link to his Facebook page - how about making sure you have the right person? Really, we're all grown-ups here and understand that in the middle of a crisis situation, the first responders have more important things to do than talk to your roving reporters.  The survivors don't need to be harassed, interviewed, or videoed while in such a vulnerable state.  Have some respect for the people grieving for their friends, co-workers, and the children.

"How do you feel?" you guys ask them.  How the heck do you think the feel?  Of all the dumbass questions, that one takes the cake.

Now.... on to some interesting perspectives on what comes next.

Jeffery Goldberg at The Atlantic makes the case for more people carrying guns in public.  Note that this article is in the current issue and so was written well before this recent tragedy.

      The Case for More Guns - And More Gun Control

America’s level of gun ownership means that even if the Supreme Court—which ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment gives citizens the individual right to own firearms, as gun advocates have long insisted—suddenly reversed itself and ruled that the individual ownership of handguns was illegal, there would be no practical way for a democratic country to locate and seize those guns.
Anti-gun activists believe the expansion of concealed-carry permits represents a serious threat to public order. But what if, in fact, the reverse is true? Mightn’t allowing more law-abiding private citizens to carry concealed weapons—when combined with other forms of stringent gun regulation—actually reduce gun violence?

Atlantic Cities discusses The Geography of Gun Violence and there's a distressing big blue blob in the middle of Alabama.  And it sends a chill through this parent who's moving her only child to Birmingham in a few weeks to attend UAB:

The rates vary substantially from a high of 32.8 in New Orleans to a low of 3.6 in Boston. Birmingham has the second highest rate with 20.5, followed by Memphis with 19.8. Las Vegas (17.6) and Jacksonville (17.5) round out the top five metro rates. 

There are more maps & statistics, with this interesting finding:

While one would think gun violence would be higher in states with higher levels of economic anxiety related to unemployment or inequality, we found no association to either at the state level. My colleagues and I did, however, find gun deaths to be higher in states with higher levels of poverty and  lower incomes, as well as in red states and those with more blue-collar working class economies. Conversely, we found gun deaths to be less likely in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies. 

Reid Wilson, editor in chief of the National Journal, says that if there are to be any changes in gun laws or attitudes, President Obama must take the lead in the conversation and the debate - something that he was reluctant to do during his first term:

Gun sales have spiked during Obama's first four years in office, prompted by fears that the president will take steps to restrict future purchases or, in the minds of conspiracy theorists, orchestrate some plot to rob Americans who still cling to their guns and religion. The ironic truth is that the administration hasn't done anything to justify those fears.

The whole world is talking about this issue. One example is the UK's Globe and Mail.  Justice for Newtown's Tiny Victims News US to Talk About Gun Control:

And the first limit ought to be a ban on automatic and semi-automatic rifles, and the components that allow weapons to be “upgraded” to such capabilities. This is not about hunting – anyone hunting quail with a Glock should probably stop calling it a sport. It is about what can no longer lawfully constitute a “personal” or “recreational” firearm in the interest of public safety.  

What - if anything - do y'all think should happen?  Changes in the laws?  Better mental health care?  More or fewer concealed carry permits?

Please share.

countrycat :: Round-up Of School Shooting Coverage & A Plea To The Media To Get The Facts Right.
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Factual error (4.00 / 2)

I would like to start with a limited comment... I may or may not offer more later.

There were factual errors in one of the linked quotes.  That quote was:

"And the first limit ought to be a ban on automatic and semi-automatic rifles, and the components that allow weapons to be “upgraded” to such capabilities. This is not about hunting – anyone hunting quail with a Glock should probably stop calling it a sport. It is about what can no longer lawfully constitute a “personal” or “recreational” firearm in the interest of public safety."

Okay, let's start with "a ban on automatic rifles."  This is already in place.  No automatic weapon manufactured after 1986 can be legally bought, sold, or owned in the United States.  And to own any such weapon manufactured PRIOR to 1986 a federally-approved license is needed.  Since fewer than 100,000 such licenses exist, it's clear we have a de facto ban on automatic weapons, i.e. those capable of firing more than one bullet with a single trigger pull. I'm not sure how much tighter you can regulate these...

The concept of banning "semi-automatic rifles" is interesting, as it goes far beyond the "assault weapons" ban that's normally tossed around.  Banning ALL semi-automatic rifles is doubtless overkill... This would make illegal the vast majority of modern rifles.  All that would be left for private ownership would be bolt-action, lever-action, and pump-action weapons... that's a step backwards to essentially 1940's technology. Well, muzzle-loading weapons, too, but that's a jump back to 1800's technology! 

To be clear, this one wasn't an error, but it is an incredible over-reach.  And contrary to the author's claim, most deer hunters do, in fact, use semi-automatic rifles, so this WOULD impact them.

The second error in this quote is in this line: "anyone hunting quail with a Glock should probably stop calling it a sport."

In my opinion, anyone hunting quail with ANY rifle is in trouble... quail, as with any bird, are hunted with SHOTGUNS so as not to send high-velocity rounds into the air.  Buckshot doesn't travel nearly as far as do bullets, and is much safer to fire into the air.  I can get into the reasons for that if you wish, but won't elaborate unless needed.

And here's another error: the company Glock doesn't MAKE rifles, they make pistols.  I've not heard of too many people hunting with pistols, and the quote begins by calling for bans on RIFLES. Most of those that do carry pistols while hunting do so to handle any unexpected dangers they may encounter, they don't actually HUNT with pistols. Yes, some do hunt with pistols, but the vast majority use rifles.  Since the author was talking about banning rifles, which Glock doesn't make, I'd say he was a bit lacking in knowledge on that one.

I just wanted to point out the factual errors in one of the linked quotes.

I have to agree on the quail hunting (0.00 / 0)

and there was a good hunting quote on another blog.  Paraphrasing:

If you need more than one shot to bring down a deer, you don't need to be hunting.  Learn to aim first.

 The UK article is meant to be quite the emotional appearl and  included it becuase it seems to be pretty representative of what's being said in other parts of the world.

Thanks for your comments & perspective.  Please keep sharing.  This is an issue where there are no easy answers and the more discussion and perspectives we have, the better the conversation will be.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Pragmatically (4.00 / 1)

It will be easier to do something about health care than about gun control.

It might be more desireable, as well.  That said, while it's certainly appropriate to use this incident as reason to look at gun regulations, it does not follow from that that we must change those regulations. Just having a rational discussion would be a step in the right direction--on this board and in the nation at large. Hell, just having a rational discussion about the state of mental health care in this country would be an improvement.

Screaming "let's ban guns" will not accomplish anything other than mobilize the right. Diane Feinstein's bill, while well intentioned, might not be the best course of action right now. It appears that the shooter's mom purchased the guns. Now, if the shooter had a history of mental illness, we might want to consider the wisdom of her buying the guns. We might even want to consider if someone with a mentally unstable person in the house should be able to buy guns. Wow, Identifying a specific issue and seeing if there is a viable solution. Crazy talk, huh? For instance, in the VaTech shooting, a person with documented mental instability was able to buy guns. In Columbine, the issue of unregulated purchases at gun shows came to light.

Let's see what the investigation uncovers, and proceed from there.

Ban Gun Ownership (0.00 / 0)

Ban guns.

Send trucks with huge electromagnets through neighborhoods to collect all the guns. 

We have grocery stores now.

Civilians (or "militia") with guns are no match for today's military and militarized police, so thinking you're gonna defend yourself against (or overthrow) the government is simply nuts.

But passions are equally high on opposing sides, the NRA has a boat load of money, and nothing's going to change. 

"Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."
Friedrich Nietzsche

[ Parent ]
Amusing (0.00 / 0)

I found it amusing to see "media" and "facts" included in the same sentence.

Facts don't sell. 

"Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."
Friedrich Nietzsche



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