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Don Natale writes:

I was wondering how the press would spin the doctor DGU in Pennsylvania. Well today I found out, they’re reporting intentionally ambiguous headlines of the format, “Gunfight erupts between doctor and patient…why God, why?”. From sfgate.com: ‘Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor’ (since changed). From our friends north of the border: ‘Gunfight breaks out between patient, doctor at Philadelphia hospital.” Then there’s the reliably anti-gun Star Tribune: “Authorities seek motive for gunfight between patient, psychiatrist at Pennsylvania hospital.” The Strib’s editor must have gone to J-school with the Washington Post’s headline writer: “Authorities search for motive in gunfight between psychiatric patient and doctor.” That’s pretty clever huh? . . .

It makes it sound like a routine office visit between Dr. Lee Silverman and Richard Plotts — who were both law abiding citizens, until they weren’t — mysteriously broke out into a gunfight right in the middle of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. Because, you know, that’s naturally what happens when civilians decide to carry guns. They tend to shoot it out, just like the wild west. People who pack heat are just a bunch of rowdy cowboys looking for an excuse to pull the trigger.

What these headlines don’t say is anything along the lines of, “Motive sought for psychiatric patient’s murderous shooting spree.” That’s actually something people would like to know. The cause of the “gunfight” however, isn’t really a mystery at all. When Dr. Silverman returned fire — he engaged in a defensive gun use — it was motivated by watching his coworker get shot in the face. And by rounds fired at him by Plotts that grazed his head and hit his hand.

In short, Dr. Silverman made the wise decision to use his right to armed self defense to stop a would-be mass murderer before he could kill any more innocent people. Now, was that really so hard?

58 Responses to Media Spin Pennsylvania Doctor’s Defensive Gun Use

    • That fails to address the greater problem… 90% of the people who read will just say “oh brother there goes another whacko with a gun” and not click on the article… that’s precisely why they do it. They only want you to actually read the article if someone good got shot by a bad person. In those articles they usually dedicate the minimum number of words to the hero as possible in hopes that less keen readers skim over it or stop reading before they get there.

      • When this happens, it is up to law-abiding gun owners like us to explain the situation correctly and in an easy-to-understand manner. May I suggest:

        When your two participatory options are “gunfighter” or “unarmed massacre victim”, I recommend choosing “gunfighter.”

    • Calling them out is good and necessary,but you cannot shame the main stream media. They are no longer news reporters. Propagandists doesn’t even suffice because the are much worse. They, as once again illustrated here, knowingly seek to mislead and misinform. That’s why they write the way they do, especially the headlines. The closest I cam equivocate these media folk is the fraudsters. Fraudsters, whether Bernie Madoff, a Nigerian prince, or the 3 card monty dealer, all knowingly seek to defraud. They are just after money, what the media is after is influence, controlling influence at that. It’s hard not to view their deceitfulness as evil. They need to be discredited as it needs to happen as quickly as we can.

    • The UK got it right:

      Hero doctor stops hospital shooting rampage: Psychiatrist uses his own gun to shoot patient who killed caseworker in front of him

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2704715/Multiple-injuries-reported-shots-fired-Pennsylvania-hospital.html#ixzz38WIx6Pjq

      A Pennsylvania doctor is being hailed a hero today after he seriously injured a patient who went on a shooting spree in his office.

      Dr. Lee Silverman, a psychiatrist, told police that the patient, identified as Richard Plotts, fatally shot a caseworker at their hospital complex before the doctor pulled out his own gun and exchanged fire with him and wounded him, a prosecutor said Thursday night.

      Silverman was grazed in the temple during the gunfight in his office, according to Delaware District Attorney Jack Whelan.

      Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux said that ‘without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives.’

      (more, follow the link)

      • I get most of my news from Al Jazeera English, Daily Mail, BBC World, etc etc etc. Anything but the drivel that passes for news in the US now. Reporting on US matters these international media outlets tend to be pretty neutral, or at least more neutral than most all of American national news corps.

        • And I am sure the Al Jazeera is giving you an accurate account of current events in the Middle East. Just saying..

    • They also forgot to state that the hospital has a no gun policy and will probably fire the Doctor for breaking there stupid unconstitutional rule. You did a good job Doc!!!!

  1. Today’s “journalists” are the same folk who, years ago, would have been employed sticking labels on mustard bottles.

  2. I think one of the many disconnects between those of us who take responsibility for our own safety and others is not only do we take our own responsibility, but our view is different.

    The anti’s, in addition to feeling the mantle of protection of a decal on the door, want to take an analytical approach…..

    Why did he do it? Was it his upbringing, was he off his meds, did his mommy love him?

    Our approach is to take responsibility and stop the problem. Analysis later.

  3. The headlines imply that if only the Doctor had been disarmed, nothing bad would have happened!

    The old media is losing this battle. It has spiked stories, demonized gun owners, repeatedly lied and lied with statistics, and seems to feel morally superior for being abysmally ignorant about guns.

    The effects have not been good for their cause. The anti-media, as Dr. Patrick puts in in “Rise of the Anti-Media” or the new media, or the gun media, has grown in opposition to the point where their lies are constantly exposed.

    They have little credibility left.

  4. This was reported on the local news in Chicago. The only thing mentioned was guns are not allowed in the hospital. Pretty much NOTHING else…

  5. Hat’s off to CNN, their headline (if microscopic type on the bottom of the “in case you missed it” tab at the bottom of their home page, qualifies as a headline) reads “Officials: Patient opens fire; Doc Shoots him”

    I would be a little more proud if they hadnt waited a full day and a half to report it and then immediately bury it under some editorial about eating dogs.

    • CNN is still holding on to the tiniest sliver of a shadow of independance. They’ve probably been spinning potential headlines for the past 24 hours, that was the dirtiest they could put without giving up that last little perception that they aren’t dirty as crap collaborators. I bet they wanted to post Doctor shoots patient though.

    • The story was on CNN TV this morning, and they were all calling the doctor a hero. Sounded very positive, with questions like how many more would he have killed if not stopped by the doctor.

  6. The media would have treated it as a bigger story if a good guy with a gun stopped a mass shooting. (/sarc for those who lack a sense of the ironic.)

  7. Hummm. People are searching for a cause? Crazy guy decided to shoot his doctor. Must’ve been something he said, I’d think. How’s that?

  8. How is the for a more accurate headline – “Armed Doctor kills violent patient and saves dozens of lives”

    I think we need to start framing the stories in a more accurate way to combat the old media.

  9. The good guy Doctor is a hero.
    Never mind the hospital being a gun free zone.
    The crazy patient didn’t.
    If I were there visiting. Id have been carrying too.
    The media as usual is a bunch of A**holes.

  10. I’m convinced that journalism today is less about being apart of the fourth estate and more about creating a vehical with which to attatch one’s name to a story and events like a parasite. This concept goes beyond ‘if it bleeds it leads’ by purposely contorting the news in order to sensationalize and thereby personally gain from it. It’s either a personal agenda or that of their handlers, and if they can warp it enough to gain traction, they can say they were covering it from the beginning… The beginning of the BS that they themselves spun.

    Example: “I’ve been covering this horrible hospital tragedy and the events leading to total gun control throughout the United States. See my name attatched to one of the greatest events in history that i helped steer along an unnatural course that would have never otherwise happened had i simply reported the facts: A patient went nuts and a CCW doctor shot him?”

    This is the media today– Conjuring headline bloat because it is the easiest percieved path to personal fame in their industry.

    • This particular version has been picked up by local papers including my Seattle Times. I especially like this part:

      “Police in Upper Darby, where Plotts lived, were aware of at least three mental health commitments of the suspect – once after he cut his wrists and once when he threatened suicide – but said such stays can last just one to three days.

      Plotts also had at least four gun arrests, along with assault and drug charges, according to police and court records. And he has been barred from at least one residential shelter because of his violent history, Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said Friday.”

      So, how’s that whole universal background check gun free zone thing workin’ out, Shannon? Bloomie? Anyone in Everytown???

        • I am not fan of Bloomie but that is an unfair comment. He is probably cheering on the IDF to do the disarming with extreme prejudice.

      • The most recent article I read said that he also had a felony conviction. Between the mental health holds and the felony, I think it is almost entirely probably very certain for sure absolutely that he was not legally carrying that firearm (and the additional 39 loose rounds in his pockets).

  11. “Mentally Ill Man Opens Fire at Hospital, Kills Woman, Is Shot by Wounded Doctor” doesn’t fit the gun grabber media needs like “Gunfight Between Patient and Doctor” does.

  12. Local Story with a realistic comment by DA.Jack Whelan. If you can call Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital (215) 237-4000 (crashed for now so try tomorrow or so) and voice support Dr. Silverman.

  13. Well, I was wondering how they were gonna do that–now I see. The stories are actually pretty fair–the Star Trib even quotes the police chief saying the doc saved lives. But the first comment shows that the headline writer achieved his/her objective on at least one two-legged ovine, who goes off on a rant about the “wild West”…

  14. “If the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he’d be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead,” Whelan said.

    and then

    The hospital said Friday it was thankful for the “brave and difficult action” taken by Silverman and his colleagues. It said he remains a full member of the medical staff and “we look forward to Dr. Silverman’s return to serving patients at our hospital.”

    So, in summary:

    1) the doctor will probably avoid criminal charges – good luck getting the gun back, though

    2) four months down the road (when something else is news and most people forgets about this), the doctor will be dismissed from the hospital. Of course, nobody will say it is because him carrying a gun on a gun-free zone – it will be about his “declining performance” and other bull***it

    3) legislation won’t change. hospitals will keep being gun-free zones, and of course

    4) IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

    • “legislation won’t change. hospitals will keep being gun-free zones”

      There’s no law against carrying a gun in a hospital, at least not in Pennsylvania.

      • Those who work there are effectively disarmed under policy and threat of losing their jobs if discovered.

  15. BREAKING NEWS! ( got your attention?) I just saw a fairly amazing report on the ABC world news hailing the doc and calling him a hero who will be welcomed back with open arms. “A good guy with a gun…”

  16. Well… technically it was a gunfight, but I’d rather be involved in a gunfight than a massacre.

  17. I have been watching some of the more anti-gun sites like HuffPo, and nary a word, but you know as well as I do, if he hadn’t been stopped by the doc, it would have been a different story.

  18. I just watched the channel 3 1800 news story about this and I thought they were fairly unbiased in their reporting. They even pointed out that if the doc hadn’t ignored the hospital’s no guns policy then he and unknown others would currently be dead.

    However.

    They did spend a lot of time talking about what a nut-bag this attacker was and it seemed they were going in the “zillions of people are crazy so everyone’s medical records need a goin’ over before buying a gun” direction.

  19. The Minneapolis Star Tribune (Star and Sicle) is a Loony Left rag with nothing better to do than to keep the Al Franken-ites fed with black and grey propaganda.

    The Marxist Republic Of Minne-snow-duh DFL media outlets for spewing marxist/socialist righteousness in the name of “Minnesota Nice”

    Glad I left the state decades ago.

  20. NPR reported that “District attorney says, Good guy used gun against Bad guy and saves lives. Bad guy was prepared to reload. Psychiatrist drew own gun and did shooter then assistant took shooter to the floor. Many lives were saved as shooter was prepared to reload his revolver.”

    Find it. Quote it. 🙂

  21. Let’s not cherry pick headlines, ok? Yes, there’s bias. We all know it, in part because we go seeking examples of it. However, where’s the praise for the Chicago Tribune and the L.A. Times for their identical headlines from yesterday? They read: “Doctor fired back at Philadelphia-area hospital shooter, police believe.”

    “Doctor fired back” sounds like a good guy with a gun, while “hospital shooter” connotes the bad guy initiating the violence which prompted the doctor’s defense. Sounds like they summed up the story accurately. And these are from same-day reports, no less, with only sketchy first filings trickling in.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-philadelphiaarea-hospital-shooting-20140724-story.html

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-na-nn-philadelphiaarea-hospital-shooting-20140724,0,291837.story

    To be sure, the identicality of these two papers’ headlines does suggest a certain journalistic laziness, which isn’t redeeming, but it tends not to reinforce the universality of media bias, which at least isn’t condemning.

  22. I’ve been writing the editors of all the local media outlets ask to just stop the sensational and creative spins they use to report the “news”. So far I have heard zero from any of them. The credibility factor in true journalism is at an all time low. They must believe their entire audience is like minded progressives with short attention spans. Maybe if they would get a lot of cards, letters and e-mails say “just report the news” and quit making up propaganda to scare the sheeple they might listen. Threaten to go after their advertiser but put a nice sensation spin on it to get through to their short attention span.

  23. Why do sane people (excluding the MSM who are not sane) spend any time or energy looking for a motive for the actions of a crazy person?
    .

  24. “Another psycho on mind-altering drugs shoots up a gun-free zone, but is stopped by CHL holder that was (fortunately) carrying a handgun anyway”

  25. There is no motive for his shooting other than that something in his mind toldhim to and he acted on that. The doctor ended the BS quickly before anyone else died. It sounds like a clean DGU. If only the Doc drew his weapon– Excuse me, tool of self-defense— first.

  26. Last night at dinner with several other couples, we all toasted to Dr. Silverman’s appropriate response, to his quick recovery and to his continued good health. He is a hero and one doctor who took his oath seriously.

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