Desmond Meagley (courtesy youthradio.com)

The recently published study State Gun Law Environment and Youth Gun Carrying in the United States purports to prove that “more restrictive overall gun control policies are associated with a reduced likelihood of youth gun carrying.” The usual media suspects have decided that the study also proves that less restrictive gun control laws lead to more youth gun carrying, leading to more firearms-related teen suicides. A bit of a stretch, no? Our man Krafft fisked a CNN story built on this premise. It looks like npr.org got the memo from Mayor Bloomberg’s pseudo-journos at thetrace.com. NPR’s When Deciding To Live Means Avoiding Guns is similar to but far worse than CNN’s “teens should be around guns” anti-gun agitprop. Check it out . . .

When you’re managing a mental health issue, home’s not always a safe place.

I recently talked with a 23-year-old in Oakland, Calif., who says he’s worried about an upcoming visit to his aunt’s home on the East Coast. He’s afraid of what he might do to himself there.

“I know that in my aunt’s house there are three guns in the basement,” says the young man, who asked that NPR not use his name.

He goes back to visit his family once a year, he explains, and usually stays with the aunt who owns the guns. Knowing where those weapons are stored is a particular problem for him, he tells me — he’s tried to commit suicide nine times over the past 13 years.

“Having tools for suicide completion … makes it way more tempting to attempt or complete suicide,” he says.

Wait. The anonymous interviewee’s tried to commit suicide nine times and his access to his aunt’s firearms is a key variable? Aren’t there a whole bunch of “tools for suicide completion” competing for his attention, I dunno, everywhere? Bridges and gravity, for example. Pills. Do we really believe that his aunt is the only person he knows who has a gun? Or that he couldn’t obtain one somewhere else?

NPR’s Desmond Meagley [above] turns to another report to justify his anti-ballistic bias and then pivots to the health care side of the equation . . .

A recent research review from the University of California, San Francisco suggests he’s not the only person who feels this way: The analysis indicates that people who have access to firearms are about three times more likely to kill themselves than people who don’t have access to guns.

But what happens when you can’t control the fact that there’s a gun nearby?

Some states, like Missouri and Florida, have laws forbidding doctors to ask patients about gun access and ownership. But that’s not the case in California, where managed care provider Kaiser Permanente asks all teen patients about guns during their checkups, as part of its screening for potential health risks.

We’ve fisked that report back in the day; it’s another one of those cherry-picked data deals, where correlation equals causation. Anyway, Meagley’s contention that Missouri and Florida law prohibits doctors from asking patients about guns is a flat-out lie. Or, to be more charitable, lazy journalism.

If Meagley had bothered to read the text of those laws (e.g., Florida’s Privacy of Firearm Owners act), he’d know they ban doctors from enquiring about firearms “unless information is relevant to patient’s medical care or safety or safety of others.” In other words, doctors can ask patients at risk of suicide about firearms. They can also ask about guns when treating patients facing psychological issues that could lead to criminal acts.

To give us a better idea of how those conversations go, Dr. Lauren Hartman, who helped found Kaiser’s East Bay teen clinic, ran through the typical interview — with Youth Radio’s Kasey Saeturn playing the role of the patient:

Hartman: “So I see on the questionnaire you’ve checked ‘yes’ to having exposure to guns. Do you, your parents, or any of your friends have access to a gun?”

Saeturn: “Yes.”

Hartman: “Where is the gun kept in your home?”

Saeturn: “Typically, like, on top of the closet.”

Hartman: “The gun isn’t locked up?”

Kasey: “No.”

That’s a red flag for the doctor, and a signal she needs to intervene.

That’s also a red flag for anyone who cares about journalistic ethics. If you’re trying to get to the truth of a story, asking your subjects  to “role play” their work is borderline at best. Having a fellow journalist step in to play a role is beyond the pale. But that’s what you do when your report is based on emotion rather than facts. It’s also what you do when you believe that the ends justifies the means.

Which is why I’m not 100 percent sure that the central interviewee in this piece is authentic, either. Maybe NPR would like to look into that? Meanwhile, while it’s certainly true that gun owners should safely secure their firearms when they share their home with someone suffering from depression, guns aren’t the main problem, are they? By the same token, storing them safely isn’t much of a solution.

As for NPR’s Meagley, the budding journo would do well to remember the old adage “when you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail.” And stop being such a tool.

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48 Responses to NPR’s Lazy Journalism on Guns and Teenage Suicide

    • I think mostly agitprop, consider the audience, most take the information from NPR as fact. As a long time NPR listener I enjoy the professionally scripted programming, and the more “indepth” reporting. I am constantly disappointed in the constant emphasis/de-emphasis to bias and manipulate the audience. I think their “programming” is very effective at embedding beliefs and ideology in listeners mostly through their “intellectual” sounding “journalists” and natural sounding scripted pieces and opportunistic exploitation of the compassion and emotions of listeners. They really have mastered high quality propaganda (as compared to other “news outlets”) Gone are the days of 50’s over the top propaganda, if those days really ever existed.

      I was listening to a piece about the Black Panthers triggered by a movie directed by Stanley Nelson, who is being interviewed. I was most curious about how they would reconcile their anti gun stance against the Panthers legally carrying firearms. They managed to talk about it in a relatively non emotional way and totally pass by the history of California gun control that was in response to the fear of blacks having guns.

      The great programming that NPR has is well scripted and is bait for the political social manipulation. NPR should really be called National Propaganda Radio.

      http://www.npr.org/2015/09/23/442801731/director-chronicles-the-black-panthers-rise-new-tactics-were-needed

      • Agreed. I’ve been listening to NPR daily for years and years. I never really considered the bias until obamacare started to gain steam and kick off.

        I hear it everywhere now and it’s disgusting. I tune in less and less.

        It’s okay though, I’ve been listening without donating since 1999 🙂

    • Indeed.

      So the 23yr old cant take personal responsibility to ask his relatives to use trigger locks while he visits?

      Because guns!

      Because if he feels he might use them at his relatives house, he shouldnt be getting 24hr supervised help right now?

      Because guns!

      This is a faked or grossly embellished agitprop.

    • Let me help. Lets all stop tap dancing around the idea that NPR is somehow objective. This is clueless phone-it-in-color by the dots progressive narrative regurgitation. AT BEST. Its more likely standard agitprop that NPR editors and writers know full well is what they believe is their moral imperative.

      For even the cub reporter, or faux intellectual moralizing opinion writer might object- no matter how much they might even self-deceptively imagine in their faux british plummy accents that they are middle of the road – they are not.

      NPR has become part and parcel of the left-progressive agitprop on guns, as just another part of what the Ruling Class believes is best for the Little People.

      Its long past time to end tax-payer subsidy for NPR and PBS. 95% of their revenue comes from their own fund-raising and programs. We dont need to spend tax dollars to propagandize our own citizens in the name of news to rural or under served communities without access to more choices- the original mandate of public broad-casting. With hundreds of cable channels and even more live-streaming online- PBS is a dinosaur, that only exists to spread agitprop with the credibility of government branding.

      When I hear Nina Totenberg or one of her ilk, I think of Tokyo Rose…

  1. First, hang on a minute. That’s a guy?
    Second, if the fictitious suicide attempter has tried 9 times out of the last 13 years, and goes to this aunts house once per year, (I know, it’s starting to sound like one of those story math problems…), he’s just now afraid of the guns?
    Sounds like he’s going for try number 10. I call BS.
    But if, in the wildest stretch of imagination he is a real person?
    He needs to be committed somewhere. He is clearly a danger to himself.

  2. Lazy journalism — these days, is there any other kind? Oh, yes — lying journalism. Scratch any so-called MSM journalist and you’ll find a Brian Williams trying to get out.

  3. Even if the reports are slanted as we all know they are.
    Does anybody watch CNN or even listen to NPR??
    I know I dont.

  4. I for one would like to know how many times he has tried to commit suicide with a firearm. I’m betting it would establish the point that you don’t need to have a firearm to commit suicide or attempt to.

  5. First off, the suicidal person the article is talking about is not the metrosexual in the photo. That is the author of the article referenced. But the main point is that the suicidal person referenced in the article is very bad at killing themselves and sounds more like they are looking for attention or help. IF that person really wanted to kill themselves it is very obvious they don’t need a gun to do it. Thousands of people kill themselves without using a gun to do it. So, I have to think that the comments made about the guns in the basement making him think even more about killing himself is another attempt at attention. This person needs help and should be kept in a locket padded cell without access to anything. But, that is probably not legal, possible or practical. The guns in the basement have NOTHING to do with his wish to kill himself. That should be obvious to anyone with a brain that reads that article. And it should have been obvious to the idiot that wrote the article except that they were trying desperately to come up with some anti-gun propaganda and it appears this is all they could find. Very poor example of “Journalism” or Propaganda. Fire the person that wrote that article would be my advice.

    • Holy Jesus. That’s the author? Guess I should have known (NPR and all). Wonder how many times *that* freakshow has attempted suicide?

  6. Some questions…..

    Just how many times do you get to attempt to kill yourself before you get involuntarily committed for some loooonnnng term treatment?

    If you haven’t succeeded in 9 attempts how stupid are you?

    How many of your relatives are just really tired your sheet?

    Who cut your F’n hair?

    • As far as the suicide attempts, I was wondering the same thing. Why isn’t this person in a mental hospital. By their own addmission they are a danger to themselves.

      I think it was all a cry for attention, and they found it in the media. Of course this person wouldn’t reveal their name for fear of being institutionalized.

  7. If at first (and 8 more times) you don’t succeed… firearms may not be for you. While a gun is a very effective method of suicide, if you screw up it’s very painful and messy. I’m sure anew tales of failed suicides with a gun would remove the temptation.

  8. With that haircut and the “dark” clothing “suicide” seems to be the least of his problems. Can you imagine the embarrassment? Nine (9) suicide attempts in past thirteen (13) years and he still couldn’t figure out what he was doing wrong, he a friggin’ failure.

    I’d try and kill myself too if I was such a loser that I couldn’t successfully “off” myself the first time though I guarantee you I’d get it right the second time. His parents, if he has any, must be so proud of their creation, no doubt he was raised by a dominant, mouthy, single mother, a Joy Behar-type with NO male influence in his life. I wonder could the impetus for these desires be the guilt he harbors over his unnatural sexual proclivities?

    Hey if you’re reading this you pathetic soulless Ginger, stay the hell on the West Coast, find a tall building, towering bridge San Fransisco’s Golden Gate will suffice and jump or better yet lay down in front of a moving train, albeit one headed in YOUR direction and make sure you’re on the correct track.

  9. What an attention whore, I’ll bet he just loves people doting all over him after each of his so-called ‘suicide” attempts. Medical professionals have better things to do than coddle these misfits well at least everywhere else but the “Bay Area”.

  10. Local public radio station here in Atlanta…just about to start yet another pledge drive. I admit that I will occasionally listen to the music, but will never donate. Why not specify my money for the music that I like and then give? Because that just frees up money that they get from other folks with no strings attached. They will then turn around and send that money to NPR for the actual news that is frequently polluted with opinion disguised as news.

    They are asking for early donations so that they can use the money for “challenge match” pretending of course that if they don’t reach a “goal” then they have to send the money back – downright dishonest. Then again they all support Hillary, so that isn’t a stretch, is it? Now where did I put that cloth, I need to wipe a server!

  11. I just visited the original author, Desmond Meagley’s, NPR/YouthRadio (Leftist propaganda) page (https://youthradio.org/staff/desmond-meagley/) “Desmond” the knower-of-all thanks to it’s nearly two decades on Earth is an 18 year old that lives in Berkeley, Ca (who would’ve guessed?). I still can’t tell if it’s male or female even with photos but I do know it’s an idiot, a typical product of the Progressive dominated re-education institutions. Oh BTW it’s a BlackLivesMatter supporter. SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

  12. I detest the tying of suicide and firearms. No such relationship exists. Several of my friends have taken their lives. None could be stopped, all were inevitable sad to say.

    Suicide is a behavioral and or medical condition which once decided will be carried out. If a firearm is used, this is a matter of choice, usually made as the person believes the end will come quick and without physical pain, no chance of surviving and or being a vegetable. Just as with crime, the person will do what they have to do to get the job done.

    For the anti-firearm groups to make suicide a firearm issue is irresponsible to those who might benefit from therapy and or medical interventions which are lost to these frivolous arguments and wastes of time, money and effort.

  13. There’s other things to kill yourself with than guns. If a person is actually so weak they want to commit suicide, nothing will stop them. Access to knives is much easier than access to a gun, but I don’t see anti’s attacking knife ownership. Why? Because they have to take it one step at a time.

    Honestly, if this 23 year old really was concerned about killing himself with one of his Aunt’s guns, he should probably be talking about that with his family and not some hipster “journalist” he doesn’t even know.

    • According to “it’s” biography the “journalist” who wrote the article recently dropped out of high school at age 18 (and has written about “bullying”in school). I’ve got a sneaking suspicion the subject in the article and the “journalist” are one in the same though the whole thing could be fiction.

  14. This is why I stopped donating money to my public radio station. I was a significant contributor up until they chose to whore themselves with the hoplophobes. When they called for my yearly chunk I calmly told them i was no longer donating to them because of their shoddy journalism and anti-civil rights activities. They were “suprised” and haven’t called back. Too bad too, because while I like a lot of their programs, their anti-2A activities are a no go for me.

  15. I recall a long time ago when it seemed NPR was a good place for NEWS, maybe it was, or maybe it was just me.

    I detest the tying of suicide and firearms. No such relationship exists. Several of my friends have taken their lives. None could be stopped, all were inevitable sad to say.

    Suicide is a behavioral and or medical condition which once decided will be carried out. If a firearm is used, this is a matter of choice, usually made as the person believes the end will come quick and without physical pain, no chance of surviving and or being a vegetable. Just as with crime, the person will do what they have to do to get the job done.

    For the anti-firearm groups to make suicide a firearm issue is irresponsible to those who might benefit from therapy and or medical interventions which are lost to these frivolous arguments and wastes of time, money and effort.

  16. My father had guns before I was born. If the parents are that bad then a child will do whatever. 23 years old GROW UP!!!
    There are plenty of knives and rope and bleach and stepping into the path of a train and suicide by cop by pointing your finger at a cop. Finally Darwinism go for it tax payer dollars will not have to support you because of whatever you have prevents you from working. No double standards put the DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

  17. 9 attempts in 13 years. Subject is 23. Started attempting suicide at age 10. Should his/ her/it’s parents be under investigation. What kind of family does not seek professional help for their child who has shown this kind of mental instability?
    I am sure there has probably been suicides at this young of an age ( attempted at least) but at 10 I still believed the world was a magical fair place that was full of wonder. ( then again I did not live in Oakland)

    • “What kind of family does not seek professional help for their child who has shown this kind of mental instability?”

      The kind that allows, nay, encourages, a six (6) year old to transition from one sex to another and document the perversity for TV (I Am Jazz).

  18. Having not read the article, I’d venture that young humanoid is female, were it not for the discussion of firearm use in suicide, in which case it is a near statistical certainty that it is male. Likely a ‘Bruce Jenner’ male, but male, nonetheless.

  19. When you write for an audience largely composed of people eager to gobble up “reports” that fit their preconceived agenda and beliefs,. you are not engaging in Journalism. In this Desmond Meagley’s case, he is unskilled at writing such propaganda, but doesn’t need to be, as is being demonstrated consistently by the faux journalism practiced in the Internet Media and Government sponsored Media these days. It is no longer about facts, but rather. driving the agenda.

    As to the alleged “interviewee”, either he is totally incompetent, or fictitious. I suspect the latter because his “story” fits the intended outcome of the article a little too nicely and the idea the presence of those guns at his Aunt’s house on the East Coast “calling” to him to let them kill him is just too obviously an employment of the anti-gun meme that “guns kill” by some possessed volition they project that humans cannot resist.

    This NPR story is major BS aimed at saying exactly what the far-left NPR Supporters want to hear to cause them to open their wallets and donate generously. Like “:gun control laws” fail to stop gun-involved crime, it will do nothing to stop teen suicide involving guns, or any other means. Like giving sugar pills to a terminal patient and telling him/her they are getting a new super-medicine…despicable, actually.

    • Well, I’ve never seen a gun cause suicide. Gun ownership somehow makes people kill themselves at 3 times the level of non-gun owners. How is that possible? Once more I reference Japan where suicides are 2.5 times that of the US. Or Switzerland where suicides run 2.5 times that of US citizens. Japan essentially has no gun suicides, but manages to kill themselves at the higher rate. Then Switzerland where there are government issued firearms in most homes, the issue guns are rarely used. How exactly do guns cause suicide? They work when used, but the absence of them has nothing to do with how many die by their own hand.

      • Yes, you are exactly right! Guns are tools and do nothing of their own volition, just like ropes don’t hang people on their own, razors don’t jump off the counter top and slash wrists, bridges and buildings don’t lure people into jumping off them and so on.

        The “interviewee” supposedly says, “Having tools for suicide completion … makes it way more tempting to attempt or complete suicide,”. So, inadvertently, Desmond Meagley, tells the truth that inanimate objects are only “tools”, while trying to build a case that their mere presence bears a causal relationship to the choice to commit suicide.

  20. “NPR’s Desmond Meagley [above]… pivots to the health care side of the equation . . .”

    Anyone who intentionally wears that hairstyle, and probably paid someone else to do it for him, is hardly someone who is a proper source for opinions on mental health issues, since he obviously cannot find help for his own issues.

  21. Mental health is the avenue to gun control..
    It was used to confiscate guns in Eastern Europe prior to WWII..

    American Psychiatric Asso: Half of Americans are mentally ill..
    After crafting by politicians and Media all will be crazy except for them..

    300 million prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were written in 2009 alone..
    Your children on medication for ADHD?
    Single woman with children diagnosed with depression?

    Be careful what you ask for…….

    Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control – mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences..

    Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control..
    The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his “classical conditioning” theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods. Subjects like White Privilege and Multiculturalism are used to demoralize our population, create a guilt consciousness and silence us into accepting a new agenda based on the idea that we have been unfair, and our lifestyles are oppressive, and offensive to others. This agenda dates back to the early twentieth century; however, it saw some of its most major advances in the mid 1900’s after the U.N. was created in 1945. While many people today view the Democrat Party as being made mostly of communists or socialists; the sad truth is that the Republican Party is just as responsible for what we are seeing in education and culture in the United States today.
    As I wrote in “Not on My Watch: Exposing the Marxist Agenda in Education,” Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, two presidents that were considered American Patriots, actually signed agreements with the Soviet Union that gave them influence over U.S. education, culture, scientific and technological research, radio, television and finally, medicine. This is according to U.S. Department of Education whistle blower, Charlotte Iserbyt. It is the area of medicine that should draw your attention because as mentioned earlier, Soviet medicine revolved around the idea of mental health, and classifying people that were opposed to communist objectives as being mentally ill. This is where the Surgeon General’s claims about banning guns being a part of medicine comes from. Slowly but surely, they will work to associate gun ownership with mental illness. From the 45 goals of the Communist Party USA
    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
    (Note: Many websites are now appearing claiming this list of communist goals to be a hoax. If you read them for yourself you will see many have been accomplished and that they bear a striking resemblance to many things currently happening in the U.S. The claims that they are a hoax could be a deliberate misinformation campaign headed by the Information Regulatory Affairs office led by none other than Cass Sunstein. Just looking at the state of our society, it is clear that these goals are not a hoax.)
    While the move for an Article Five Convention seems to be gaining momentum, you should take heed. There is another constitution waiting in the winds and it won’t protect your rights to keep and bear arms.
    Freedomoutpost

  22. Why has nobody asked the most obvious question?

    If the Oakland, CA 23-year-old is “scared” to go to his aunt’s place because he’s tried to commit suicide 9 times (which is dubious to begin with; if he didn’t succeed in 9 tries, he didn’t really want to die) because she has guns in the house, he has the free will to just not go there. He’s 23, not 13.

    “Problem” solved.

    • Good question. I will guess one of two possibilities: 1) HE doesn’t exist and his “story” is an entire fabrication by Meagley [most likely], who isn’t smart enough to have thought of that loophole when he created his fictitious “interviewee” {or Meagley may have thought his intended audience wasn’t smart enough to think of it, which probably gives Meagley too much credit}. 2) He does exist and his care-takers won’t leave him alone in CA because of his previous attempts to kill himself.

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