We recently highlighted two stories claiming that concealed carry is a dangerous delusion: thenation.com‘s Tactical Experts Destroy the NRA’s Heroic Gunslinger Fantasy and rawstory.com‘s Combat veterans shoot down NRA ‘fantasy world’ of ‘good guys with guns’. Both stories rely on the opinion of one Stephen Benson, who claimed to be a Navy SEAL. Nope. Over on Facebook, a man named Don Shipley published a post revealing that Mr. Benson is guilty of stolen valor . . .
If the name you provided is spelled correctly, I do NOT find a listing in the SEAL Database (SEAL Teams, Underwater Demolition Teams and predecessor units from 1943 to the Present Day) for anyone named STEPHEN BENSON. I have also examined possible alternate spellings, and names with similar pronunciations without finding any that appear to be applicable.
rawstory.com didn’t withdraw the article. They edited out Benson’s comments – which formed the basis of the entire piece – and published this semi-retraction:
[Editor’s note: A prior version of this story identified Stephen Benson as a former Navy Seal with opinions about the current state of gun violence in America. We are currently re-researching this aspect of the story and have, for the time being, removed his comments.]
thenation.com did the exact same thing:
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original story identified a source as a combat veteran and former Navy SEAL. A records search has since revealed that he significantly exaggerated his military record. His comments have been removed from the article, and the headline has been changed. We apologize to our readers.
Both news orgs should have known better; they only heard what they wanted to hear. They should remove the posts and offer a full apology to their readers. Shame on all of them. [h/t RM]