Over at courier-journal.com, reporter Debby Yetter [above] takes a look at the Bluegrass State’s civilian disarmament movement. The majority of her piece, ‘Ky., Ind. moms pushing for gun safety’, presents a history of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, including a lengthy profile of founder Shannon Watts. Yetter doesn’t offer much in the way of information about Kentucky’s anti-gun activists. Here it is, such as it is . . .
After her 4-year-old son was shot in the head with a loaded handgun he found at a relative’s home, Haley Rinehart, of Bowling Green, Ky., began searching for a support group of mothers concerned about firearms safety.
That was in 2002 and she found none. But as her son, Eli Parker, now 18, recovered from the bullet that entered his eye and passed through his brain, Rinehart kept looking.
It took 10 years. But after the 2012 mass slayings at Sandy Hook Elementary, where a disturbed gunman killed 20 small children and six adults, Rinehart said she learned of a newly formed group, “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”
“A friend sent me information on ‘Moms,’ and I contacted them,” Rinehart said. “I’m like, ‘hook me up! I’m ready.’”
While there’s nothing wrong with profiling an activist or the cause to which he or she adheres, no matter how lonesome that crusader may be, you’d kinda hope that a seasoned reporter would make some mention of the size of that cause. How many members belong to the KY MDA? Or MDA generally?
It’s a fact that’s missing from virtually every report on MDA’s activities, which are frequently (and sympathetically) featured in the mainstream media. Instead we get throwaway references like this:
Kentucky is attracting a growing number of members, some of whom had never been political or involved in advocacy, said Pam Mangas, who handles communications for the Kentucky chapter.
They include Tracey Goodlett of Lebanon Junction, who signed up after the Newtown shootings.
“Sandy Hook threw me over the edge,” said Goodlett, a mother and grandmother. “The massacre at Sandy Hook could have happened at any elementary school in this country. I knew then I had to do something.”
Growing from what to what? How many? How fast? Why not provide that info? Including (paltry) membership numbers in an MDA profile wouldn’t necessarily detract from the purported “righteousness” of the anti-gun cause; it could even be spun as a David vs. Goliath factoid.
Saying that, the KY MDA Facebook page has 469 likes compared to The Kentucky Gun Owners’ Facebook page‘s 328 likes and The NRA Foundation – Kentucky Friends of NRA Facebook page‘s 578 likes. Saying that, I suspect that the number of dues-paying NRA members in Kentucky easily reaches five figures. (MDA’s Watts claims anyone who likes them on Facebook as a member.)
The Moms, through their numbers and facility with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, have the potential to reshape opinion on gun violence, [pro-gun control U.S. Rep. John] Yarmuth said . . .
Much of the members’ work is spent traveling to county fairs, local festivals or other public events around Kentucky in an effort to spread the word about Moms and provide education about gun safety.
And they are already organizing members to show up for a rally when the NRA holds its 2016 national convention in Louisville next May.
“We need a big showing,” Mangas said. “We need to make sure the NRA knows we are here to stay to fight bad gun policy.”
Yetter’s copy clearly suggests that MDA has the force of numbers, without any citation (however dubious) to back her up. The omission shows that the Courier-Journal scribe has drunk copious quantities of the anti-gun Kool-Aid. So much so that I highly doubt that her subsequent reports on the 2016 NRA convention in Louisville will reveal how many MDA protestors are local and how many are bussed-in by the Bloomberg-funded national organization. And how much they’ll be paid (in terms of expenses) to be there.
To her credit, Yetter and the Courier-Journal provide some balance with a couple of quotes from pro-gun rights Kentuckians. Oh wait. Yetter doesn’t include a single quote from the MDA’s local, state or national opposition. Which just goes to show how low anti-gun journalists will sink. Until they sink even lower.
[NB: TTAG reached out to Ms. Yetter for comment. She has not responded to our phone call.]