Gun Control Advocacy Masquerading as News, Utah Edition

gun sale store counter

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

In a recent article, Deseret News “reporter” Katie McKellar expresses her deep disappointment at the failure of three victim disarmament bills in the Utah legislature. And no, this isn’t (intended to be) an opinion piece.

Utah lawmakers shoot down slew of gun bills

All three bills — one to enact universal background checks, one to criminalize irresponsible storage of guns, and one to create liability for people who give or sell their firearms to someone who later uses it to harm someone — were either rejected or held in two separate House committees on Monday.

But those bills sound so reasonable. Why kill them?

I’ll tell you why. McKellar mischaracterized them. As for the first bill . . .

“one to enact universal background checks”

Those background checks would be far from universal. They would not apply to the unlawful channels through which 90% of criminals obtain their firearms, as illustrated in McKellar’s own report.

Neca Allgood, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, told lawmakers that the man who shot and killed her brother, Jordan Allgood, at his St. George coin store in 2003 was on parole from a prior felony conviction and would have never passed a background check, and the person who provided him the gun was also a felon.

Do Allgood and McKellar really believe the felon who was in possession of a firearm would have self-incriminated by reporting himself for selling the — most likely stolen — firearm to another felon?

The background check bill that failed was designed to make lawful purchases more difficult, expensive and complicated, unfairly and disproportionately affecting poor people.

Next up . . .

“one to criminalize irresponsible storage of guns”

That bill was designed to render firearms in the home useless for self defense, ensuring safe workplaces for violent criminals. A “safe storage” mandate worked out really well in the case of the “Merced pitchfork murders.”

And while that case predated Heller, every judge since then who has allowed “safe storage” laws to stand has deliberately indulged in unconstitutional judicial malfeasance.

Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

Every legislator filing such a bill should be removed for violating his or her oath of office. Passing “safe storage” laws is a violation of civil rights under color of law.

Finally . . .

“one to create liability for people who give or sell their firearms to someone who later uses it to harm someone”

This one requires a person to be prescient, able to divine the future. Current law already makes it unlawful to knowingly provide a firearm to a prohibited person, or to conspire to arm a person for a crime.

The Utah bill that was defeated would have mandated omniscience to predict what one does not know. In fact, this so-called “Lauren’s Law” was written in response to a case where the police took no action when a young woman reported — with evidence — multiple threats and extortion.

The woman eventually ended up dead, killed by a felon who had been innocently loaned a firearm by a friend who had no idea of his criminal background or his intent. The now-defeated bill would have held a person selling a firearm responsible for what they don’t (and can’t) know even as the police disclaim all responsibility for what they, in fact, did know.

Accuracy in reporting is important. When a “reporter” goes beyond saying what a bill is to describing the effect it is alleged by its proponents to have, they cross the line from reporting to advocacy. In other words, just another dishonest violence-enabling victim disarmer.

I had emailed Katie McKellar about my concerns with her story. This evening I received her answer.

I stand by my reporting.

We can see which career she chose.

comments

  1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    “…the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.

    – District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

    ****
    I just archived this reference for possible future legal defense. California has storage laws that encroach into our homes.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      There are some counties ordinances and one state law that are implicated by your comment. The county ordinances walk right up to the Heller line but without–technically–crossing it. They provide that you may have a loaded and unlocked firearm in your home BUT it must be in your personal possession–by which they mean on your body. Such an ordinance was upheld by the Ninth Circuit, and the Supremes declined review. The ordinance, and others like it, were marketed as a way of preventing access by unauthorized minors, but it even applies to people who live alone/have no children living with them. Then again, a prosecution under the law is unlikely unless someone is shot or the police have a reason to come search your place of residence.

      The one state law is a more complicated question. It does not require that you keep your firearms unloaded and under lock and key, but it does require that they they be stored or maintained so that they cannot be accessed by a minor, an arguably reasonable requirement given the number of accidents and suicides that can be prevented. Violating the statue results in a criminal penalty that depends on the severity of the harm inflicted by that minor, from a fine if no injury, up to felony incarceration for a death.

      1. avatar Ron Beason says:

        Yeah, and I will tell you that the DA will not file cases on this. I had a case, where an illegal alien bought a Sig handgun, that was a stolen weapon, loaded it while drinking, could not figure out how to decock it, placed it on the table in the living room, went to get another beer, 3 year old daughter picked it up, and using her thumbs, with it pointed at her face, pulled the trigger, killing her instantly. DA would not file any charges because “He has suffered enough!” So don’t tell me anything about how these laws have ANY validity at all!

        1. avatar OBOB says:

          in your case the defendant was an “illegal alien” and with that in MOST..heck FUCKING ALL sanctuary states they have more RIGHTS that full LEGAL CITIZENS!

          Tell me I am wrong and I’ll post case after case where felonies were dropped on DUI’s to low ball misdemeanors to keep the deportation monster away! then add in picked up will driving without license or insurance!….they get to call a licensed driver that has insurance ot come get the car ..no impound, no jail time!

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Yeah, and I will tell you that the DA will not file cases on this.”

          That depends *entirely* on the DA in question. Get one who has political aspirations and is looking for just the right prosecution to ‘prove’ to the voters that he/she/(other) is the person they want in office, and your ass is grass…

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        You’re generally correct, Mark, though I myself would argue that saying mandatory storage is reasonable is akin to forcing homeowners to lock up the keys to the car because a 15-yr-old minor of the household could find them, take the car, and end up in a crash killing him/herself and five others. The possibilities are endless, and so are the arguments for invading the privacy of the home and telling citizens what to do within their own castle in the mere assumption that a crime might happen.

      3. avatar frank speak says:

        hard to sleep with a holstered gun…trust me, I know……

      4. avatar George D. Taksery says:

        You are correct. Here in deep blue anti-gun rights MA we have a “safe storage” law that has been in effect for a long time. I think since ’98 when they passed a sloo of onerous gun control laws. The storage law mandates that any firearm in your home must be in a “locked container” or “under your direct control”. Punishment is up to two years.
        If anyone allows a law enforcement officer into your home, for any reason, and he sees a firearm not secured, you will be charged and your gun “privileges” will be revoked statewide for life. If you happen to use a firearm in defense of yourself or family, you must say that you were wearing the gun while sleeping. The first question the authorities will ask is “Where was the gun before you used it?” It’s a trap for gun owners. Nothing more nothing less and the police use it every chance they get.

    2. avatar Hannibal and His Very Angry Elephants says:

      I am certain that many recent passed and failed to pass laws in many jurisdictions are in blatant contempt of Heller and McDonald and the local legislatures don’t care. It seem their attitude is, “So sue us!” knowing that the cost in time and money would discourage most from trying. Until Heller 3 and 4, and probably beyond, they will continue in contempt of what SCOTUS has ruled. Most of Virginia’s state legislature’s recent actions, passed or failed to pass are blatant, in your face attacks on the SCOTUS Heller and McDonald decisions. So were Maryland’s failed recent attempts to violate a Constitutional mandate to “shall not be Infringed.”
      And, don’t get me started on the Bern, who should be transported to Castro’s Cuba to experience the “benevolent” dictator’s graces personally. Wait the Bern is freaking old enough to have moved to Cuba and lived out the Castro brothers’ “benevolence.” Maybe the fate of Che or Huber Matos would have awaited the Bern.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        guns and gun control have never been high on Bernie’s list of priorities…and got him attacked by Biden tonight as Ol’ uncle Joe continues to go off the deep end with it…

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “guns and gun control have never been high on Bernie’s list of priorities…”

          I *guarantee* whatever gun control bill that hits his desk as President will be gleefully signed into law by ‘The Bern’. Leftists always cover their own…

        2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          ^^^Most likely, but gun restrictions aren’t going to be a high priority for him, as they would be for Bloomberg or (according to her plan) Warren, and likely a few of the others who view gun owners as the enemy.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          It’s all about the judges. Do you want bernie picking rbg’s replacement?

        4. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          Compelling if one’s a single-issue voter. I’d prefer more justices that aren’t happy to further limit the ability of citizens to hold corporations responsible for harm they cause, while hiding behind divisie social issues such as gun and abortion rights.

        5. avatar jwm says:

          Get the bernie’s of the world to leave our guns alone, SerpentVision, and we can move on and deal with those other problems.

    3. avatar California Richard says:

      The trick in the California safe storage law is that it’s a misdemenor. The crime has to be committed in the presence of a law enforcement officer or require a citizen who witnessed the crime to sign a citizen’s arrest.

      Someone unlawfully takes your gun from your domicile. Who signs the citizen’s arrest? The crook? Was a cop present when your gun was taken? How can the law be enforced? If it can’t be enforced and isn’t brought to trial, how can it be challenged?

      It’s a typical California social engineering law which has no teeth and is meant to scare an uninformed public…… and who’s to say that the gun wasn’t locked in a safe when it was taken (along with the “safe”)? The crook who stole it or the cop who wasn’t there?

  2. avatar Bryan Pina says:

    These people trying to write these laws dont have a clue. They are totally clueless and a disgrace. I’d challenge anyone of them to walk into a gun store and stand there. Any gun that jumps off the wall or breaks out of the case and assaults them. Well they are speacil because finally they will find there assault weapon

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Say what you want about them Mormons, and I do as I married one, they don’t like gun control laws. I’ll be out there again in March. Have to peruse my favorite fun store while I’m at it.

    1. avatar RustyTheBoyRobot says:

      Just curious, which gun store is your favorite?

  4. avatar jwm says:

    She stands by her reporting. Which would be fine. Except she’s not reporting. She’s pushing an anti gun narrative. Its not reporting when you have an agenda.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      the truth is many of them can’t tell the difference…and remain flummoxed when you don’t see it their way…

  5. avatar JIM ABRAHAM says:

    Tell this ditz what you think of her “reporting.”

    [email protected]

  6. avatar Dan says:

    Ok I was ready to start trolling Katie McKellar but before I did I made sure to read her article. Maybe she’s antigun idk but I found the article to be quite balanced. I didn’t find her saying she was deeply disappointed with any of the results nor did I find any of her personal opinions in the story. She never even claimed the bills were reasonable. She highlighted people’s stories and points of view from both sides of the issue.

    1. I’ll probably take some time tomorrow to slice and dice this, but it’s clear to me that she is Pro-gun control based on some of her word choices and how she characterized certain people and viewpoints.

      For example, this sentence:

      The bills were supported by anti-domestic violence and suicide prevention groups, but opposed by gun lobbyists and gun rights supporters.

      She later quotes someone from Moms Demand Action. Which of the four groups above does that group fall into? Certainly not the last two. Suicide prevention? They don’t do squat for suicide prevention unless it involves gun control. They don’t come out for more spending on mental health treatment or counseling or promoting suicide hotlines. Anti-domestic violence? There’s no pro-domestic violence groups. The way the two sets of groups are put at odds implies that the gun rights supporters are pro-domestic violence. Why not characterize the MDA side as gun control lobbyists?

      I worked in newspapers for 15 years, including as an editor. I would not have published this article this way. I can remove a lot of the bias and make this much more balanced, because I’m on the other side. The problem with way too much of the media nowadays is that there is rampant groupthink in the newsrooms.

      1. avatar Dan says:

        I can see what you’re saying but the way it’s presented in the TTAG article makes it seem like her article is overtly biased. It claims she expresses her deep disappointment at the bills not passing which isn’t anywhere in the article and it says it’s more of an opinion piece but I don’t see her express any opinions in the article.

      2. avatar Dan says:

        In your opinion as a former newsman do you feel the TTAG article correctly characterizes her article or am I completely wrong on this? I just want to be fair.

        1. I think he’s blowing it out of proportion. It doesn’t read like an opinion piece. I think the reporter and editor(s) were probably trying to be neutral. However, just as a fish doesn’t know it’s wet, I would tend to blame a general anti-gun milieu in the newsroom for the end product.

          I have seen far worse peddled as straight reporting. This is interesting to me because the bias throughout is rather subtle, but it is undeniably slanted. With some different word choices here and there I could tilt it the opposite direction.

        2. Life interfered and it took me longer than I anticipated to write this up. You can read a complete critique here:

          https://restrictedarms.com/2020/02/deseret-news-article-illustrates-subtle-technique-of-pro-gun-control-bias/

          TLDR: There’s quite a bit of bias in this article. However, even after having gone through this exercise, I don’t think it’s an opinion piece or is deserving of the ire TTAG subjects it to.

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    The last one was the worst. Transferring blame to someone who didn t commit the act is a slippery slope and an endless one. We see the same thing going after store and gun makers already.

  8. avatar RedFlagRising says:

    Mayor Pete will mandate safe storage of your guns in your butt.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Mayor pete will mandate you store your gun in his butt.

      1. avatar RedFlagRising says:

        Mayor Pete is a Navy war hero who fought for freedoms in the sandbox.

        His backdoor plan for safe storage will be known as “In The Rear With The Gear.”

  9. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    The People’s Republic of NY conveniently provides “explainers” for state ballot initiatives … at polling places … explaining why the gov thinks they are a good idea … along with the ballots.

    “Electioneering” is of course prohibited at polling places.

    I did one time ask for the text I was being asked to approve. Not available.

    Our “press” are, of course either vanguard doing battlespace prep, or admin stenographers. Glad to see other states catching up.

  10. avatar Mid says:

    I think the critique of the article is very misplaced. Its pretty straight. Maybe the laws they wanted to pass can be criticized, but it seems to me the writer didnt take a position.

    1. avatar Evan says:

      I disagree. I majored in journalism, and this is all sorts of against journalistic ethics, and the very nature of what “journalism” is.

      This lady is a is a modern talking-head parroting the party line “journalist”, and definitely knew the weasely way she was describing the subject matter and how she was expressing her opinions presenting it.
      The fact she doubled down in the email proves it.

      In many other fields deliberately committing fraud, (that is wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain), would be career-ending at the very least… except in fields like media, teaching, etc., and gee wouldn’t you know it; all these fields are also leftist dominated…

      Furthermore, in fields where one political affiliation is dominant, like teaching or social work; fields dominated by left-center views tend to be MUCH FURTHER toward the pole than the right-center dominated fields. (Read up on the studies of Adam Bonica for more info.)
      Does personal politics affect a journalist’s ability to be objective and balanced?

      In a word, YES.
      It does. Obviously. Blatantly.

      Case in point: NYT defending their hiring their new anti-white male editor, despite years of evidence of bigotry and her *OPEN, PUBLIC, and ADAMANT* advocacy of genocide. The emphasis there is obviously mine but you’d have to be retarded, and I use the term in its medical sense here, to believe a white person as the leader of an organization in the modern era could openly be a racist, advocate for genocide, and do it with the full backing of the business AND on company time and dollar.

      Fish don’t recognize the water they’re swimming in. Leftists don’t recognize the inherent biases they share.
      And yet, if we measure political contributions, party registration, and their expressed support for candidates, over 90% of journalists fall left of the centerline.

      From the perspective of of someone further left, they may be “mixed” – which often the ones who collate political and psychological data are – just as the political right views the most moderate wing of the Republicans as “Democrat-Light” or “Republican In Name Only”.

      As the old joke goes, anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, while anyone driving faster is a maniac.

      But measured by the general metrics, journalism *is* a hyper-left-wing profession. And yes, I do believe that, as a group, journalists are uninterested, and quite possibly incapable, of doing a “balanced job” on any story with even the faintest political significance.

      Journalism is dead. “Media” has replaced it. Obama pissed on the grave with his okaying the repeal of the Smith-Mundt Act (propaganda ban).

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email