‘Gun Violence’ Media Reports: Willfully Ignorant or Ignorantly Willful?

gun free zone media reporting

(AP Photo/Matt York)

John Lott on the consistently inaccurate reporting surrounding “gun violence” incidents. What Lott’s too polite to say is that the media have a rooting interest in presenting these incidents they way they do. So don’t look for anything to change any time soon.

After the Virginia Beach attack, The Wall Street Journal noted, “In Virginia, it is legal to carry guns into public buildings, with a few exceptions.” While literally true, it is completely misleading not to explain that one of those exceptions forbids Virginia Beach employees from carrying guns in public buildings.

The national media also ignores stories of armed private citizens stopping would-be mass public shootings. On the rare occasions that they do cover the stories, they get them wrong.

There have been dozens of such cases in recent years. Last fall, at a back-to-school event in Titusville, Florida, more than 200 students were present when a man started firing his gun at people. Fortunately, a vendor with a concealed handgun permit stepped in and shot the attacker, seriously injuring him. “This person stepped in and saved a lot of people’s lives,” said Titusville Police Sgt. William Amos. “He’s a hero.”

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is another case, but the media coverage was completely wrong. After a concealed handgun permit holder stopped a killer who was shooting black people at a Kroger grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, national media outlets, such as ABC and NBC News, noted that the killer told another white man, “Whites don’t kill whites.” It sounded as if the killer was merely reassuring a bystander that he had nothing to worry about. But they left out the crucial first part of the quote. The killer said, “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.” The other white person was pointing a permitted concealed handgun at the killer.

With biased news coverage like this, it is hardly surprising that people want to ban guns. The media’s refusal to talk about the dangers of gun-free zones has a huge impact on the gun control debate. They refuse to provide balanced reporting that doesn’t fit their agenda.

– John Lott in Why balanced reporting about guns is crucial

comments

  1. avatar No one of consequence says:

    At this point I am unwilling to give mainstream media the benefit of the doubt about anything they get wrong. I see the blatant bias and lies clearly when the subject involves guns, which is an area I know something about. I see no reason why it should be different for other topics about which I happen to know less, so I assume anything I hear is biased or slanted until I can check with other sources.

    1. avatar Biatec says:

      Pretty much. The only way to know whether the media is giving you all the facts is to do all the research they should have done into it or are avoiding doing.

      1. avatar SoCalJack says:

        Most busy folks don’t have the time to do the research, at most just read the headline.

    2. avatar DaveL says:

      I agree. At this point the rhetorical gymnastics the media must execute to avoid facts fatal to their agenda cannot be excused as mere ignorance. It would be like watching a Fred Astaire routine and trying to tell yourself it was all just one extended, elaborate stumble.

  2. avatar Shire-man says:

    It’s probably a combination of ratings grabbing doomsday preaching and personal bias from being a sheltered elite. Anybody remember the Summer of bounce-house horrors about 3 years ago? This year they’re trying it with trampolines.

    Journalism 101:
    Spot an anomaly that will draw attention purely because it is an anomaly, hammer it until something more closely resembling news comes along or the right award giving organization or politician notices your anomaly then pat yourself on the back for a job well done which triggers the brain to think what you just did was good and you should do it some more.

    The “reporters” are just as programmed as the consumers at this point. I’m convinced like a billionaire with his own island that these people don’t actually care about any subject or discerning facts in any real human way and are just husks working though the motions of the task to keep a job, keep ratings, keep the ego afloat with peer recognition. Not unlike how social media hooks addicts. They’ve dehumanized themselves.

    1. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      You are spot on.

    2. avatar painlessbob says:

      Insightful comments like yours are why I keep reading TTAG. Thanks.

  3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    The supposed ‘mainstream media’ is preaching to an ever shrinking choir.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      I think the choir is the same, but the brain mass is shrinking…

      1. avatar SoCalJack says:

        Going off topic, but that Reality TV rots the brain.

    2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      Yep, I tossed out my cable TV connection shortly after Bush 43 was inaugurated. Haven’t missed the constant whining, moaning, and lying in the least. There wasn’t much content out there for early cable cutters but shutting down the propaganda was worth it!

  4. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “‘Gun Violence’ Media Reports: Willfully Ignorant or Ignorantly Willful?”

    Both, purposely…

  5. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    I am to the point that I never believe anything in the MSM, especially if it originates with the NYT or WP. The closest thing to non-biased news from VA Beach was the local newspaper and TV station web sites. The stories from the Nixon family about the shooter’s year and a half of personnel write ups underscores the conspiracy of silence between the city government and the MSM to make this about suppressors and “extended” magazines, not about yet another seriously disturbed individual that the PC system coddled until he killed.

  6. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Willful, yes. Ignorant in this day and age? No. To borrow a phrase: “It’s The Agenda, stupid.”

  7. avatar Asdf says:

    Anyone remember Obama siigning the bill lifting the ban on the US governmwnt using propaganda on the US populace? https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

    I guess we are a target of that propaganda now.

  8. avatar General Zod says:

    Willfully ignorant? Try intentionally misleading.

  9. avatar Darkman says:

    Freedom has always been a double edged sword. Freedom to speak freely,print words and broadcast information. Has and will continue to be used for both good and evil. It is the responsibility of the individual to ascertain the accuracy or truth in the words. How you may ask is this done? Through education and knowledge. Now ask yourself these questions. Who controls what is being taught in OUR Nations education system? What is being taught? How are The People in control influencing those being taught both educationally and philosophically? What sense of Morality is being conveyed with Their influence? Once you understand the answers to these questions. You Must then realize that this strategy of indoctrination has been in play since the late 60’s. Slowly over time the Reeducation of OUR Populous has been engineered to accept a new reality. It has been a long process and yet a very successful one. WE Have Met the Enemy and They are Us. Not because of the things We have Done. No for the things WE didn’t DO. We became Lazy and Complacent. Our lives were to busy to pay attention. It was easier to give someone else control. We assumed OUR Children were being taught Our values. All the while making excuses in OUR own minds for what We hear everyday. Couldn’t be indoctrinating MY Child. All of these things have been a part of an Ideology to Fundamentally Change the Face of OUR Nation. “Obama” was fond of that phase. Now You are seeing the fruits of Their labors and plans. Their Ideology is clear. What this means to the future of OUR Nation? Time will tell. What kind of a Nation will WE leave behind? One WE are proud to say We were a part of. Or a Nation that We allowed to Fail. The Great Experiment in Freedom that was left in OUR hands by OUR Fore Fathers is all that is at Stake. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  10. avatar billrla says:

    Journalists are salesmen, employed by their owners (the publishers) to create “product.” Journalists (and publishers) are selling readers a story that readers will want to read. Readers want to read stories that confirm their own biases. In New York, Washington and Los Angeles (for example), readers want to read about evil guns and scary shooters, because readers in these hyper-controlled cities have given-up their personal security to the state, and cannot handle the cognitive dissonance that would result from reading facts–i.e., that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens save lives and preserve civility.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      “readers want to read about evil guns and scary shooters…”
      I think most readers are drawn to the drama/sensationalism, like wanting to see the aftermath of a train wreck. Then the “journalist” tries to plant a seed and speculates and/or spreads the lies thier Anti gun sponsors pay them them to do…”it is believed a gun was involved in the train wreck, more at 11:00 news”

      1. avatar joefoam says:

        I totally agree with your sentiment. ‘Journalists’ must sell ad space and air time. the more outrageous, lurid or sensational the better. Hype guns, abortion or political events to the lowest common denominator and gain more revenue. Who cares if it’s accurate, the general public will not investigate into the facts. If ‘journalists’ are too lazy to fact check, certainly the general population is as well. It’s really our own fault for accepting the MSM as the font of knowledge.

  11. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    The mainstream media is nothing more than the willing propaganda machine of the Leftards,no truth or fact to be found there.

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that 2A’s best and highest use is to protect us against the media — the true domestic enemy.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      That’s what I’m thinkin’. The speed and volume of the info does not give most folks a chance to do a bit of research to draw our own conclusions. Mass social and news media is the an enemy and is the greatest tool used by the Antis.

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      I’ve been arguing since at least the mid 90s that the 4th Estate had become a 5th column and ought to be treated as such.
      Back when I first said it it was far less obvious than it is now. The problem with fixing it through legislation isn’t so much the 1A as it is the fact that progressivism challenges the very nature of reality. Thus, instead of being abke to plainly state that outlets such as MSNBC and CNN aren’t new organizations but rather partisan propaganda organs, we are left having to argue whether anything is is actually factual at all in the first place. Somewhere along the line we allowed the ligitimization of people to hold opinions of facts, and that was the beginning of the end.

      At this late date it is unlikely such can be remedied by anything short of extreme measures, meaning it’s going to have to get much worse before it begins to get better.

  13. avatar Knute(ken) says:

    Q: Are they willfully ignorant, or ignorantly willful?
    Answer: BOTH. They are not two mutually exclusive concepts.

  14. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Some years ago a woman’s daughter was raped in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Cops said “Ho Hum she is still alive right” end of case. The woman then dressed up like her daughter and had her husband hide in their parked car. She knew the psycho would return to the crime scene as they almost always do. When the psycho tried to rape her the husband made a citizens arrest. Later a tv movie was made about it and the Media changed the husband into an off duty cop showing how the news media does not want the public to know when citizens arrest criminals or save lives with a gun. Situation normal with the anti-gun news media.

  15. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

    I watch the weather report. Sometimes they’re right sometimes they’re wrong. BTW shooting a tornado does no good,

  16. avatar Alan says:

    How about both, the most likely amongst various possibilities.

  17. avatar Mikial says:

    There’s nothing simply or inadvertently mistaken about anything the media says. Every lie they print is intentional and they know it is a lie. Period. Journalism is dead. It died a long time ago. Now, there is nothing but editorializing in the guise of news to push their Liberal agenda.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      I’m a fan of both/and.

      They get stuff wrong through ordinary human mistakes (the kind that are both correctable and inevitable) all the time. Yet they so often choose not to correct themselves.

      AND they routinely lie by omission and commission behind the veil of fake objectivity. Put both of those facts together, and it makes a good case for regulating them even more harshly than they want to regulate us.

  18. avatar James says:

    You know that the sign saying GUN-FREE zone is just painting a target on the peoples backs. Criminals DO NOT OBEY THE LAW!! That is why they are called criminals. They see GUN-FREE and think easy pickings. If they see a sign that states our teachers carry guns,or some like that, they go somewhere else to find an easy target.

  19. avatar barnbwt says:

    Hadn’t heard that bit about the synagogue; that’s gotta be up there with the Trayvon “The One Hitter Quitter” Martin bullshit.

  20. avatar Fred D. says:

    I think we have a conglomerate of factors & all those factors are agendas , government , corporate , personal , career & ego !
    Not so much in this order !
    There is an order composed of wealthy & influential entities & corporations ” special interest ” that pull the strings of THE corrupt government that sells it’s self & us ! And they all incorporate msm to sell their agenda to the public thru carefully scripted language , creating propaganda that meets the need of the agenda !
    Bottom line is , corporate ( wealthy ) and their puppet government all fear the armed population , especially the CORRUPT PUBLIC SERVANTS ( gov ) ! Do you really need me to tell you why they fear the armed population ?
    They need us unarmed so that they will be the only ones with guns , which they will gladly use to impose their will upon the masses !
    Say I’m a conspiracy theoriest , call me a paranoid idiot , imply I have a mental disorder , because that is what the system has programmed you to think !
    However , examine history & you will find that what I say is true , it has been thus many times before , and one day , they will put all the pieces of the puzzle together correctly to achieve their goal of total disarmament , excluding themselfs !
    We are being misled , deceived & out right lied to about most everything & that is part of the plan ” confound our ability to discover the truth ” thus creating and environment of distrust , resulting in a lack of unity among the masses = divide & conquer !
    Forgive me , I neglected to include their infiltration of the , so called , education system , which now is a full fledged indoctrination camp & the have successfully brainwashed the millennials & soon a whole new generation will be fooled into believing they are following a just cause in the interest of public safety !
    Leaving the the most ruthless , barbaric demonic deviants armed to the teeth & the public @ their mercy , only to find there is no mercy !

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