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A couple of weeks ago, I received the expected rejection letter from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma on my application to attend their “workshop for journalists on covering guns and gun violence”.  I expected it because it’s clear that their Bloomberg-funded “workshop” has become a mere exercise in producing disarmist propaganda, rather than an objective effort designed to help journalists get their facts right on events involving guns. To give credit where due, Bruce Shapiro, Director at Dart, was unfailingly polite in the rejection letter . . .

For a brief period, I actually held out some hope of some semblance of balance in the presentation. Then Ray Stern (hardly known as someone who champions conservatives), a reporter for the Phoenix New Times did a little investigative journalism, and received some clear answers to some pointed questions. He asked Bruce Shapiro, the Dart Center’s Director, about the scheduled list of speakers (which, to be fair, includes two token pro-gunners; S.E. Cupp and Dave Kopel):

But why doesn’t the lineup include any scholar who’s researched the idea that guns, or at least the defense display of guns, may often save lives?

Shapiro guffawed: “Look, guns kill people, right?” he said.

Um, okay, professor. Sorry we asked.

Stern goes on to reveal more indications of a world view antagonistic to anything positive about guns or gun ownership:

Reporters at the seminar will receive an education in how guns work, too, Shapiro confirmed. So which of the many gunsmiths or firearms dealers in Arizona did the Dart Center invite to go over that material? Maybe someone from the Ruger manufacturing plant in Prescott?

Nope — serving as the seminar’s gun-hardware expert, Shapiro said, will be journalist Marc Cooper, who wrote in 2013 that he’d subscribe to Guns & Ammo magazine after one its columnists (now fired) advocated for gun-control measures.

The workshop will be held May 29th and 30th. With a little luck we will find out who attended and how things went. I also hope to find some information on who else was turned down.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Gun Watch

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  1. I have no hope that this will be any more than a seminar on how to slant the news, but they are living dangerously by inviting S.E. Cupp and David Kopel. They will have more intellectual firepower than the rest of the panel even if there are 100 of them.

    Anybody taking a bet on getting video or audio out?

    • “Anybody taking a bet on getting video or audio out?”

      The best opportunity of that happening is that we find someone who is invited and wire them with hidden video-audio.

      Since it seems the only attendees are those they deem politically reliable via their history of firearm reporting I think the chance of that happening is roughly zero.

      We can hope we find someone working the event and wire them…

    • agree 100%, they even advertised it with false data.

      to them if a gun is in the home and you fell down your stairs….. it was firearms related. any injury of any kind with a police report, if they find a firearm used or not, its recorded as a firearms related injury or death. report + injury + firearm = firearm related even if it was locked away unloaded or in pieces. legal or illegal firearm, still counts as Firearm Seizure aka a Crime related to a Gun.

  2. Dean should sue them for triggering feelings of unwantedness. I can’t imagine that he could feel safe anymore either.

    • If they are planning a press conference the Pink Pistols with press credentials should crash it…

      And ask very uncomfortable questions like “Is a dead gay like Matthew Shepard morally superior to a dead gay murderer?”.

    • heck, we should all go protest it, a lil, and then hold a couple of seminars of our own (scheduled around DARTs, so a person could attend both if they wanted). I am thinking: How to teach gun safety to a child, Eddie Eagle or something similar; New Shooter Workshop, so we and introduce people to the sport and teach em the basics and safety; Some sort of Competitive Shooting, because I love watching people way better then me ring steel, its awesome.

  3. ”serving as the seminar’s gun-hardware expert,
    Shapiro said, will be journalist
    Marc Cooper, who wrote in 2013 that he’d subscribe to
    Guns & Ammo magazine after
    one its columnists (now fired)
    advocated for gun-control

    So getting a subscription to National Geographic would make me effing Indiana Jones?

    • This whole event is obviously a joke, but journalists thinking they are experts on the topics they cover is not just a problem with gun issues. Journalists with a journalism degree that cover science or technology think they know science and technology, and probably the worst is economics. Krugman and Friedman are “often wrong, but never in doubt” but at least they were economists first. Listening to Brooks and Dionne on NPR is painful.

  4. I’ll take the same stance on this as I take on Fox News: if you have to keep telling everyone how “fair and balanced” you are, you’re not.

    • Well maybe they keep saying it because Obama and 99% of the MFM keeps pushing lies about FOX. Maybe FOX understands that if you don’t refute lies than some people are going to believe the lies.

    • By that logic, Kyle, then MSNBC is the truth and the light.
      All news organizations are to be taken with a grain of salt. What matters the most is how hot and attractive the females are who read the teleprompter. Turn the sound off and then judge.

    • You are talking about the same Fox News that when Hillary ran against Obummer she said it was the only station that gave her a fare shake. (Not an exact quote but, she did say something similar.)

  5. Give Lord Farquaad credit for evolving in tactics. He knows this move is about the long game. Yes, it is absolutely a propaganda producing workshop. What he’s aiming for is controlling the language, narrative, and distribution of information. The target is non information seekers because there are loads of them. Just see the Presidential elections were lots of people come out to vote while knowing nothing about the issues and little about the candidates.

    • Farquaad… should have 100% of all assets siezed and a deep dark hole for the rest of his life.

      Pelosi, Reid, the Boy King, Jerret, Kerry, Hilary, Franks, and list of other Democrats are ALL Traitors/Domestic Terrorists and should be treated as Such in a Time of War. They have done more damage then ALL our enemies and the UN could have imagined.

  6. Oddly enough, my guess is that this will not necessarily be an “indoctrination camp” so much as a “tactical camp” for the already indoctrinated. I expect that the reporters who are chosen to attend will already be of a thoroughly anti-gun bent, and the whole emphasis will be on how they can better deliver their anti-gun message in the guise of “reporting the news”. I’m thinking Cupp and Kopel should have said, “Look, I would be happy to speak at your meeting, if it is actually going to be a balanced presentation overall, but I’m not going to be a “fig leaf” for you to claim non-existent balance in a gun-control seminar.”

  7. I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to discover that the Dart Center had no intention of presenting a balanced or informed look at the facts.

  8. Invite them all to actually attend a shooting event. Let them shoot. Teach them the facts. This would be a great opportunity for local gun clubs to help out.

    • that’s actually a great idea. Try to get the ‘guest’ list from the Dart indoctrination camp and invite every one of them to a follow-up seminar of facts.. REAL facts, maybe even testimonials from DGU users, a chance to shoot suppressed vs non suppressed, why black guns matter and are no different from wood ones… don’t market it to them as truth though, market it as a free junket with dinners and pre written articles they can turn in for publication. Be sure and mention common sense and safety a lot, but not the context they are used to hearing it in. Make it seem like a Bloomberg indoctrination camp but with facts.

      • Maybe the NRA or TTAG can take their suppressor roadshow and camp outside this meeting and offer free range trips. If the NRA did more guerrilla tactics like this I’d bet they’d get more donations. Would make great video to intercept these reporters as they are walking into the meeting and ask them if they think they are getting balanced information inside.

      • I strongly suspect that only “journalists” who were already true believers were accepted. I cannot know for certain, but the application was crafted in such a way as to make the attitudes of the journalists clear. As I recall; “give an example of a story you would write about, with an outline”, was one of the questions.

        • Like i said, it won’t be an indoctrination camp for the attendees, it will be a “how to indoctrinate everyone else” camp for the already-indoctrinated.

    • I suggested that be done as part of the workshop. I doubt that they will do it. If you believe, as Director Shapiro does, that “Guns kill people” then you do not ever wish to expose anyone to a gun, ever.

      It is an irrational statement, which to me, indicates a deep structural, and false belief about the nature of the universe.

      It is very difficult to change such a belief. To them it is a given, inarguable fact embedded deep in their identity.

  9. “Only authorized journalists have the training, the education, the degree of impartial and balanced reporting that can even hope to report on such a polarizing subject as guns and the unmitigated blood lust and slaughter that such instruments of terror produce in the average law abiding human being”.

    I am sure this is the level of the accepted “truth about guns” of most of our “Authorized Journslists”.

    And anyone that does not accept this “truth” is either a shill for the gun makers like the NRA, or someone just compensating for a small penis, with delusions of being John Wayne just aching for an excuse to shoot someone.

    This is why there is no compromise with those that fight to disarm us, they don’t see us as human beings deserving of respect for our lives or our civil rights.

  10. Bloomberg is relentless in his quest to deceptively change American norms and culture to suit his version of how things should be. Anti-gun disarmament activities are just the most prominent of his deceitful projects because there is much organized push-back.

    He’s doing everything he can to out-flank, back-door, leverage and outspend those standing up to his bullish lying ways in his efforts to indoctrinate the general public and defeat Constitutional protections of those Americans’ who refuse to acquiesce to his demands and choose to remain independent self-reliant citizens, free of Bloomberg’s version of oppressive submission to ‘Progressive’ nanny state government intrusion.

  11. “Every day, 86 Americans die of firearm related injuries, including nearly 12,000 murdered with guns each year – a rate 20 times higher than that o other developed countries”

    1) Why are we comparing ourselves to other countries? Who cares what other countries think??? This is our country – not theirs.

    2) US homicide rate is 4.7 per 100,000. The UK is 1.0. Italy 0.9. Switzerland is 0.6. Australia is 1.1. Germany is 0.8. France is 1.0. Austria is 0.9. Japan is 0.3. South Korea is 0.9. China is 1.0.

    That is a 0.85 average. Unless death by gun is worse than death by something else that is 5.5 times higher than those other countries listed. It doesn’t compare overall crime (which is likely higher in a gun controlled region), injury, or anything else. Also – DGU’s can lead to intentional homicide (justifiable). Are those included? I would say so. Stating a rate “20 times” that of others is narrow minded and looks at the small picture – not the big one. Which leads us to our next point.

    3) Why “improve reporting on guns and gun violence?” Violence is the issue – not the guns. Why not focus on the root problem? Is it because the goal isn’t the root problem – but instead the guns?

    Note: Marc Cooper doesn’t even understand the bill of rights.

    “Poor Metcalf! Poor us. We live in a country with a great Bill of Rights that seems to get cherry picked on an opportunistic basis. A civil war between the First and Second Amendments? Ugh!” – Marc Cooper

    Metcalf wasn’t fired because be violated the law. He was fired because he betrayed his fan-base using arguments from freedom-hating anti-rights groups. If I go to my boss and tell him that his breath smells like fecal matter, I hate my job, and that I am orchestrating the removal of him from his position in the company. I might get fired. What you say may have consequences outside the law – and that has nothing to do with the 1st amendment.

    • “Every day, 86 Americans die of firearm related injuries, including nearly 12,000 murdered with guns each year – a rate 20 times higher than that o other developed countries”

      I also hear we have a higher automobile mortality rate than countries with little to no cars.

  12. This outcome should not surprise anyone. Most all political camps have become echo chambers. People hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe regardless of the facts.

  13. I’m just guessing here, that firearms “expert” Marc Cooper is no relation to Col. Jeff Cooper, right? (LOL)

  14. Does anyone else believe that the main photo on the invitation/web page for the program reveals the organizers’ entire agenda? To them, “covering guns” = photos of illuminated angel-shaped paper dolls representing innocent first-graders cut down by guns. It quite effectively sums up what they see as their purpose and mission: saving kids from evil firearms, by any means necessary.

    Recruiting journalists to tell the story of crime via emotional images and similar “see the human impact” tactics is directly out of their playbook. Witness the coming launch of another Bloomberg-funded venture, the Everytown “news center” that will cover the impact of gun violence. Staff includes Jennifer Mascia, who wrote the year-long New York Times Gun Report feature telling tale after tale of ballistic-related woes. We can expect to see a lot more of this, as it’s obviously part of a larger strategy supported by Bloomberg dollars.

    I’m sickened by the fact that a university-affiliated institution dedicated to advancing journalism would participate in, much less endorse, such blatant emotional manipulation. It certainly says a lot of about both universities and journalism today.

    By the way, that photo is particularly moving and exceptionally well executed. It poignantly tells the story of a community’s pain, and I say this as someone with close ties to Newtown and the atrocities at S.H.E. That anyone would co-opt such an image—and the pain it represents—in furtherance of a political agenda is morally repugnant.

  15. Nice try Dean, but not unexpected, of course. I will look forward to SE Cupp and Dave Kopel feedback. I note they are only there as speakers, so they may not have time to participate in the whole event, and may even have signed an agreement NOT to report on it.

    Maybe TTAG or Dean could drop them both a note and ask what they could share, after the event.

    PS: I too am very cynical about Columbia and Dart’s intentions here, and have no doubt whatsoever what Bloomberg is up to, which is simply propaganda.

    However, coincidentally, I have done a bit of reading on Dr Wintermute. He is a very interesting guy- seems legit, and science based, with integrity. Even criticized the Harvard study. Here are a couple links:

    The reason I mention him, is he is an example of hands-on best practices rigor in use of statistics appropriately, and as a benchmark- points out we really dont have good data to do some cause and effect on laws passed. I would only quibble with him and perhaps will contact him later to ask about why he hasn’t done MORE analysis in CA, where the first ubc has been in place longest.

  16. Might be possible they were hiding something that’s why they didn’t accept your application. Anyway, If you are interested in playing darts then this is the best place you can find the best electronic dartboard. I hope you’ll find here your dartboard.


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