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Thread: Informal poll

  1. #1
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    I confess ... I am a member of the media. I read complaints on shooting forums on a regualr basis about how misinformed the media are about firearms. A few of us were talking this morning about this and my boss mentioned to a couple of reporters that he's like to see more specifics on the type of firearm involved in shootings. He's talking something like "Joe Imadummie was shot this morning while fooling around with an XD .45 cal semi-automatic pistol." What says the Wire? Is that much detail necessary? Preferable? Inflammatory? The information would come from police reports of crimes, not the personal observations of the reporters.

    After reading several of the repllies, I find it necessary to point out that I have been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and don't need lectures on how the media gets it wrong. I work in a newsroom; I know my colleagues often get things wrong and I'm just as frustrated as the rest of you. But I'm looking for specific information about your thoughts on specifics regarding the firearms used in crimes, not what you DON'T want to see in reports. I'd also like to point out that much of the information media report about the guns comes from the police.

    Sorry if I seem a bit put out, bu t I'm one of the good guys!

    Thanks for your input.


    George


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    The media, you, must master the basics first.

    Much of the distrust of the lamestream media is due to the self-righteous spin. No more assault anythings unless they are selectable between automatic fire and semi-automatic.

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    I think that accuracy in descriptions is good.

    Understand the difference between a revolver and a pistol and what caliber, understand the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic and just how restricted fully automatic firearms are
    understand what the jurisdiction issues for concealed carry e.g.: LTCF, CPL, CCW, etc.

    Understand the laws - whether registration is required (ugh!) or not, whether a license is needed for where the firearm was used or not, whether the person has a license to carry.

    My biggest bugaboo - accurately convey where firearms are legitimately used in self defense - where the person defending themselves is the victim - not the criminal who required someone to defend themselves.



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    Regular Member hp-hobo's Avatar
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    I think additional specificity (make and model) of the firearm used is okay, as long as that information is always provided and is done without prejudice.

    In my local rag,they seldom give afull descriptionof the gun unless it's made by Hi-Point... Then we know everything there is to know about it. Apparently someone there has been told that HP's are "criminal guns" so they make it a point of mentioning the brand, as if the brand of gun is the cause of the crime. A perfect and recent example is below. One was a Hi-Point and the other was just silver... Must be a manufacturer I've never heard of before.

    http://www.theitem.com/article/20090...WS01/704099978

    Most importantly, just report the news without editorializing either anti or pro gun.
    "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun."

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    Silver - meaning stainless or chrome. Can't even get deliberately vague details straight.

    -ljp

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    From what I've heard, seen andread... the vast majority of the MSMhave not the first clue what they're talking about regarding firearms.Whoever writes the copy for the talking heads doesn't either. This is near universal and doesn't seem to matter.

    The media will sensationalize a firearms related incident with false information or misleading inference as to some other unrelated suspicion of wrongdoing in a self defense story.

    It seems there are 'stock' comments to such situations:

    "It is unknown if the gun is registered"

    Irregardless of whether or not Registration is actually required by the area... or the fact that 'Registration' per se is Unconstitutional.

    "It is unknown if the shooter had a permit for the gun..." or words to that effect regarding permit or license.

    Rights do NOT require permit or license. Understandably... some localities forbid the right of self defense by citizens. Particularly (commonly) when weapons are carried concealed. In a self defense situation... is this an issue?

    "The gun wentoff" Guns don't 'go off' any more than a light swtch 'goes on'. A gun is a mechanical device. It must be 1. Loaded. 2. Havea liveround (cartridge & bullet) chambered. 3. Aimed (orpointed). 4. A human finger must pull the trigger in order to mechanically fire the round (bullet). An Accidental Discharge is ALWAYS a NegligentDischarge.

    "Automatic Weapon"

    An automatic weapon is either full auto or select fire. Full auto is a multiple'burst'. Semi-automatic is single shot per trigger squeeze.

    Type and calibre (bore diameter) of weapon used is lost on the general public and serves no purpose other than sensationalization. Of note is the use of the term 'Assault Weapon' forany modern ergonomically configured semi-automatic carbine.

    Assault Weapons... assault rifles are select fire weapons.

    "High Powered" (gun)

    Guns are not high powered. All 'power' is derived from the cartridge. This term is often applied in combination of "Assault Rifle". These weapons and their semi-auto clones use intermediate 'short' rounds rather than standard bolt action rifle ammunition types that will exceed their 'power, penetrationand range' by 2x, 4x or more.

    "Cop Killer Bullets"

    The average 12 ga shotgun at close range with a solid slug or semi-jacketed slug will defeat any ballistic armor worn by police by sheer blunt force trauma alone. 'Teflon' coated bullets have nothing whatever to do with 'penetration'... but rather act as a lubricant protecting the barrel of the weaponagainst premature wear. Period. This is a much misused term. ANY bullet fired at a cop (or anyone else)is a potential 'cop killer'.

    The media does a fine job of instilling fear, helplessness and dependancy upon the general public. This is not by accident. The mediaimparts some sort of superiority in firearms handling in regards to police... with the emphais on 'training'... as tho a week of Fam&I at the Police Academy's range make Joe Cop an expert. That police have some sort of extrordinary abilities that Joe/Jane Sixpack does not. 'Fact is... the average gun owner is far more competent than the average cop, simply because he/she is wide open to litigation or criminal prosecution if the weapon is mishandled or used improperly.

    I was a cop... and I can tell you from experience that the average cop can't shoot for squat. I was one of 100 officers going thru a combat firearms course... and was only one of two officers who scored 100. 1/2 point per shot... 200 shots allowed. Both of us were prior military.

    The job of police is to keep the peace... enforce the law and arrest those whocommit crimes. In so doing... he/she may have to defend themselves. The armed citizen has one reason for bearing arms...to defend themselves.Police have no 'special' right in this regard. We... on this forum, carry weapons for the same reason they do.

    "Gun Control"

    Call it what it is... Denial of the right to self defense. Criminals don't obey laws... or controls... They're CRIMINALS. Gun Control laws do nothing but prohibit, hamper ordeny the rest of us the means of self defense as recognized by the US Constitution. You media people are all about 'civil rights', yet you fail to recognize the Second Amendment as a Civil Right.

    The Arizona State Constitution's wording is perfect. (Sec 2 Art 26): "The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves or the state shall not be impaired." The state: Everyone and the land.

    Publicly identifying type, brand and flavor of any weapon appears tomake the talking head or reporter 'familiar' with or somehow knowledgeable about weapons. This (I suppose) lends credibility to their spiel. I find this amusing when the source is broadcasting from DC, LA or NYC where mere possession is denied, restricted or otherwise demonized in some form.

    As to why "I" carry a gun: My tetosterone has already been tested... (many times)... That can of whup-ass I carried has exceeded it's shelf-life... and I refuse to be a VICTIM. Nothing is 100%... but it's better than 0%. A 1911 in hand is better than 911 on the phone... particularly where I live in the remote Arizona Sonora desert. I've got two and four legged (and a few no legged)critters here who would harm me and mine. There's a gun on my hip as I write this and several within seconds thatI could bring to bear immediately.

    There's much more... and this writing will not cause a ripple. Rant over.








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    WELL SPOKEN SONORA, maybe it will resonate to georgelewis and his fellow media folks No offense meant GL

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    georgelewis wrote:
    But I'm looking for specific information about your thoughts on specifics regarding the firearms used in crimes, not what you DON'T want to see in reports.
    I DON"T want the focus to be on information about thefirearm. It is a legitimate tool that we are guaranteed by constitutional right to have available to us as law abiding citizens. I want the focus to be on whether the person usingthe firearm was a lawbreaker who was misusing the firearm or a law abiding citizen using the firearm for alegitimate purpose (including self defense). I doubt this will ever happen since legitimate use is often ignored by the media. Factual info about the make, model and functionality of the gunare useless if the gun is made the perpetrator and facts of law are ignored.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    In an ideal world I would like to see type of firearm and caliber if available, whether or not it was legally owned and/or legally carried (up until the event that is), that the shooting location is a gun-free zone if that is the case and if the case whether by law, public policy or private property posting without editorial, inaccurate buzzwords like "high capacity magazine", "high powered", "assault weapon", etc. as

    My concern is that given the fact as admitted in the OP that the media often gives misinformation in general on these matters that asking for more detail will actual be even more harmful. The fact is that psychologically, people put more faith and credence in specific information than general information, or in other words, they assume specific information to be more accurate or truthful than general information. So the general public is more likely to assume that "legally owned AK-47, 7.62 caliber automatic assault rifle with a high capacity magazine used in an area posted by the property owner as a gun-free zone" is dead on accurate whereas they will put less credence in the accuracy of "high powered assault rifle used in a wilderness area" when the reality may be that it is a legally owned but illegally carried and fired SKS semi-automatic 7.62X39 with a 20 round magazine used in a federally mandated gun-free zone.

    In conclusion, what I am saying is that I would rather see accurate generalities than inaccurate or editorialized specifics. Accurate specifics would be the best, however, I think that asks more of our modern American media than it would willingly provide unless such matters agree with the reporters' biases.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    JT wrote:
    georgelewis wrote:
    But I'm looking for specific information about your thoughts on specifics regarding the firearms used in crimes, not what you DON'T want to see in reports.
    I DON"T want the focus to be on information about thefirearm. It is a legitimate tool that we are guaranteed by constitutional right to have available to us as law abiding citizens. I want the focus to be on whether the person usingthe firearm was a lawbreaker who was misusing the firearm or a law abiding citizen using the firearm for alegitimate purpose (including self defense). I doubt this will ever happen since legitimate use is often ignored by the media. Factual info about the make, model and functionality of the gunare useless if the gun is made the perpetrator and facts of law are ignored.
    + 100

    Do report on a stabbing with a screw Driver as a Common blade,Stanley brand? No that really doesn't sell papers, How about the murder with a blunt object, an eastwing 2# claw hammer with an 18" handle? Nope that doesn't sell papers either,

    I could care less if another news paper hit the presses or not, I don't read em anyway, the same with the news channel.. It's all one sided anyway..

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    georgelewis wrote:
    SNIP...
    But I'm looking for specific information about your thoughts on specifics regarding the firearms used in crimes, not what you DON'T want to see in reports. I'd also like to point out that much of the information media report about the guns comes from the police.

    ...SNIP
    George,

    Thanks for checking in with the OpenCarry.Org group. If you visit a lot, you will discover that there is a wide array of opinions and a vast wealth of knowledge to be gleaned from the forum members.

    Much of what I would say has already been said, so need to repeat it. Here is my 2 cents worth:

    What I want to know:
    • Type of firearm: Pistol, Shotgun, Rifle or ?(zipgun, derringer...)
    • Action type: Pump, bolt action, lever, semi-auto, full auto(or select fire), revolver, single shot, etc.
    • Caliber(would be nice but not critical): .22, .25, .32, .308, .223, etc., etc.
    • Magazine(s): Simply how many magazines were present/used. Phrases like "high capacity" are subjective and misleading. They are meant to inflame, not inform. If capacity is relevent, report the actual capacity(5, 10, 20, 30 rounds, etc.).
    • If known, whether it was stolen, borrowed, rented, recently purchased, etc. or not.
    • Info about the activity of the shooter(the gun did not shoot itself): Threats, brandishing, negligent handling and discharge, # of shots fired, assualt, murder, SELF-DEFENSE(when applicable), kidnapping, etc. etc. Did the shooter have a permit? Is a permit even required? What kind of permit(if required)? What are the limitations of the permit?
    • Did a person with a firearm end the event? How so?
    What I DON'T want:
    • Speculation about the "legality" of the firearm. Taking the word of a government official about the firearm being "illegal". What makes a firearm "illegal"? Have the spokesperson elaborate on why they believe it is "illegal". Has it been modified in some "illegal" way? Is it stolen?(does that really make the firearm illegal - or the thief)? etc.
    • If it is said to be "un-registered", find out the specifics of "registration"(Local, State, Federal) requirements. ALWAYS provide a comment re the "registration" requirements of the jurisdiction involved if the firearm is said to be "unregistered" in the article. I believe most "legal" firearms in this nation are "unregistered" since registration is generally not supposed to be happening.
    • Phrases and adjectives like "Military Style", "Cop-killer", "Sniper"(most hunting rifles are effectively "sniper" rifles), "High-power", "Assault", etc. are subjective and are provided by the writer to communicate a bias.
    While this list is not a complete list, it covers some basics.

    Accuracy is sorely lacking in journalistic circles today. First be accurate and make sure statements are "in context". For example, if "registration" is not required, then reporting that a firearm is "unregistered" is really only meant to mislead.

    Don't take everything in the Police report as gospel. The writers of those reports are human, often under lots of pressure to put out the info, sometimes have agendas and, simply, can make mistakes. The journalist needs to make a good-faith effort to verify the info before rushing to print it.

    Thanks for the question. Hopefully some of the info you get here can help you put forth accurate and informative articles.


    "THE GOAL IS CONTROL"

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    Just print an indepth focus on the humans involved A murderis a murder,, an assault is an assault,, the weapon doesn't matter, just focus on a very thorough background explaination of all participants.. America needs to be able to understand the types of mentalities that perform deadly and dangerous acts, not whether it was dome with a Gun,Baseball bat, kitchen knife, Screw driver, Claw hammer, brick, Vehicle etc. etc. etc.

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    deepdiver wrote:
    In conclusion, what I am saying is that I would rather see accurate generalities than inaccurate or editorialized specifics. Accurate specifics would be the best, however, I think that asks more of our modern American media than it would willingly provide unless such matters agree with the reporters' biases.

    4armed Architect wrote:
    What I DON'T want:
    • Speculation about the "legality" of the firearm. Taking the word of a government official about the firearm being "illegal". What makes a firearm "illegal"? Have the spokesperson elaborate on why they believe it is "illegal". Has it been modified in some "illegal" way? Is it stolen?(does that really make the firearm illegal - or the thief)? etc.
    Again, from my local daily rag, a perfect example;

    "Third Circuit Solicitor Kelly Jackson spoke at length as to why Patrick should be denied bond, citing his involvement in the drug trade and that Pee told law enforcement that Patrick smoked marijuana every day. Patrick, a convicted felon, was not allowed to purchase or possess the weapons he had, Jackson said, noting that federal guidelines stipulate the AK-47 as a machine gun. Jackson also cited Patrick’s willingness to use the weapons that he acquired illegally, telling James that Darrisaw had 11 bullet wounds."

    http://www.theitem.com/article/20090...WS01/704089882

    As we all know an AK-47 is not a machine gun and no federal guideline stipulates that it is. I personally spoke with Solicitor Jackson who is an aquaintance of mine and a gun guy to boot, and he told me this isn't what he said. What he said is that this particular AK-47 was tested by the BATFE anddetermined to have been modified to shoot full auto. Whether or not that is a correct determination is open to question in my mind.* None the less, the reporter ingored what was actually stated and twisted the facts to suit his world view.

    If you're going to report, report the facts,only the facts and do not editorialize as this individual did. If there is a hole in the information for whatever reason, just say so. Don't make things up because you need two extra lines. There hasn't been a retraction printed in the paper yet, andthe reporter seems to be hiding under his desk, because he hasn't returned my many calls yet.

    Have a great day.



    *My son heard the gunshots as he was trick or treating with my grandson about a block away from where this happened. He's familiar with the sound of of an AK-47 because he can't keep his hands off of mine. He's also familiar with the sound of full auto fire because there is an Air Force/Army small arms training range within close proximity to my business. According to him, if that gun was full auto, it was the slowest full auto ever. This wouldn't be the first time the BATFE made the wrong call on full/semi-auto.
    "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun."

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    Much of the media error factor can be attributable to laziness and ignorance on the part of the reporters. In only a few cases - and this will mostly be national media - is there an agenda.

    Most local reporters today are young and have very narrow life experiences. They mostly have urban backgrounds, liberal education, no military or hunting experience, and therefore are ignorant about firearms in general. (Please note that "ignorant" is not a slur, but an adjective meaning that someone has little or no knowledge of a given subject.) Ironically, most of these same reporters are quite chagrined when they discover that a long held assumption is not true; and firearm assumptions generally fall into that category.

    If you can, get some of your fellow newsroom denizens together for a range party. I bet that there's at least one local range or gun shop that would jump at the chance to educate a few media types. This has been done on a few occasions here in New Orleans with a temporary good effect - temporary because newsrooms have generally high turnover rates.

    As for what I personally would like to see in media reports, I don't much care if the type and caliber are left out, provided that the attention is placed on the people and their actions - not on the firearm. Also, I would like reporters on television to quit putting the emphasis on "semi" in "semi-automatic." It makes the impression that "semi" is somehow worse. (I think this comes, again, from ignorance of firearms and familiarity with semi-trucks: SEMI-trucks are big, so SEMI-automatics must be HONKING big guns.)

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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    There's much more... and this writing will not cause a ripple. Rant over.

    Wow that was great and all too true. lol



    Honestly, I don't care what gun was used and I don't want to know what gun was used. Stating what kind (or even most specific model, caliber, etc) is playing into the personification of firearms and the idea that THEY, not the person, commits the crime.

    Think of it this way. If you were reporting on a drunk driving fatality would you report: "Joe Blow was killed today by the drunk driver of a 2007 Honda Accord V6, silver, black leather interior with 6-disc/moonroof package." Of course not. Even the model of the car is irrelevant.

    How about if someone got killed with a shovel? "Billy killed his brother with an xxxx brand shovel of xxxx model in xxxx color." "Bob killed his wife with a chrome finish Craftsman hammer model #xxxx-xxxx-xx, he purchased at his local Sears hardware section for $15."

    Why do those not make sense, but reporting on the exact make, model, color, style, caliber, and level of modification of a gun seems to make perfect sense? Because in the mind of the media and the people, the GUN is as equally guilty as the person. We need to know exactly what GUN commited the crime so we can ban it and protect ourselves from other such evil and crazy guns.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    georgelewis,

    Accuracy in reporting would be welcome.

    Unfortunately most of the replies you get will tend to vent displeasure at the slanted/ biased/ agenda driven "reporting".

    Live free or die,

    Thundar


    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Just to make an additional comment... What is commonly referred to as anAK-47 'AIN'T'! AK-47's/AKM's/AK-74's are all select fire (full auto capable). This has become a generic term... also mis-applied to versions of the Russian SKS of the same calibre (7.62 x 39mm)

    My own particular weapon (bought some 23 years ago for $240. NIB) is a Norinco Type 56S-1 (cosmetically modified). The Chinese version of the SKS is a Type 56.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    This is a Chinese 'SKS' the Type 56. This one (mine) is a Vietnam war trophy (w/papers) I brought back in April'72. (Viet Cong weapon) The detachable magazine version of this semi-auto carbine is also mis-identified as an AK.

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    Well, I've got an idea and maybe it's crazy. The media could try to report the news, and forgo the delivery of their opinion. That would be a start.

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    There is no more "news". It's all editorial.

    But since you asked:

    The single greatest affront to the truth when reporting about firearms related incidents is the use of the term "Assault Weapon". Assault is a verb, not an adjective. ANY weapon used to commit an act of aggression is an assault weapon: that includes fists, feet, knives, pepper spray, batons, firearms, and many, many more. Any weapon used to defend against an act of aggression is a "Defensive weapon" and this again applies to fists, feet, etc, etc.

    If there was in fact a Kalashnikov, AR, or some similar military look-alike weapon involved, then the term "semi-automatic rifle" is acceptable, and the only TRUE description.

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    The word Liberal has been hijacked.

    Liberal means allowing freedoms. As in, LIBERTARIAN.

    The 'liberals' are the most staunch supporters of laws, rules, regulations and 'policies' that are oppressive and anti-freedom. Most MSM reporters seem to fall into this category. Their ideas about liberty would have fit in well in the U.S.S.R. .

    As to specifics about weapons, if reporting the truth and it's details is yourprofession, then do it well.Save your opinions for the Editorial page.

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