Friday, April 24, 2009

Diane Sawyer and 20/20 Anti-Gun Bias

When I was growing up I was told that journalists were people that reported the news in an objective, unbiased manner. I wasn't told that by my parents or even my teachers. I was told that by journalists on TV and in newspapers. It turns out that they lied to me. Did you know that news organizations like ABC's "20/20" and their star "journalist" Diane Sawyer don't worry about being biased? They have no problem providing only the information that helps their cause. Don't believe it? If you want proof all you have to do is see 20/20's special called "If I Only Had A Gun", a blatant anti-gun hit piece.

I didn't watch the show the Friday night that it aired but due to the miracle of modern technology I got to watch it on ABC's website (thanks to Al Gore or Ira Einhorn). I got to see it, rewind it, and see it again. I have a headache.

The major portion of the show was devoted to convincing the public that there's no way to defend themselves with a gun. They did this by conducting an "experiment" that was rigged right from the beginning. The producers of the show recruited university students and gave them a couple of hours of training with a handgun. The object? The students were to sit in a classroom attending a lecture while carrying a concealed pistol they're supposed to use to defend themselves. In the experiment an attacker armed with a handgun bursts into the university classroom, fires two shots at the teacher in the front of the class and then turns his gun directly on the very student with the concealed gun. The attacker doesn't really try to gun down any of the unarmed students and succeeds in "killing" the armed student each time. Well isn't that all very convenient.

I have a few problems with the experiment. First, the "attacker" is a highly trained Police Firearms Instructor, not some untrained or poorly trained whack job wanting to commit mass murder. Second, the students with the concealed handgun are made to sit front row center in each run of the experiment and the attacker apparently knows this. Third, "for safety" the students are wearing helmets and thick padded gloves which hinder them from drawing their handgun. In the real world outside the bias of ABC and Diane Sawyer the attackers are seldom (maybe never) an experienced police firearms instructor, the person with the concealed handgun wouldn't likely always be front row center with a helmet and padded gloves hindering the draw of the weapon. The students were set up to fail. Lastly, they didn't try that BS with someone that has good training and experience...any idea why?

At no time did Diane Sawyer or anyone else mention that in the U.S. people do successfully defend themselves, their property, and their loved ones 2.4 million times a year with their own guns (Source: U.S. Congress). In fact I've made a couple of entries containing reports of people that successfully defended themselves at: entry 1, entry 2, or entry 3. You can find even more examples of people using guns to defend themselves on John Lott's Blog, Clayton Cramer's Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog, or the Armed Citizen section of the NRA's website.

Another segment of this anti-gun show was about how horrible the "gun show loophole" was and how it was a way for criminals to get guns. How? Well, the story goes that there is a loophole in the law that allows criminals to buy guns at a gun show without a background check. A lie by omission. All gun dealers are required to perform background checks at gun shows just as they do in their stores. Only private individuals selling their privately owned guns are exempt from the background check requirement. However, they tried to prove their point by getting the brother of a woman killed in the Virginia Tech killings to go to a gun show and buy guns without showing an ID. Of course he succeeded in buying quite a few guns without a background check because he bought them from private individuals, not gun dealers. Imagine that, people selling their personal property to someone. No crime was committed.

What the show failed to mention is that a U.S. Justice Department survey of 18,000 state prison inmates showed that less than one percent (0.7%) had obtained their gun from a gun show. Some loophole.

There was more anti-gun bias exhibited but like I said gave me a headache. The show aired to coincide with the anniversary of the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech shootings, but I think there's more to their anti-rights bias. Sure there was an anniversary but there's also an anti-gun President in office they worked very hard to get elected. So, to support their guy they have to get people to believe a few things that aren't true including:

Lie 1. Guns kill people all by themselves without human intervention;
Lie 2. Guns are mysterious machines that you can't possibly understand well enough to use in your own defense;
Lie 3. The bad guy is always going to be a better shot;
Lie 4. There's an evil loophole in the law that helps criminals buy lots of guns and we need to curtail your rights to fix it;
Lie 5. Criminals will be defeated by the next new gun law even though they don't follow the thousands already on the books.

If enough people believe the lies it will be easier to take away their rights. Don't believe the lies.

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