Bad journalism awards

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Right now there’s McArdle’s infamous (and incredibly long) “gang rush the shooter” column. (Do they have editors at the Daily Beast?)

… if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.  Would it work?  Would people do it?  I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.

But I doubt we’re going to tell people to gang rush mass shooters, because that would involve admitting that there is no mental health service or “reasonable gun control” which is going to prevent all of these attacks.  Which is to say, admitting that we have no box big enough to completely contain evil.

And there’s Fox’s “we talked to somebody who may know some other people...so, you know … we’re going with it” piece on Adam Lanza’s possible motive.

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19 thoughts on “Bad journalism awards

  1. Richard

    I gave the bad TV Journalism award to the psychiatric Profession for running the gauntlet on MSNBC and Fox proclaiming that “A report from the Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey says that one in five adult Americans had a mental illness in 2010. Those ages 18 to 25 had the highest, at 29.9 percent.”

    Then came the mass diagnosis of Adam Lanza by doctors who never met him or read his medical records and who freely associated Asperger’s with violence. After 2 days sane members of the profession stepped in and got the industry media hacks off the air using the word “professionalism”.

    Shameless Pigs at the trough.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/12/why-diagnosing-adam-lanza-is-a-problem.html

  2. Bill

    The 2nd Amendment

    As I watched the memorial to those needlessly slain in Sandy Hook School, I am once again reminded of the ease in which anyone can procure a firearm in this country and wreck untold pain and loss of life within a few short minutes.

    The great menace of our times is this easy access to guns.

    The cause of this easy access is the 2nd amendment. And this amendment is one of the original sins of our country that remains unfixed. The other was that of slavery.

    In a way, we are now enslaved by the fear of sudden gun violence directed at innocent bystanders.

    The 2nd amendment was added in the Bill of Rights during a time of great insecurity and fear of oppression of a new central government. The founders never envisioned the needless loss of life resulting from this once protective amendment.

    If indeed this amendment was created as a protection for the citizenry it has now become the great destroyer of life. No other civilized nation on earth has laws allowing for such easy access to guns.

    The National Rifle Association would have you believe that “Guns don’t kill. People kill.” That has been their chief slogan for decades and their message has sold well. But the slogan is a semantic  fallacy.

    Gun advocates will argue and belittle and show evidence of the failure of modern gun reform and tell you that it doesn’t work. They will say that more guns are needed to protect us from those who have easily acquired guns for nefarious purposes.

    They are correct that the assault rife ban was a complete failure. Of course it was destine to fail when you have easy access to other kinds of firearms.

    Over the coming weeks and months, we will listen to and be apart of the debate on gun violence and its social and psychological ramifications. Frequently the legislative process arrives at compromises especially  in the face of an industry that lobbies heavily to keep the status quo and their profits.

    Sportsmen who hunt should be allowed to keep their hunting rifles but only if the rifles are not semi automatic machines with massive reload clips.

    The greatest fear is that we will go half way to solving the problem. If we only attempt to enact even significant  gun bans, it will be overturned by the Supreme Court. The Court has shown a predisposition of citing the 2nd amendment in arguments..

    Therefore the only solution is to repeal the 2nd amendment. If we cannot achieve this goal, we will be doomed to repeat the Sandy Hook School massacre. We will repeat Tuscon and we will repeat Aurora.  We will repeat the senseless tens of thousands of murders committed annually by criminals welding guns.

    Nothing less then the repeal of the 2nd amendment will solve this plague. And it may take 100 years to clean up the guns now in circulation.

    But all great efforts begin with a first step.

    1. Steve

      You should probably consider seeing a professional about how you’re ‘enslaved by fear’, because firearms will be especially easy to take possession of if you’re willing to murder & steal.

      Crime statistics show that violent crimes have been decreasing steadily for the last 20 years & are at levels that haven’t been seen since the 60′s. Those that have done the research show no increase in mass shootings over the last 30 years, though there are spikes & ebbs due to their relative infrequency. Taking into account the population increase over this time period, the per capita value has dropped.

      What _has_ happened over the last 30 years is that firearm sales have increased & at least 40 states have shall issue concealed carry for lab abiding citizens. This flies in the face of hoplophobes who have been warning about the imminent demise of civilization every time it comes up for a vote.

      1. Bill

        Whenever I am around people, I always scan to see if anything could happen like a sudden show of a gun. No, I am not crazed with fear. So I embellished my commentary a little, Mr Gunner.

        The rest is right on target, if you will excuse the expression, Mr Gunner”

  3. peter brush

    Bad journalists are now so numerous, it clearly would be more practical to enumerate good ones. But, on the gun thing, I was listening to John Lott being interviewed on Talk of the Nation Monday afternoon. Lott was presumably on the show by invitation, and he was giving his customary spiel on the dangers of gun-free-zones. Of course his spiel makes a good bit of sense; virtually every one of these mass shootings occurs at a gun-free site. But, Neil Conan just can’t get it through his head, and clearly thinks it’s gauche to look at the facts.
    ————————————–
    Why would the shooter go to – you know, it could be random, but at some point if you have seven movie theaters that fit the same criteria of showing the movie, you know, what are the odds time after time when these things occur that they pick the one place where guns are banned to engage in the attack.
    CONAN: And this is the really the moment to have this conversation, do you think, to reach out across the divide and…
    Dylan Klebold particularly spoke out about it. It’s my understanding that he actually wrote letters to the state legislature opposing the adoption of the concealed carry law. One thing that doesn’t get attention is that the Columbine attack occurred the very day that the Colorado legislature was scheduled for final passage of the concealed handgun law.
    I was there in the morning. I was asked by the speaker of the House at the time to come and talk to legislators before they voted later that afternoon on the bill.
    CONAN: You don’t find it – excuse me, you don’t find it more relevant that both these kids were students at Columbine High School? They were going to attack somewhere else?
    http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2012/12/appearance-on-npr-sandy-hook-massacre.html

  4. Todd Zaino

    The anti-gun crowd is delusional…their knee-jerk reaction is so darn predictable. Just suppose that the government suddenly outlawed all guns…a liberal’s panacea! On January 1, 2014 all guns must be turned in to your local town hall! Does anyone with half a brain cell think that all 250-300 million firearms are going to magically appear at the doors of every single town hall? Please! Do you think there might be a few people who keep an gun or two for themselves? 1920-1933 the do-gooders won and the Federal government made all alcohol illegal! So I suppose everyone followed that law right!? Nope! Made gangsters like Al Capone and Joseph Kennedy rich. How are all of those speeding laws doing on CT highways? Anyone have an abortion before Roe v. Wade in 1972? Any criminal has already proven that they don’t agree with or refuse to obey laws…I suppose they will wake up and say “Yeah, perhaps I should hand in all of my firearms. UNREAL!
    I’d love to ask all of these anti-gun folks if they have the same passion about abortion…I mean murder is murder right?

    1. Bob

      I am not a liberal and believe that something more needs to be done to control who can procure a gun. And please give me an idea why there must be a need for personal possession of assault style guns. Nobody is ever going to try to take away your guns. You and persons of your ilk are the reason the republicans lost the recent election. You draw a line in the sand and will not consider another opinion. Black and white. No gray.

      Call me fiscally conservative but morally liberal. Is that possible in your world?

    2. Bill

      Todd:First, let us not be blinded into a doing nothing just because the ultimate solution is so cumbersome.If we outlawed guns which we should, as I stated in my commentary, it would take a very long time to recover these guns. Perhaps we could quicken this process by outlawing ammo. England after the Scottish massacure and it worked.

      I find it interesting that it is mostly (not exclusively though) that white men are the largest % of gun rights and who happen to be the least effected by gun violence.

      Anyways, banning possession would work and it would just take awhile. Gun advocates have said that the temporary ban on assault rifles had no effect and they were correct. We need a total ban on all firearms with the exception of single bolt action hunting rifles.

      We need to abolish the 2nd amendment which simply has nothing to do with the reason it was included in the Bill of Rights.

  5. Micheal Geer

    No current data is available. Or, bluntly – 3,325 every day of the year in 2008, meaning 139 innocent lives every hour. Or, 5.3 Newtown catastrophes every hour for an entire year, round the clock. Clearly sexual congress must be outlawed since it can lead to the death of an innocent child. Because it’s all about the children, isn’t it?

    My head can’t wrap around the logic of the Left shouting for law-abiding, well mannered, adult American citizens – from whom the government derives its right to govern – to have their 2nd Amendment weapons forcibly taken from them when the same political crowd not only endures the staggering volume of termination of innocent life on a scale that would make Hitler cringe, but glories in it.

    Tell you what. The Left gives up Roe v. Wade, renounces it and never again goes near the question of abortion and I will afterwards agree to a “national conversation” about the 2nd Amendment and what it really meant to the Framers. They go first. That will signal their sincerity. Absolute constitutional rejection and elimination of abortion.

    1. Bill

      Michael; Guess what. Mrs Adams was a law-abiding citizen who kept her guns locked up in her basement.

      Would you kindly explain to me what happened with her stash of weapons?

  6. peter brush

    assault style guns
    ——————-
    My understanding is that “assault style guns” were those Diane Feinstein picked out of catalogs as appearing more military than civilian. There’s no functional difference between them and other semi-automatics. Can you please provide evidence that Feinstein’s assault weapons ban which lapsed in 2004 did any good?
    The Islamist who blew away 13 of our guys, sitting ducks in the Fort Hood gun-free-zone, used a semi-automatic pistol.
    ——————–
    Why do people “need” these nasty weapons? Check out the Connecticut Constitution.
    SEC. 15. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

  7. Richard

    I’ll concede a 50% tax on gun clips will mean Vermont moves a lot of clips. How many residents border hopped to buy appliances, gas, or alcohol over the years? Countless?

  8. mick

    I wish you wouldn’t link to Fox “News”. Any time you visit their site or view their programs it lends to their claim of legitimacy.

  9. peter brush

    If there’s an elixir, some potion we can drink, it’s almost certainly love. Right? Love is the only possible bright sparkling rope bridge we can clutch as we stutter-step through the dark universe.

    What a joke. Our only good piece of equipment is love, the thing we fail at so often. We’ve been talking all week about weapons, but our only sure-fire weapon against chaos and nothingness is love.
    ——————————————
    Very well put.
    And, I can’t help but feel that there is less love out there than in the old days. I ask if there isn’t some causal relation between observation of God’s or nature’s laws and the capacity to love. If love makes a family, is there not some truth to the idea that a civilization, a culture, a family makes love? In their ideological purging of God and his laws from the public square have not our governmental smart guys weakened our love- sponsoring culture? I don’t know that I’d advocate going back to legally mandated marriage or legally difficult divorce, but I’d bet a nickle that we’d have a happier society overall if we were to do so. I would advocate overturning, or simply defying, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ridiculous ban on prayer in school. How offensive would it be to have kids recite the prayer the Court threw out in 1962 because of its alleged violation of the “establishment” clause?
    Regent’s prayer
    Almighty God,
    we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee,
    and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents,
    our teachers and our country.

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