The New York Times has turned into a docile tool of anti-gun organizations. The newspaper hates firearms so much that it published a front page story with no news, but only decade-old testimony, in an attempt to blame gun manufacturers for recent mass shootings.
On Tuesday, the above-the-fold headline in the paper blared: “Gun Makers Saw No Role in Curbing Improper Sales.” The story was on the top right side, next to a large photo of a young mother holding her young son at her veteran husband’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
The reporters, Mike McIntire and Michael Luo, cherry-picked court documents from the early 2000s in an attempt to prove that manufacturers do not care about crimes perpetrated by criminals misusing illegally obtained guns.
All the quotes that lead the story by executives from major companies including Glock, Taurus, MKS Supply, Beretta, and Sturm, Ruger were drawn from depositions in lawsuits brought by the Brady Campaign on behalf of big cities against firearms manufacturers to hold them financially liable for gun violence.
It was not revealed until the fourth paragraph of the story that the quotes from firearms manufacturers were over 10 years old.
Also, buried toward the end of the story, was the key information that these suits “were dismissed by judges or withdrawn.”
Still, the reporters attempted to make it seem the suits were dismissed only because they were forced to do so: “In some states, legislatures passed their own laws shielding gun makers from liability, leading to dismissals, and most of the suits that survived were eventually stymied by the federal immunity legislation passed in 2005.”
The story is accompanied by a photo of President George W. Bush signing the law that made companies no longer liable for the actions of criminals. The New York Times has the second highest circulation of daily papers in the U.S., after The Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times omits one of the biggest cases between Boston and the gun manufacturers. That’s because the city dropped its three-year product-liability and public-nuisances lawsuits in March 2001.
The plaintiff statement attached to the court dismissal said that Boston “acknowledges that the members of the industry and firearms trade associations are genuinely concerned with and are committed to the safe, legal and responsible sale and use of their products.” The industry made no concessions in return for the dismissal.
Leaving out this major case helped The Times with its pre-determined storyline and also protected the Brady people from admitting defeat.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which is the firearm manufacturers’ trade association, was alerted by its members last week that the New York Times was calling for comment. Lawrence Keane, NSSF’s general counsel and senior vice president, contacted the Times’ reporters over the weekend to give the industry’s point of view.
According to Mr. Keane, the reporters said it may be too late and the story could run on Monday. When the story was published on Tuesday, his quotes were far down the article and a series of safety programs were not mentioned by name.
“The Times’ story fails because, like the Brady Center’s municipal lawsuits against our industry, the underlying premise that the industry is indifferent to the criminal misuse of its products is demonstrably false,” Mr. Keane told me in an interview Wednesday.