Ryan Petty says the Washington Post didn’t reach out to his family before it published a story featuring crime scene photos and videos from the sites of mass shootings involving so-called “assault weapons”, but he still had an idea of what was coming beforehand.
“One of the other Parkland families, they did reach out to us as a group, I guess. I don’t know if it was sort of a token effort, but they reached out and got ahold of one family member and he let us know that it was coming,” Petty revealed on today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co.
Petty went on to say that “one of the families is very distraught this morning because apparently their daughter, who I won’t name out of respect for them, was in that student video from Parkland” that was shared by the Post.
While Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee claimed that using these photos and videos was necessary because “most Americans have no way to understand the full scope of an AR-15’s destructive power or the extent of the trauma inflicted on victims, survivors and first responders when a shooter uses this weapon on people,” Petty says that’s “pure gaslighting” on the part of the paper.
“What they’re doing is trying to shock Americans and to paint modern sporting rifles in a bad light because they’re rifles and they can kill in the wrong hands,” Petty said, adding he’s yet to see the Post spend a weekend in Chicago, for instance, documenting what “lax enforcement” of existing laws looks like and the toll that takes on hundreds of families each and every year in our major cities.
“Chicago’s just a great example of that,” Petty elaborated.
“Lives ruined, families destroyed, all because of gang violence and illegal firearms being carried by felons who are not being dealt with in the criminal justice system. So why don’t they spend some time in those cities and in those areas highlighting the real problem, the real driver of statistics of ‘gun violence’ in America? No, rather they come here. They try to re-traumatize the victims’ families; all to make a point that they don’t like modern sporting rifles and they don’t think Americans should have them. It’s disgusting behavior.”
As Petty says, it’s an attempt to shock Americans into action; specifically, to demand a ban on those firearms deemed “assault weapons.” But it’s also designed to dehumanize and villify those who don’t come to the same conclusion as the Post‘s editors and reporters. If you don’t agree with them that AR-15s are the problem, then you are a problem in your own right. You must be cold and uncaring. You must care more about your right to own a “battlefield weapon of war” than the lives of school children or other innocent victims who lost their lives in a mass shooting. You’re selfishly putting your Second Amendment rights above the safety and security of the public.
Ryan’s been subject to that shameless attack before, even though he lost his beloved daughter to a cowardly killer using an AR-15.
— Po Murray🟧 (@po_murray) October 16, 2022
For Petty, the Washington Post‘s exploitation of these deaths in pursuit of a gun ban agenda is even more appalling because it demands a big government response even though many of these active shooter attacks are the direct result of governments’ failure to intervene beforehand.
“What we find when we peel back the layers is you understand that there’s a sick evil person at the core of this, but often a series of predictable government failures to protect innocent lives,” Petty emphasized.
“In Parkland our sheriff’s department failed repeatedly. You know, forty visits to the killer’s home and they never once charged him with something that would have disqualified him from owning a weapon. The FBI was tipped on multiple occasions about this attack and this attacker and they did nothing. So this idea that they put their faith in government to protect them, it sort of boggles the mind to be honest with you.”
I asked Ryan what he’d say to Buzbee and the team of reporters who put together this report that places the blame for these shootings on the rifle and not the individual holding it, and his message was simple and to the point. In fact, I’m going to let it be the last word, at least for this piece, though I’d encourage you to check out my entire conversation with Ryan Petty in the video window below.
“I’d tell her to stop re-victimizing the families of the victims of these tragedies. I’d tell her to go back and think about what she learned, I assume she went to journalism school, but go back and think about what she’s doing right now and does it meet that level of journalistic integrity that she was likely taught when she was in school.
Look, I understand she may have a personal animus for the Second Amendment or modern sporting rifles. We can all agree that these tragedies shouldn’t happen. But the job of a journalist is to dig and understand the who, what, when, where, and why of these things. To simply show crime scene photos and to re-victimize the family simply doesn’t have any journalistic value. What would have journalistic and societal value would be to tell the whole story. How did this happen? Why did this happen? And I get that you may feel that the Second Amendment is anachronistic, and you don’t like it, and you want change. But if you want to drive change, then you should muster any journalistic integrity you have left and tell the whole story.”