What Does It Take for the Media to Fact-Check a Gun Control Activist?

AP Photo/Jim Mone, File

We've come a long way in advancing our Second Amendment rights in the 20 years that I've been covering 2A issues, but one thing hasn't changed: the bias of the mainstream media. From news organizations partnering with pro-gun control outfits like The Trace to the outright ignorance on the issue that many reporters bring to the table, Second Amendment advocates aren't just fighting for our rights but are fighting to have the truth be told. 


Not long ago, I reached out to the opinion editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch alerting him of a falsehood in a column from the editors of Bloomberg Opinion, and if I had the time and energy, I could spend every minute of my work day doing the same about other stories I run across. Just today, I spotted two glaring errors in two separate news articles, both of which could have been caught if editors had any inkling of knowledge about firearms or the history of the gun control debate. 

In the first instance, reporters at WGAL-TV in Lancaster-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, chose to include this extraordinary statement in a story about the Harrisburg City Council considering an ordinance on "ghost guns":

"A ghost gun is a firearm that is a kit, almost. You're buying these pieces that are disassembled that if you assemble them can produce a functional firearm. These ghost gun kits, however, are sold partially, so you might see an 80% kit and you have other people who are using 3D printers to print the other 20% that's necessary," said Brandon Flood, deputy director for CeaseFire PA.

CeaseFire PA is proposing an ordinance to York and other municipalities to address the issue.

"If you're in the business of buying an unfinished firearm kit – which is also known as a ghost gun kit – you would have to be a federal firearms licensee to do so. And if you wish to sell, in order for you to sell, that person who's buying has to have a federal firearms license and the same thing for transfers," Flood said.


Say what now? First off, no one is selling a kit made of disassembled gun parts that folks can piece together to turn into a working firearm. That would be illegal. When Flood talks about "80 percent kits," what he's really referring to are incomplete frames and receivers; objects that must be finished by the purchaser before they're considered firearms under federal law. 3D printed firearms are also unserialized, which Flood objects to, but they're different than the kits that he wants the city to ban. 

This was a relatively minor falsehood, but it's still disturbing that the local TV station simply accepted Flood's take at face value when reporters could have asked a local FFL if his statement was accurate. I ran across a more troubling example of how the anti-gunners take advantage of the ignorance of the media in a Chicago Sun-Times column by former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial bemoaning the lack of federal gun control laws in the 25 years since the killings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado:

Columbine could have been a turning point. Shortly after the massacre, leaders of the National Rifle Association scrambled to formulate a response and considered canceling the organization’s upcoming convention. They feared the “horrible juxtaposition” of “kids fondling firearms” in the convention’s exhibit hall as the murdered children’s funerals took place.

The decision not only to hold the convention, but to use it as a show of contempt for a nation’s grief and outrage, set the tone for the next quarter century. In the wake of each mass atrocity, the NRA responded by fanning baseless fears of a total gun ban, rallying opposition to safety measures, and seizing on the opportunity to sell more and more guns.


Despite Morial's claims, the NRA didn't hold its Annual Meeting as planned. It cancelled everything but the members' meeting, which it had to hold as part of its bylaws. The "acres of guns and gear" that are a hallmark of NRA Annual Meetings were never opened that weekend, and what Moriel describes as a "show of contempt for a nation's grief and outrage" was nothing more than then-NRA president Charlton Heston speaking to board members and several thousand NRA members who showed up to listen:

Heston told about 2,500 cheering supporters that gun owners were being unfairly blamed. Though Americans have the right to disagree with the NRA, ``We will not be silent or be told, `Do not come here, you are not welcome in your own land,''' he said.

In the days since the rampage, America has been ``fractured into two camps'' -- gun rights advocates and gun-control law advocates, said the actor.

``We're often cast as the villain. That's not our role in American society and we will not be forced to play it,'' he said.

``We cannot, we must not let tragedy lay waste to the most rare, hard-won right in history,'' he said, referring to the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.

You can watch Heston's entire speech here, and I encourage you to take a look and compare what he actually said to Moriel's description of the event. Ironically, Heston spent several minutes bemoaning the divisions in the United States, telling NRA members, "Too many are willing to stigmatize and demonize others for political advantage, for money, or for ratings," which is exactly what Morial tried to do in his column 25 years after Heston's speech.  


He's not alone, of course. The demonization of gun owners and the de-normalization of gun ownership is still a hallmark of the gun control lobby, and they're still aided and abetted by the vast majority of media outlets who'll amplify their lies and disinformation at every opportunity. One of the reasons why Cam & Co came into existence 20 years ago was to counter those fictions with facts, and though I may call Bearing Arms home now instead of NRA News/NRATV, it's still one of my top priorities. 

Big Tech censorship has made it harder than ever to bring the truth to light, but thanks to our VIP and VIP Gold members, we're able to dispel the myths of the anti-gunners and give gun owners the information they need to be informed and engaged on Second Amendment issues. When you become a VIP or VIP Gold member, you'll not only be getting access to exclusive content unavailable to non-members. You'll be playing an active role in combatting the gun control lobby's misinformation and their manipulation of legacy media outlets. Use the promo code SAVEAMERICA and you can get a significant savings on your membership, while helping to save your Second Amendment rights at the same time. 

I don't know what it will take for the mainstream media to start fact-checking the outlandish claims of the anti-gunners, but we can't wait around for them to start doing their job. It's on us to get the truth out there, and your support is more important than ever before. 


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