Media Blames SC Shooting On Judge's Ruling

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The city of Columbia, South Carolina decided they needed to do something about various shootings in their town. They passed a gun control law. Now, this isn’t overly surprising since a lot of communities do it.

However, Columbia is in a state that has preemption. In other words, it’s illegal for them to do so. A judge ruled that it was illegal.

Then there was a shooting. Like, just after the ruling, and the media there is trying to tie the two events together.

Gun-control rules enacted by the city of Columbia violate state law and are invalid, a Richland County judge ruled May 4.

Minutes after the ruling became public, a gun fight was reported in Five Points around 4:20 p.m. with one man injured and bullet holes riddled in cars on Greene Street near Harden Street.

The injured man’s wounds did not appear life-threatening, Columbia Police said. Officers were reviewing surveillance video to learn more about what happened. A red left Air Jordan sneaker was left in the middle of Greene Street in the aftermath.

It was not long after the punishing winds and pelting rain subsided that the sound of gunfire rang out across the street from Papa Jazz Record Shoppe.

Christopher Bickel, the vinyl record buyer at Papa Jazz, posted on Facebook that he heard a couple of pops outside the shop and assumed it was an electrical transformer exploding from the violent rain storm.

When Bickel looked out an upstairs window of the store, he said he saw two men firing guns. He estimated they shot 20 rounds at someone else he couldn’t see before they fled.

The gunfire took place while the Columbia City Council was meeting.

“The reality is we’ve got to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of folks that want to do harm to each other,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said after the city council received an update on the shootout during a meeting May 4.

The city plans to appeal the court ruling that halts three of its gun-control ordinances. Benjamin, an attorney, renewed his pledge to argue the case himself before the state Supreme Court.

The order issued May 4 by Judge Jocelyn Newman sided with S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, whose office sued the city after council passed various gun-control rules.

Now, it’s clear that the shooting had absolutely nothing at all to do with the ruling, so why include it? Well, because the paper wants people to link the two events together.

See, these are two separate stories. The shooting is news, sure, and so is the ruling, but they’re not linked. Yes, the timing is unfortunate for those of us who oppose Columbia’s laws, but one has nothing to do with the other.

Anyone with half a brain knows that.

What the paper has done, though, is shape a narrative. They want readers to link the events. They have to know that the bad guys weren’t waiting on pins and needles for the judge’s decision before acting violently. I’m pretty sure the only court cases they follow involve either themselves or a friend.

And the paper knows that.

They just hope you don’t know it.

The truth of the matter is that the ruling was the right one. These laws that Columbia passed are illegal. They don’t have the authority to pass them. The judge saw that plain as day. Anyone could.

But the paper doesn’t like the ruling, so they opted to frame a completely different act of violence as somehow related so as to sway opinion against the ruling. It’s pathetic, but this is how the media handles things these days.

And I’m sure the writer of this and the editors involved also wonder why so few people trust the media anymore.