When somewhere like the AP or any news organization starts talking about gun control stories, there’s always some level of poor understanding involved. That’s almost to be expected. After all, even under the most charitable interpretation of what’s going on, the reporters covering these stories and commentators discussing them aren’t exactly experts on firearms.
So, it’s not shocking they’d get some things wrong here and there.
Yet a recent story by the AP about a gun control measure being voted down in Missouri raises more questions than it can possibly answer.
The Republican-led House in Missouri on Wednesday voted against a proposal to ban minors from openly carrying firearms without adult supervision in public.
The proposal failed by a 104-39 vote, with only one Republican state representative voting in support of it.
Democratic state Rep. Donna Baringer told the Associated Press that police in her district were concerned about “14-year-olds walking down the middle of the street in the city of St. Louis carrying AR-15s,” and are demanding change.
“Now they have been emboldened, and they are walking around with them,” Baringer said regarding concealed carry by children in Missouri. “Until they actually brandish them, and brandish them with intent, our police officers’ hands are handcuffed.”
Now, to start off with, it seems pretty straightforward. A bill banning minors from carrying openly without adult supervision is something that even many gun rights advocates might consider supporting. Many won’t, though, and mostly because such a law is way too broad. Many of us went hunting on our own as kids and such a measure may restrict one’s ability to do that.
But then things get wonky with where the AP goes next.
Missouri lawmakers in 2017 repealed concealed carry requirements in most situations.
What does that have to do with anything?
Open carry and concealed carry are very different things, though neither should be restricted. What does a 2017 concealed carry measure have to do with a refusal to pass a blanket prohibition on teens carrying firearms without an adult right there with them?
Then again, this is the AP. There’s absolutely no reason they wouldn’t mention such a thing, likely in hopes of people conflating the two.
However, there are reasons why this bill didn’t go anywhere, and it had nothing to do with some strong desire to see 14-year-olds marching down the streets of St. Louis with AR-15s.
Not that I’d legitimately expect there to be any significant reporting on just why that is.
After all, in that entire piece, there’s exactly one quote from anyone who opposed the bill, despite the story being about the measure’s defeat. Instead, it’s all about how hard it is to pass gun control in Missouri.
And the AP thinks we still believe they’re unbiased? That’s downright hilarious.
Look, if parents are doing their job, the chances of Junior carrying a gun openly in public without their permission is effectively nil. It’s just not going to happen. If they’re not going their job, there’s no law in the world that will stop it from happening. That’s just the hard facts of life.
Too bad the AP didn’t mention that, either.