Category Archives: Media Partisanship & Bias

Louisville’s Tim Faulkner Gallery shooting and a complete lack of outrage.

If a “mass shooting” occurs, and no talking heads are angry about it, will people make a sound?  The answer is: no.

This weekend, there was a concert event at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, located in Louisville’s West End – specifically in Portland.  For those who aren’t familiar with the venue, Tim Faulkner’s is a 26,000 square foot mixed-use facility near the Ohio River, that is home to both artist space, McQuixote Books & Coffee, and a 10,000 square foot performance area that hosts various events.  It is surrounded by warehouses, manufacturing, and a lower income homes that are slowly being gentrified by hipsters, trendy restaurants & businesses encroaching into the area.  Kentucky Kustom Cycles is across the street, Louisville & Indiana Railroad is two buildings east, and Habitat for Humanity’s Louisville office is two streets south.

When 5 people are shot at 1AM, you’d think that people would be upset by this.  One woman, a student at University of Louisville, died. 5 were wounded and expected to recover.  After the outrage of the Orlando Nightclub shooting, all of the usual suspects were up in arms.  They quickly blamed everyone from the NRA, to the firearms industry, to the GOP for enabling the killer to murder all of those innocent people.

Imagine my surprise when I saw absolutely zero mention of this weekend’s horror in my social media feeds.  The same people who would wail and rend their clothes in a morbid kabuki display of virtue signaling; the social justice warriors who proudly declare that anyone who opposes gun control is a psychopath, and that the NRA is evil… why, they were silent.

24 hours later, there are no calls for gun control.  No screaming about the easy availability of firearms.   No talk about innocent lives lost or the societal cost of gun ownership, or how Something. Must. Be. Done.

Why on earth would that be?  Simple.  Here’s the event where the shooting occured:

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The victims? No elementary school children.  No casualties from the LGBTQ community. A distinct lack of media friendly corpses to be used as macabre props, because this is the wrong demographic. No possible hate crime, and if the shooter is caught, he will probably already have a long criminal record.   It’s not as easy for the gun control movement to dance in the blood of the victims when this sort of thing happens.

It’s difficult to manufacture outrage when it’s a people being shot at a rap concert. Because of this, the personalities that generate talking points have nothing to say because their audience is just going to shrug their shoulders and go “what did you expect” when they see the event & the victims.

You see, this type of “mass shooting” doesn’t fit the narrative.  Louisville’s West End is known as the bad part of town, with the city’s poverty, crime rates, shootings & drug issues all congregate to become that area middle-class mothers warn their kids to avoid.

No Facebook profile pictures will be changed to say “We stand with Portland.” The people shot will only be mentioned again as a statistic: they will be lumped in with other similar “mass shootings” to paint firearms ownership as a stain upon society.

Thus, the truth is laid bare: those who scream the loudest about gun control aren’t really invested in it.  It’s not a cause they actually care about, because if it was they would be marching for the victims of Saturday’s shooting.  No, gun control is merely a tool in the arsenal; a facet of tribal politics & a way for them to lash out against their political opponents.  It’s something that is only mentioned when they can puff themselves up in righteous anger, and preen in their cloaks of moral righteousness; because their opinions are right and those who disagree are clearly evil.  If something cannot be used as a weapon against your enemies, it is ignored.

Their silence makes it all too obvious how this is not a battle for what’s right, or to reduce “gun violence” whatsoever, but to score points off their opponents.  Because, let’s face it: If these people were truly passionate about their beliefs, if they truly felt that Black Lives Matter, or that every life is precious, then they would be screaming about this sort of thing happening. Instead, we hear crickets.

The political winds do not favor gun control, thus the faithful do not need to be rallied.  Better to save their outrage for whatever other convenient controversy can be manipulated.

NOWTTYG: MSNBC Urges Dem Senators o Seize ‘Opportunity’ of Terror Attack to Push Anti-Gun Agenda

Newsbusters posted this a few days back, with a clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.

Here’s the transcript:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: …background checks, still 97% of Americans support background checks. 60% of American support some sort of ban on so called assault weapons. In that stricter gun law, 61% support. That assault weapon number is higher than usual. So now does seem like again an opportunity, I think, in large part because of the acts of terror that have happened in San Bernardino and then in Orlando. 

KATTY KAY: You know I think there is an opportunity, but all of us who have watched this over the years right Joe after Newtown we’re so feel so cynical and defeated about the prospect of getting anything done. But I was wondering, from the senator, is there anything that can be done short of changing the statutes. For example, red flags that pop up to the FBI if somebody has been under investigation, but that investigation is now closed. Which is what the FBI’s argument is in this case. Is that you know is there something that can happen short of having to actually get congressional approval?

Oh, this is an opportunity for change? Let’s approach this from a facts based manner:

The last “several” mass shootings were carried out by people who were background checked, or more. In the case of the Orlando shooter:

  • The shooter bought his guns at a gun store, where he was background checked.
  •  He had a concealed carry permit, for which he was background checked.
  •  He had a state firearms license, for which he was background checked.
  •  He was also an armed security guard for a government contractor which required an active security clearance, for which he was (you guessed it) background checked.
  • Somewhere in the last two he had to have 60 hours of training and a medical exam that certified he had no issues.
  •  The FBI interviewed him, twice, and investigated him for 10 months. He wasn’t on the Terrorist Watchlist either – they pulled him off after they didn’t find anything actionable.

Universal Background Checks wouldn’t have stopped this. Using the Terror Watchlist wouldn’t have stopped this. FBI interviews didn’t stop this. This was a government failure all the way around. This guy was a poster child for antigun policy proposals and still turned around and killed people.

In the case of San Bernardino, the shooters killed their victims in spite of a litany of California laws:

  •  Assault weapons ban.
  •  Mandatory handgun registration
  •  Mandatory rifle registration
  •  Mandatory safety training requirements
  •  Mandatory waiting periods before picking up guns after buying them.
  •  High capacity magazine bans
  •  Detachable magazine bans on rifles
  •  Mandatory Universal Background Checks
  •  Ban on open carry of weapons
  •  De facto ban on concealed carry thanks to arbitrary “may issue” requirements
  •  Total prohibition of bombs

Something does have to give. We need to stop rewarding the failure of gun control with more gun control. We need to examine whether these laws work, and if they don’t, eliminate them because they aren’t serving their purpose (other than to make red tape for non-criminals).

No one wants to take your guns: “Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment”

It’s gotten to the point where I’m going to have to create a new category: No One Wants To Take Your Guns.

Because this shit is getting out of hand.

Supposed Constitutional Law Professor David S. Cohen penned this nonsensical rant for Rolling Stone the other day, “Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment

In the face of yet another mass shooting, now is the time to acknowledge a profound but obvious truth – the Second Amendment is wrong for this country and needs to be jettisoned. We can do that through a Constitutional amendment. It’s been done before (when the Twenty-First Amendment repealed prohibition in the Eighteenth), and it must be done now.

Yeah, because we should just eliminate constitutional rights because something bad happened.  My rights end where your feelings begin. Mind you, this only applies to the 2nd amendment.  Hate speech? Well no, we can’t eliminate the 1st amendment!  A criminal getting away with murder because of the right to remain silent? Not a good reason there.

Rather, it’s only the burdensome 2nd amendment that is regularly targeted for elimination.  And remember, no one wants to take your guns.

Another head scratcher from the Washington Post: “How to protect gun rights while reducing the toll of gun violence”

WaPo churned out an editorial that had me shaking my head about the gall of the antigun movement.

The opening paragraph doesn’t hesitate, but rather leaps straight in to revisionist history:

Twenty years ago, one of us was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, supporting research to build an evidence base to advance the science of gun-violence prevention. The other of us was a Republican representative from Arkansas determined to dismantle that effort because conservatives had concluded that it was aimed at gun control and not gun violence.

Well.  That’s one way to put it.

The two authors, Jay Dickey & Mark Rosenberg, are listed with the byline:

Jay Dickey, a Republican, represented Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000. Mark Rosenberg, president and chief executive of the Task Force for Global Health, was director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1994 to 1999.

Dickey was the the key figure behind the Dickey-Wicker Amendment that slapped the CDC on the wrist for their overt bias in antigun research; he apparently had a change of heart after Sandy Hook.  Rosenberg was the head of the CDC department that funded said research, and is by no means impartial, having been a supporter of outright confiscation.  This Reason article contains quotes from him, including:

Rosenberg “envisions a long term campaign, similar to [those concerning] tobacco use and auto safety, to convince Americans that guns are, first and foremost, a public health menace.” In 1994 he told The Washington Post, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.”

Oh yeah, I’m sure he’s completely changed his tune twenty years later. It’s not like he was quoted here in 2013 when talking about the CDC funding prohibition:

“It terrorized the bureaucracy and it terrorized the research community,” Rosenberg said of the episode. …

“I think they want to suppress information that doesn’t support their ideological position,” said Rosenberg, referring to the gun lobby.

Terrorized? That is strong wording it must be a fluke… oh wait, here’s one from a month prior.

Mark Rosenberg, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, had even stronger words. “The scientific community has been terrorized by the NRA,” Rosenberg said.

And here’s one from October 2012:

We’re being held hostage to firearm violence,” Rosenberg says, citing the NRA as the cause. “All of the science that could possibly give us answers is being stopped.”

Sure, he’s changed his tune, just listen to him:

When we met, at a congressional appropriations hearing in 1996, we fiercely opposed each other’s positions. But over years of communicating, we came to see that, while we had differences, we also shared values. We became colleagues, and we became friends. We have argued with each other and learned much from each other. We both belong to the National Rifle Association, and we both believe in the Second Amendment.

The problem with this statement is that the 2nd Amendment isn’t there to preserve duck hunting or single shot .22LR pistols.

The dishonesty continues just two paragraphs later:

Our nation does not have to choose between reducing gun-violence injuries and safeguarding gun ownership. Indeed, scientific research helped reduce the motor vehicle death rate in the United States and save hundreds of thousands of lives — all without getting rid of cars. For example, research led to the development of simple four-foot barricades dividing oncoming traffic that are preventing injuries and saving many lives. We can do the same with respect to firearm-related deaths, reducing their numbers while preserving the rights of gun owners.

Sure, we haven’t gotten rid of cars.  There’s also no organized movement to remove them, no “Moms Demand” for mass transit, no “Everytown” to get rid of sports cars. You can bet your ass though that when driverless cars are a viable option, they will be mandated.

You know what’s missing from this empty statement? An actual example supporting his claim.  You mention scientific research into cars and even a layman can list improvements that reduce accidents & fatalities: seatbelts, third brake lights, airbags, etc.  All of these, however, were privately developed by automobile companies and only later mandated in safety standards.

Strangely though, the authors can’t give a single example for research & development that would preserve firearms rights as he claims. Why is that?  Why have all of public health recommendations been “ban assault weapons” and “ban magazines” and “ban guns”?

If we are to be successful , those of us on opposite sides of this issue will have to do a better job of respecting, understanding and working with each other. In the area of firearms injuries, collaboration has a special meaning. It will require real partnership on the design of the research we do because while we often hear about “common-sense gun laws,” common sense is not enough to both keep us safe and to protect the Second Amendment.

And for some reason the “common sense” laws aren’t so much “common sense” as talking points that don’t bear up.  There’s no “respecting, understanding and working with each other” because one side has absolutely no interest in compromise or even rational thinking.  They just want a death by 1000 cuts approach until they can make sweeping bans.

There is urgency to our task. Both of us now believe strongly that federal funding for research into gun-violence prevention should be dramatically increased. But the language accompanying this appropriation should mirror the language already in the law: “No funds shall be used to advocate or promote gun control.” This prohibition can help to reassure supporters of the Second Amendment that the CDC will use the money for important research and not for gun-control advocacy. However, it is also important for all to understand that this wording does not constitute an outright ban on federal gun-violence prevention research. It is critical that the appropriation contain enough money to let science thrive and help us determine what works.

Overall, I’m not impressed with this plea for funding.  Sorry, Dr Rosenberg, but we’re way past the “once bitten, twice shy” stage. The funding prohibition against gun control advocacy already exists and yet antigun “researchers” simultaneously whine that there is a prohibition on research (through various articles & OpEds that fail to mention the CDC’s past activities) while churning out antigun studies funded by Bloomberg & Joyce.  Given these facts, why do you think we should not be suspicious that revisiting the issue and increasing funding will happen without

  1. The advocacy prohibition being stripped away
  2. A return to the previous shenanigans

It’s not like Wintermute, Hemenway, Kellerman or any of the others have changed their stripes.

If you have a plan on addressing “preventable” firearms deaths, you need to realize that suicide, homicide, and accidents are three distinctly different problems that require separate solutions. Come back when you have a proposal other than “Remove guns, problem solved.”

Nobody is talking about “banning guns”… they just want to greatly limit ownership. And ban you from being one of the owners.

Remember when the common phrase was that “nobody is talking about banning guns” or that gun control was a political third rail?

Yeah about that.  The HuffPo, which rarely (if ever) is moderate on the firearms issue, published an article titled “Needed: Domestic Disarmament, Not ‘Gun Control’

Well at least they are being forthright about their intentions now, instead of beating about the bush.

Good progressive people may well respond that they must start with small, incremental measures, because the really big, effective ones do not have a prayer. But neither do the tiny ones, at least on the national level. The NRA will not yield an inch.

One needs no better evidence than to note that Congress just refused to ban people on the no-fly list, those strongly suspected of being terrorists, from buying guns legally in the U.S.! Moreover, the NRA is moving the needle in the opposite direction, getting more and more states to allow people to carry concealed weapons, in more and more places.

Most progressives seem unaware that whatever laws are finally enacted will have very little effect because the NRA and its allies in Congress have found powerful ways to prevent their enforcement. The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 bans the ATF from inspecting gun dealers more than once in any 12-month period, even if violations are uncovered, and it reduces record-keeping violations from a felony to a misdemeanor offense, the result being that gun dealers are very rarely prosecuted.

There is nothing “good” or “progressive” denying people effective self defense and curtailing civil liberties in the name of security theater.  Using a secret government watchlist in order to do so should be anathema to any actual “good progressive” that isn’t a complete shill.

It’s not just the HuffPo either.  Besides the previously mentioned NYT’s front page editorial calling for an end to the gun “epidemic”, other people are bravely stepping forward to say that it’s time for us gun owners to give up our rights:

Samantha Paige Rosen opined:

As long as guns are in wide circulation, people who intend to harm will get hold of them.

Which explains why heroin, cocaine, meth and other drugs are completely eradicated from the country.

Daylin Leach writes that we should “Stand up to the NRA, pass commonsense gun-control” like “one gun a month” legislation, magazine capacity limits and more… ignoring that California has these exact laws in place and it did not stop the San Bernardino shooting.

He does have this correct though:

Guns have become the line in the sand. It doesn’t matter how reasonable or modest the restriction, there will be no compromise. Logic doesn’t matter. This is no longer a political issue. It is a theological issue.

He just doesn’t realize that he and his cohorts are the zealots who thump their gun control bibles while screaming that the heretical NRA must be burned at the stake.  The Wall Street Journal also noted this in their article “The Liberal Theology of Gun Control

Earlier this year I wondered if we were seeing the beginnings of a full court press on gun control.  Looks like I was right.

Yesterday House Democrats tried to push gun control over a dozen times, using the terror “watchlist”.   While trying to create a “gotcha” moment for the Republicans, this may backfire later when their attempts to eliminate due process are held against them in upcoming elections.

The rush to judgement is real, but what’s missing? Rational examination of what failed.

Newsbusters has outlined yet another example of “blame the NRA for everything” and outright media bias in the rush to judgment after a mass shooting:

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/kristine-marsh/2015/12/02/media-blame-conservatives-nra-knowing-anything-about-san

There’s some things to keep in mind about California, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.    California:

  • Assault Weapons Ban
  • Magazine Capacity Bans
  • Bans detachable high capacity magazines in rifles
  • Universal Background Checks
  • Mandatory Handgun Registration
  • Mandatory Long Gun registration
  • Mandatory waiting periods for all firearms purchases
  • Mandatory safety testing of all firearms, with only “approved” guns being allowed to be sold in the state
  • A total ban on open carry
  • “May issue” concealed carry, which is effectively a de facto ban of the same.

None of that prevented the San Bernardino shooting.  Yet those measures are the “wish list” for gun control advocates.  Maybe it’s time to start asking the hard questions about why their policies don’t work.

The so called “terrorist loophole” or how the Left admitted they hate due process

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Harry Reid and his buddies have decided that they just can’t let this opportunity slide by – they want to eliminate the so called “terrorist loophole” on firearms:

“Republicans care more about kowtowing to the NRA than preventing terrorists from legally buying assault rifles and explosives like the ones used in the Paris attacks here in America,” Reid said in a statement. “Shockingly, Republicans continue to preserve a loophole that allows FBI terror suspects to buy guns and explosives legally, without background checks.”

Wut.  Chuck Schumer got in the act as well:

“Right now there is a major loophole that would make your jaw drop. Under current law, suspected or known terrorists who are on a no fly list can legally purchase firearms and explosives,” Schumer said.

“We have to change this law. No-fly should mean no-buy for terrorists. Right now, amazingly, it does not.”

Motherfucker, that’s not a loophole.  That’s how the law was designed.  I’ve called out Schumer before when he tried to use this tactic – The problem with this “terrorist loophole” idea is twofold: one, it’s yet another attack on the private selling of firearms without universal background checks, but even worse it would appear that Reid, Schumer and their ilk are saying that they no longer are even pretending to care about due process.

The people on the terrorism watchlist haven’t been convicted of a crime. Techdirt had an article illustrating that 40% of them aren’t even associated with any known terrorist group, that’s 280,000 people.   There’s no oversight on how someone is added, and even the ACLU is showing concern over it.

Yet despite this, Schumer & Reid think that it’s ok to strip away civil liberties without even the barest hint of a trial let alone a conviction Naturally their allies have absolutely no problem with this which shows just how fucked up the press is.

Nancy Pelosi was unintentionally ironic when she made this statement that it was:

 “outrageous that we would slam the door on women and children but allow terrorists to buy guns.”

Because, you know, it’s wrong to be worried about refugees after fake Syrian passports were used in the Paris attacks and there is a booming black market for them.   I agree, it’s wrong to assume that all refugees are terrorists – but when it comes to gun control Reid, Schumer, Pelosi and the rest have absolutely no problem acting like all firearms purchasers are hardened criminals.

What’s almost as bad is that the New York Daily News is using this to bash the NRA.  You might remember them from trying to have the NRA declared a terrorist organization back in October.

The hypocrisy is blatant and the fact that nobody of prominence is calling them out for it is sad.

Update: Salon.com has leapt into the fray to seize upon how the NRA is a bunch of mean meanies for wanting people to be convicted before losing their rights:

The GOP will do just about anything to cloak itself in patriotic bellicosity. They’ll send your brothers and sisters into harrowing war zones, poorly equipped and without exit strategies, with enemies blended into the population. They’ll call for the invasion and occupation of nation’s with zero connection to 9/11. They’ll tell us we can’t have a First Amendment if we’re dead. But all of that ends at Wayne LaPierre’s line in the sand. It’s been nine months since the most recent proposal to close the gun gap has been proposed and there’s no real passage in sight, knowing the NRA’s history of strong-arming legislators against the overwhelming will of the people and of common sense. The next time you have to practically strip naked in an airport security line, bear in mind that any would-be terrorist in line with you was easily able to buy a gun. You know, because liberty.

Free speech, voting rights, equal protection and privacy rights for women, and the ability for Muslim-Americans to freely practice their religion is totally up for grabs, but the ability of suspected terrorists to buy a gun shall not be infringed under any circumstances, according to the GOP. It’s difficult to accept how egregiously disgraceful this is, and in a perfect world the GOP would be scolded into submission and the NRA would be exposed for its deadly absolutism. But don’t hold your breath.

It’s a horrible thing that free speech, voting rights, equal protection & privacy rights for women and all the rest are being attacked, so Salon thinks it’s only fair that the 2nd amendment be destroyed as well.

The sheer lack of self awareness.