Recently I perused the “Gun Violence Archive.” It’s a website that catalogs the toll from “gun violence” without distinction: if a thug trying to stab a woman is shot by the police, well, that’s “gun violence.” Personally I think of it as smart policing. But while the website is long on statistics, it sure is short on follow up.
The one good thing about the site is that it links to the news story that reports the incident of “gun violence.” If you had any doubt that the media is unfairly characterizing everything as “gun violence” and believes that only the NRA is responsible for it, all you need do is look at the reporting of these incidents to find the truth.
First we have an report about a man arrested in a fatal north Minneapolis shooting. See the additional reports here.
Here is what’s interesting: there is no information about shooter other than who he is. What he did, what weapon he used, whether he had a record, or anything else is not reported. Just “man arrested after shooting.” So, would a little detective work tell us more about this? Probably, but that assumes that the media is interested enough in the crime to report on it through the charging and trial stages. Clearly the television media are not. A more complete report of the incident is found here. In that report we learn that the violence involved a woman, and that two handguns were used. Curiously, no one thought to inquire about whether Brown was a prohibited possessor. Amazing, no? Given the individuals involved and the tenor of the reporting, it is clear no one wanted to know the answer.
Another story on the site talks about a domestic violence episode that killed a young woman. Here is the story. And it sticks in my craw as an example of negligent prosecution.
Deferred Prosecution? Really?
One of the things that gun control advocates talk about is how important background checks are, but they omit the fact that even the best legal system can be gamed. That appears to be what the shooter here did. According to the story, “In 2001, Thompson was charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun in Dallas County; that charge was dismissed in 2003 after he completed deferred-adjudication probation.” In other words, there was no conviction because the prosecutor allowed a guy charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun to get a deferred prosecution agreement. In those cases the charge is dismissed if the person completes the probation. But, here’s the rub: clearly the guy had an arrest record, just not a conviction, and should never have been in possession of a firearm. In short, no gun crime of any kind should ever get deferred prosecution because it is unlikely in the extreme to be a situation where things will work out down the road.
Then we have the story of a young man who had just been released from prison for involvement in gang activity. He had spent two years there, and told his mother that people were gunning for him when he got out. Sure enough, he was shot to death:
Again, the article here talks about the gang violence, but never points out that gang members don’t buy their firearms at the local Bass Pro. They steal them, or pay someone else to steal them. And as story after story on this site demonstrates, follow up on these cases is almost non-existent. Many of the stories end with “anyone with information should call….” Right! Like that’s going to happen in a gang-related homicide.
The Sob Story
But the media is not scared to tell us a sob story when it advances the gun control narrative. Read this one:
There is no question that this incident of domestic violence should never have happened, but while the article does not explicitly say he used a handgun, that is a fair understanding based on the police saying they found the gun in his hand. Curiously, no one in the media ever mentions that a 19 year old cannot lawfully buy a pistol, and cannot lawfully carry a pistol. The one good thing about the story is that the scumbag saved the taxpayers the money of a trial and shot himself to death.
Other than posting the original story, the archive offers only the raw statistical information. So, I wondered if there were stories from several months ago with more involved reporting. Picking several different stories at random from the week of April 14, I tried to google for additional information about the murders, and the suspects where they were identified. Little to no additional information was available, indicating that when a person is murdered in many of the larger cities in this country, and the murderer is not immediately caught, there is almost no chance that a suspect will be identified and caught. Numerous “gang-related” shootings (many where the newspaper states “witnesses say…”) had no useful leads for police. In many of these gang-related shootings is seems that police simply collect the remains, process the evidence, and chalk up the death to gang activity.
Given that there are so many of these murders committed in the US every day (we’re over 4,800 for the year) I cannot imagine why anyone who was legally able to carry a firearm for protection would not do so. But, of course, that aspect of the reporting would never be published because it goes against the main media narrative that you, and I, and the NRA are responsible for all these deaths. It seems pretty obvious from some of these crimes that if guns were not available people would still be dead, they’d just be dead from a different cause.
I think we can officially say that American Journalism is dead.