Home > Uncategorized > Tribune Shoots Itself in Foot, Not With Handgun!

Tribune Shoots Itself in Foot, Not With Handgun!

The Chicago Tribune has again weighed in on the ongoing “handguns in Chicago” debate. This time in an alleged news story. Last night, a veteran, armed with a handgun, shot and killed a vicious criminal. The criminal had fired first, twice, and the veteran returned fire, killing the miscreant with a single shot. The veteran is eighty years old. With a few more details thrown in, this makes up the bulk of the first four paragraphs of the story as reported in the Tribune. Paragraphs five through seven add nothing factual to the story, but are an op-ed piece in favor of gun control.

Paragraph five offers the writer’s opinion on the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on Chicago’s handgun ban. Paragraph six describes efforts by police to remove handguns from “the public,” saying they are the principal weapons used in murders, and used by gangs. Paragraph seven adds comments from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, along with statistics they produced. Both of the statistics they cite are irrelevant, and one is nonsensical.

It’s not until paragraph eighteen that we learn that the late criminal was on parole. In paragraph nineteen we learn he was pronounced dead at the scene, his blood spattered near the resident’s bedroom window. Paragraph 20 gives us the fact that the dead criminal had a 13 page rap sheet that includes “a number of drug and weapons convictions.”

Paragraphs twenty-one through twenty-three give us the story of a hard-working young man, with a mother who loved him and couldn’t believe that he’d do such a thing. He was taking an on-line class in carpentry, and had a job. How, oh how, could society have failed this poor young soul?

Here’s the problem with this whole morality play presented by the Tribune. It is just a piece of agit-prop, designed to encourage you to think one way about the incident. Suppose that story had been headlined, “career criminal killed during attempted murder.” Suppose the first few paragraphs went on to detail the 13 page rap sheet, not just mention drug and weapon charges. Weapon charges can mean any number of things, from possession of a knife to shooting a nun dead. What the charges are might make a difference in the reaction to the story, yes?

Suppose the story further went on to highlight the fact that the family had previously been victimized by criminals?

Then, suppose, in the interests of fairness, the Tribune gave equal time to a group on the other side of the issue from the ICAHV? Perhaps the NRA might have an equally valid view of the possession of handguns in the home.

Let’s look at what the ICAHV put on the table for this story. First, they say that handguns make up only one-third of all firearms owned in the US, but account for two-thirds of all firearm-related deaths. There are a couple of problems with that assertion that the newspaper doesn’t seem interested in. First, firearms owned by whom? Does that include law enforcement, national guard, and the military? Second, that proportion seems about right for the guns in my house. However, at least two of the non-handguns in my collection are display pieces, and cannot be fired safely. If I were of a mind to shoot someone, I’d do it with one of my handguns simply because more of them are readily available to me. Third, just what is a firearm related death? No one ever says. The paper just blindly prints what the ICAHV tells them. Hardly responsible journalism.

Secondly, ICAHV states that, “a gun in the home is four times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting.” Note that now they are talking about guns, not handguns. The real question I have is, four times more likely than what? The Tribune conveniently forgets to ask. The Tribune also fails to follow up with what should be an easy thing. How many unintentional shootings were there in Chicago, say, last year? And were there then only one-fourth of that number of intentional shootings?

The issue here isn’t really about gun control. I have guns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, so you know where I stand on this issue. In a few months, we’ll know where the Supreme Court stands on the issue, although I can make an educated guess. The issue is the unabashedly partisan attitude of the Chicago Tribune, and not just on the editorial page. Even the news articles carry propaganda that favors their viewpoint, as does every other paper as far as I can tell. And then they wonder why readership keeps dropping? Report the news, and just the news. I know where to find editorial commentary.

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