Media fails to show that malls are "Gun Free" zones.


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Crow1108
December 6, 2007, 01:57 PM
This is from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,315563,00.html.

Thought it hit the nail on the head.

The horrible tragedy at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. received a lot of attention Wednesday and Thursday. It should have. Eight people were killed, and five were wounded.

A Google news search using the phrase "Omaha Mall Shooting" finds an incredible 2,794 news stories worldwide for the last day. From India and Taiwan to Britain and Austria, there are probably few people in the world who havenít heard about this tragedy.

But despite the massive news coverage, none of the media coverage, at least by 10 a.m. Thursday, mentioned this central fact: Yet another attack occurred in a gun-free zone.

Surely, with all the reporters who appear at these crime scenes and seemingly interview virtually everyone there, why didnít one simply mention the signs that ban guns from the premises?

Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.

The same was true for the attack at the Trolley Square Mall in Utah in February (a copy of the sign at the mall can be seen here). But again the media coverage ignored this fact. Possibly the ban there was even more noteworthy because the off-duty police officer who stopped the attack fortunately violated the ban by taking his gun in with him when he went shopping.

Yet even then, the officer "was at the opposite end and on a different floor of the convoluted Trolley Square complex when the shooting began. By the time he became aware of the shooting and managed to track down and confront Talovic [the killer], three minutes had elapsed."

There are plenty of cases every year where permit holders stop what would have been multiple victim shootings every year, but they rarely receive any news coverage. Take a case this year in Memphis, where WBIR-TV reported a gunman started "firing a pistol beside a busy city street" and was stopped by two permit holders before anyone was harmed.

When will part of the media coverage on these multiple-victim public shootings be whether guns were banned where the attack occurred? While the media has begun to cover whether teachers can have guns at school or the almost 8,000 college students across the country who protested gun-free zones on their campuses, the media havenít started checking what are the rules where these attacks occur.

Surely, the news stories carry detailed information on the weapon used (in this case, a rifle) and the number of ammunition clips (apparently, two). But if these aspects of the story are deemed important for understanding what happened, why isnít it also important that the attack occurred where guns were banned? Isnít it important to know why all the victims were disarmed?

Few know that Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine killers, closely was following Colorado legislation that would have allowed citizens to carry a concealed handgun. Klebold strongly opposed the legislation and openly talked about it.

No wonder, as the bill being debated would have allowed permitted guns to be carried on school property. It is quite a coincidence that he attacked the Columbine High School the very day the legislature was scheduled to vote on the bill.

Despite the lack of news coverage, people are beginning to notice what research has shown for years: Multiple-victim public shootings keep occurring in places where guns already are banned. Forty states have broad right-to-carry laws, but even within these states it is the "gun-free zones," not other public places, where the attacks happen.

People know the list: Virginia Tech saw 32 murdered earlier this year; the Columbine High School shooting left 13 murdered in 1999; Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, had 23 who were fatally shot by a deranged man in 1991; and a McDonald's in Southern California had 21 people shot dead by an unemployed security guard in 1984.

All these attacks ó indeed, all attacks involving more than a small number of people being killed ó happened in gun-free zones.

In recent years, similar attacks have occurred across the world, including in Australia, France, Germany and Britain. Do all these countries lack enough gun-control laws? Hardly. The reverse is more accurate.

The law-abiding, not criminals, are obeying the rules. Disarming the victims simply means that the killers have less to fear. As Wednesday's attack demonstrated yet again, police are important, but they almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred.

The longer it takes for someone to arrive on the scene with a gun, the more people who will be harmed by such an attack.

Most people understand that guns deter criminals. If a killer were stalking your family, would you feel safer putting a sign out front announcing, "This Home Is a Gun-Free Zone"? But that is what the Westroads Mall did.

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jeepmor
December 6, 2007, 02:47 PM
The media tells you only what perpetuates their agenda until forced otherwise. Even though Fox reported this, I don't see them actually embracing it as a liberal media organization, rather maybe the person the wrote the piece.

However, I think they are finally coming around.



sorry, did not read piece, just the pasted part.

Zundfolge
December 6, 2007, 02:53 PM
Even though Fox reported this, I don't see them actually beleiving it an organization, but maybe the person the wrote the piece.
This was a clearly marked editorial piece written by John Lott. So its not quite the same thing as a "reported" piece.


Still nice to see it on Fox's front page.

k-frame
December 6, 2007, 03:02 PM
From a slightly different POV.

That opinion piece is a guy beating up on "The Media" so he can make his points. Good points mind you, but IMO he's just using The Media as his whipping boy.

The reason that "The Media" doesn't mention that the mall was a gun-free zone in the primary stories is for the same reason that "The Media" doesn't mention what color clothes the victims were wearing - it's irrelevant to the core of the story which is that some nutjob just killed a bunch of innocent people.

A newspaper or broadcaster has only so much space and time to report the critical details of a major breaking story like Omaha, or Columbine or Va Tech. From a news standpoint the gun-free issue is not relevant to the key events.

UNLESS...someone being interviewed said they had a weapon and didn't draw (for whatever reason) OR someone with a CCW took the guy out OR someone in the story (surviving victim, scared shopper, LEO, mall security, whatever) said that the situation was enabled by being a gun-free zone. THEN the gun-free issue becomes central to the story.

As it eventually did in Va. Tech the gun-free issue will surface. But for now, it's secondary to the core story which is who, what, why, when, and how (or sadly, how many).

jeepmor
December 6, 2007, 03:19 PM
it's irrelevant to the core of the story which is that some nutjob just killed a bunch of innocent people.


I don't agree, we could easily finish your sentece....a bunch of innocent people in a gun free zone. It's not irrelevant at all, the media just chooses not to mention it. With the VT event this year, gun free zone should not be overlooked whatsover. This event makes this point quite relevant. Needless to say, the media will still leave it out until they have to bring it into light.

Zundfolge
December 6, 2007, 03:19 PM
The reason that "The Media" doesn't mention that the mall was a gun-free zone in the primary stories is for the same reason that "The Media" doesn't mention what color clothes the victims were wearing - it's irrelevant to the core of the story which is that some nutjob just killed a bunch of innocent people.
I would contend (and I believe Mr Lott makes this point as well) that the "gun free zone" status of the venue of the attack is as important to the core of the story (if not more important) than the make/model/caliber of the firearm used. We always hear the make/model/caliber (in this case a 7.66mm AKSKS :scrutiny: ) but we are never told that the shooting happened in a Gun Free Zone.

RoadkingLarry
December 6, 2007, 03:34 PM
Now wait just one cotton pickin' minute! Do you folks mean to tell me that the nutjob actually took a gun into a "Gun Free Zone"? I thought those cute little "No Guns" signs on the doors kept that from happening. Being that the 10-12 laws that this whacko broke to commit this act didn't stop him it seems oblivious that we need several more in order to stop the next slaughter before its too late, its for the childrens, if it only saves one life......

htxred
December 6, 2007, 03:42 PM
the media was also calling the kid a "sniper" at first..

who knew snipers randomly blew off shots.

k-frame
December 6, 2007, 03:42 PM
I would contend (and I believe Mr Lott makes this point as well) that the "gun free zone" status of the venue of the attack is as important to the core of the story (if not more important) than the make/model/caliber of the firearm used.

Which is why that's an opinion[I] piece Mr. Lott wrote. In his opinion it's relevant. I would argue that most editors consider it unrelated to the central story. Not uninteresting, just unrelated. Many (maybe most) commercial / retail areas are gun-free. Which makes it the norm. So to insert comments about the mall being a gun-free zone -when it has no bearing on the central aspects of the story - would be to insert an editorial slant to the story. And which is what most people accuse the media of doing. :scrutiny:

I agree this guy did not go to, say, the local police station to kill people; clearly crazy doesn't always equal stupid. But he could also have done this in a church, a bus station, an airport, a barbershop. And many of those these places may be or are gun-free. [I]None of it has anything to do with why this guy went nuts and started shooting people. As said before, if someone shot back THEN the gun-free zone becomes an interesting point to the story. But not until then.

jeepmor
December 6, 2007, 03:48 PM
None of it has anything to do with why this guy went nuts and started shooting people.

But everything to do with WHERE this guy chose to go to shoot people. It's entirely relevant, it's just left out because that's the way the news organizations work. It was central in this kid's decision of where to commit the massacre, it should be central to the story, period.

Zundfolge
December 6, 2007, 03:53 PM
I would argue that most editors consider it unrelated to the central story.
And I would argue that 1) they are wrong and 2) they choose to pretend it is unrelated to the central story and leave out this fact because it doesn't fit their political agenda (in addition, they put the make/model/caliber of the weapon used IN the story to fit this same political agenda).

jeepmor
December 6, 2007, 03:58 PM
I'm with Zundfolge, I was just chiming back in to make the same points.

The media, the same as our government, does not get to pick the relevancy of any points they choose to share. The truth IS relevant. They just place themselves on a pedestal and tout that they are providing relevant details because of the agendas involved and the truth gets in the way of said agendas.

How is a media to support anti-gun legislation when the hard data supports the opposite. They only provide the talking points that support your position, none that oppose it.

Give it a little while, Helmke will being chiming in soon enough saying that banning guns would have prevented this massacre, all the while, ignoring that this was a venue in which guns WERE banned.

k-frame
December 6, 2007, 04:19 PM
Make and model is relevant. What did he use? How did he cause this much damage? Might he have caused more? Was he far away? Close up? Skilled? Unskilled? How did he acquire the weapon? Legally or illegally? (Illegally as it turns out). Was the weapon "legal" for that area (yeah, I know, another discussion...but it would be even more relevant if it was found that he was using a banned full-auto weapon.)

And yes, where he chose was important - he chose a place where he could do a lot of damage, lots of targets. But like I said before MANY places are gun free and that is viewed as the norm. That's the difference. If he chose to shoot up a cop shop or a gun store, then it's a different story. It's not about some perceived agenda, it's about facts being relevant to the story.

Put it another way.

Reporter includes in the story "Mall XYZ is a gun-free zone."

Editor reads story, says "Yeah? So what? Did this guy say anything about that in his note? Did a cop tell you that fact made the guy pick this place as opposed to any one of a hundred other public places?"

"Uhh...no."

"Then take it out. Or show how it's relevant to why this guy went nuts. Or that he deliberately chose that mall because it's a gun-free zone and not because it was full of Christmas shoppers. Deadline in 5 minutes so get it done or take it out."

USAFNoDAk
December 6, 2007, 05:01 PM
And I would argue that 1) they are wrong and 2) they choose to pretend it is unrelated to the central story and leave out this fact because it doesn't fit their political agenda (in addition, they put the make/model/caliber of the weapon used IN the story to fit this same political agenda).


News editors' ideologies in play:

Assault weapons are BAD! Make sure our reporting to the public shows that an assault weapon was used so that it will make it easier to ban them.

Gun free zones are GOOD. Make sure we don't report that this massacre with a gun took place in a mall that banned guns. That might wake the public up to the foolishness of these "gun free zones". We've got an agenda, gull darn it, and we'll have our quill pens ripped from our cold dead fingers before we'll print a story that paints any gun ownership in a positive light! Now get out there and report with as heavy a bias against firearms and the second amendment as you think you can get away with! It's for the children!

686S&W
December 7, 2007, 12:42 AM
Gun free zones. Hmmm. More like 'Weapon's Free Zones' for the bad guys.

If you invest in gun free zones we'll throw in volcano insurance, and bear patrols.

geekWithA.45
December 13, 2007, 08:23 AM
Wasn't activism last time, either.

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