Why do I read Gannet newspapers?


September 10, 2009, 06:26 PM
This afternoon I got my copy of the Lafayette Journal and Courier. There on the front page in headline type was the question- "Why did he leave the gun loaded?"

The subject of the story had pointed a handgun at his friend -allegedly as a prank- and pulled the trigger shooting his friend in the throat and killing him.

The guy had been drinking (four beers and three shots)
He believed he had cleared the weapon.
He pointed it at something he claimed he didn't wish to destroy.
He had his finger on the trigger...

Gannet paper's worry? Why did he leave it loaded? At least they changed the headline on the online version of the story.


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September 10, 2009, 06:43 PM
Yet, it will still be the gun's fault. Not the drinking, not the violation of firearms rules, not the pure idiocy, but the gun. It's always the gun's fault. (sigh)

September 10, 2009, 09:07 PM
was blaming the gun. I interpet that completely differently. Why DID he have the gun loaded if he was going to point it at a friend?

September 10, 2009, 09:15 PM
It wasn't. I was being facetious regarding how often articles make the gun take the fall. This article didn't take that angle (refreshing). Sorry for sounding cynical.

I am surprised that this thread is still active. News posts + shootings usually equal lockdown.

September 10, 2009, 10:51 PM
I just read the article. It's not the most artfully written piece of prose I've ever read, but it is certainly not biased. The "Why did he leave it loaded?" line was a quote from the shooter via a responding officer.

It seems like a tragic story caused by some idiots acting like idiots. That's pretty much what the story says.

September 10, 2009, 11:39 PM
I took offense to the headline on the printed, the bias is subtle and absent in the online version.

September 11, 2009, 05:44 PM
LibShooter has it right here. The offending headline is not the newspaper's take on the story: It came from the folks involved in the situation.

All newspapers are not alike, whether owned by Gannett or not. The company does not issue edicts from its headquarters in Virginia saying that each newspaper editor should write bad or misleading headlines each day, especially about gun stories. Sometimes they get it right, and sometimes they don't -- just like everybody else. In this case, they got it mostly right, IMO.

The Wiry Irishman
September 11, 2009, 05:51 PM
One of their reporters talked to me for an earlier article about this. It was a good article, fairly unbiased, about what went wrong and how it could be prevented, etc. They got my name wrong, after several back-and-forth email correspondence between the reporter and I, who has interviewed me previously for other gun articles.

Found the link: http://www.jconline.com/article/20090825/NEWS0501/908250330

A fatal shooting of a college student in West Lafayette Saturday had some Purdue University students saying they'd rethink their drinking and risky behavior.

Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in why Landon Siela, 21, of Fort Wayne was shot and killed by a friend.

"I think it is important for students to know that alcohol has serious consequences when it is abused," said Tammy Loew, Purdue's health advocacy coordinator in the student wellness office. "Sometimes commercials make it seem like such a harmless thing, but there are really harmful things that can come from it."

As the first day of classes ended Monday many Purdue students were in agreement: The university can only do so much to educate students on dangerous actions.

"There is nothing wrong with guns. There is nothing wrong with drinking," said Josh Teasdale, a Purdue senior. "But you cannot mix the two. There has to be responsibility for each person."

Purdue uses a combination of peer-to-peer education, a community task force, alcohol-free programs and counseling for substance abuse to help students understand alcohol's risks.

"And it is working," Loew said. "I don't see a need to change what we are doing."

The programs in place have helped reduce high-risk drinking in first-year students between 2006 and 2008 by 6.6 percentage points, Loew said.

Based on a 2008 Purdue Wellness Survey, Loew said, 69.9 percent of students living in university housing and 58.8 percent of students living off campus did not engage in high-risk drinking.

High-risk drinking is considered consuming four drinks for a woman and five drinks for a man in a few hours, Loew said.

Adam Lowe, president of the Purdue Rifle and Pistol Club, said the shooting could offer a teachable moment in gun safety. First, he said, no one should ever point a firearm at another person as a joke, even if they believe the gun is unloaded.

"Pointing a gun at someone increases the probability of an accident," Lowe said. "And any risk when it comes to firearms is unacceptable."

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