Maine WCSH6 article


April 5, 2013, 10:30 AM
WCSH6 has reported on the 'fact' that Mainers want tougher gun laws. Although they haven't done anything wrong they've reported only one side of the issue and I've written a letter to ask them to report both sides if they're going to explore the issue.

I ask other Mainers to do the same.

Edit: this is the e-mail address I sent mine to:

My letter to WCSH6:
After reading your recent article titled, 'Activists want tougher gun laws in Maine' I would like to point out that there are many issues surrounding these proposed 'feel good' laws that do not do anything to stop criminals only infringe on the Rights of law abiding citizens. It is proven that most criminals obtain firearms by either stealing them or getting a family member that can pass a background check to purchase it for them. If your reporting is truly impartial you should look into the overwhelming amount of Mainers who OPPOSE these proposed 'feel good' laws and why there are so many reasons law abiding citizens don't want them. Even the ACLU has stated they have serious concerns about the way these Bills are written.

We ask that you don't just report one side of the issue but explore both sides if you're going to explore them at all. The Bangor Daily News had a big public backlash for attacking the Rights of Mainers, please keep your reporting impartial and report both sides of the issue. Thank you.


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April 5, 2013, 10:59 AM
Here's my letter to WCSH6:

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm writing to take issue with the lack of fact checking and impartiality in your recent article "Activists want tougher gun laws in Maine".

I would assume that if you're striving for impartial news reporting, you will be posting an article about the other side of the issue - that Maine has a long standing tradition of gun ownership, but that more importantly, violent crime is the result of bad people, not inanimate objects and that guns are used for legal defensive purposes (to save lives) FAR more often than they're used to commit violent acts.

Second, there were numerous statements in your article that were either misleading or blatantly incorrect. For example, "...because Maine doesn't require background checks for guns sold at gun shows..." is wrong. The laws for sales at gun shows is the same as any other sale - if it's a dealer making the sale, there MUST be a background check. If it's a private sale, the seller must verify that the person is of legal age and further, the seller CANNOT sell to anyone they have any reason to suspect cannot legally own the firearm. And there is no such thing as a "...private dealer who is not required to do background checks or keep any records..." You are either a licensed dealer or you're not. If you're not, then you're still allowed to make a private sale, but there are still restrictions; if you aren't licensed and you're making money or doing it a lot, you're committing a crime.

Also, of that "30 percent of people in Maine [who] are rejected from purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer..." (and you ought to check that number before posting it), how many are prosecuted for trying to buy a gun illegally? Perhaps you should write a story about the failed justice system and how more new laws are useless if the existing ones aren't being enforced. How victims of crime or domestic abuse would have been saved if those people had been prosecuted for lying on their background check form?

And how many of those rejected when trying to purchase a gun through a licensed dealer will simply have someone else purchase the firearm for them, or steal it (the two ways that most criminals end up with guns)?

Lastly, in addition to the factual issues with your article, there were at least two spelling and/or grammatical issues.



April 5, 2013, 11:02 AM
Well said autobahn.

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