All the news about guns that’s fit to cherry-pick: The New York Times

THE DAILY BLADE: New York Times columnist Joe Nocera inaugurated a new column a week ago, “And in Last Week’s Gun News ...,” in which he summarizes a selection of 14 articles about shootings published in papers around the country in the previous week: an 18-year-old in L.A. who was shot as he rode his bicycle home from his girlfriend’s house, a FL 16-year-old who was shot on a basketball court at the park when a gun tucked into another player’s waistband accidently discharged; a Baton Rouge teen who shot his 2-year-old brother while playing with a gun; a teen in NM who used “an assault rifle” to murder his entire family; a Madison man whose marriage was on the rocks found dead in his home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound … and so forth.

The second installment on February 1st included a 14-year-old student was shot “in the head” (in actuality, he was shot in the neck, treated at a nearby hospital and released) at an Atlanta middle school – but left out a salient detail: an off-duty armed guard at the school disarmed the 15-year old shooter who had somehow gotten the gun past the metal detector. This omission is both intellectually dishonest and a deliberate attempt to distort the facts of the incident, which illustrates a variety of gun-related issues – a young boy illegally had access to a weapon; the school metal detector failed; the shooter and victim may have belonged to rival gangs; if the school was a “gun-free zone,” that prohibition did not apply to an off-duty officer, who was able to stop an active shooter in his tracks.

As was the case with the first “gun news” column, none of the articles cited in this column – or in the third and fourth columns – include any incidents in which an armed civilian prevented a violent crime, for instance: a 70-year-old Detroit high school basketball coach with a carry permit shoots one of two armed muggers; a Detroit grandmother with carry permit shoots an armed attacker on a city bus; and an armed TX Mom thwarts a home invasion by three men.

The motto of The New York Times is “All The News That’s Fit To Print.” Apparently, Nocera doesn’t think it’s “news” when a law-abiding citizen uses a gun defensively – or he doesn’t consider any news that does not fit the premise of his column “fit to print” at all. The story of the Atlanta school shooting is far more complex and nuanced than Nocera’s selective reporting of the facts suggests. Liberals like to flatter themselves that they can process nuance better than conservatives. By dumbing down this story, Nocera proves that either he cannot handle nuance or that the readers of his paper are unable to.

A third possibility is that he just doesn’t know where to find these types of stories. If Nocera needs help with research, The Stiletto would like to point him to the website, "Guns Save Lives,” which attempts to “quantify the number of people who use a firearm to defend themselves and others.” Roughly 700 such self-defense stories have been posted on the site since August 30, 2011. And a recent Cato Institute study suggests that there are thousands of instances in which someone with a carry permit only had to display a gun to de-escalate a dangerous situation.

The Stiletto has also taken it upon herself to tweet stories about armed citizens stopping violent crime as she comes across them to Nocera’s boss, Andrew Rosenthal, the editor of The New York Times editorial page. She hopes that the gun news column will include such stories, or that the paper will drop the series when it becomes clear that armed citizens defend themselves against criminals every day of the week.

So far, no luck. The latest column doesn’t include any of the stories she’s been bringing to Rosenthal’s attention – nor does it include any sort of correction or acknowledgement that an armed guard at a school may have saved the life of the victim in the incident, and possibly the lives of others.


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