Score one for Team Bloomberg?
A graphic appearing on Facebook showing a firearm discharging a complete cartridge, including casing, rather than just the bullet (see accompanying illustration), had gun owners, including this correspondent, crowing at an evident lack of knowledge among self-designated “gun safety advocates” about how ammunition functions. That was until Bob Owens of Bearing Arms.com called into question the origin of the graphic, and pointed out that the Facebook page being used under the “Demand Action” group is different than the one on which the poster appeared that uses the “Everytown for Gun Safety” name.
Part of the confusion was caused by the controversy in which the Bloomberg group had pledged to use trademark protections to remove gun advocacy pages using the “Everytown” name. That had prompted no small amount of ridicule questioning how a $50 million effort could overlook securing social media sites before launching, and that in turn resulted in yet another hilariously subtitled “Downfall” parody video.
“We’re going through the proper process for transitioning our Demand Action page to ‘Everytown,’ which takes a few weeks, and acquiring trademark protection for both Everytown and Everytown for Gun Safety,” Bloomberg hireling Mark Glaze responded.
Add to this reports that the gun rights advocacy group that had initially launched the “Everytown” page had vacated it over resulting legal concerns, and that Demand Action had now taken it over, along with the preponderance of pro-Bloomberg posts now appearing on that page, and it’s legitimate to question if the poster was missed by the new occupants, or if they left it up intentionally and without comment of their own, hoping more gun rights supporters would continue to sound off -- giving them enough rope to hang themselves, so to speak.
What gave the poster special credibility for this correspondent is because the level of ignorance it displays has been seen before over the years. Similar blunders had been pointed out in two related posts on The War on Guns blog. One demonstrated cluelessness by “Authorized Journalists” who ran a photo of an Iraqi woman holding two rounds of unfired ammunition she claimed hit her house. The other, from budding college journalists, featured a handgun “firing” complete cartridges as a front page headlined centerpiece.
While Mr. Owens may therefore be right that “parody perfectly mimics reality,” those of us promoting the right to keep and bear arms owe readers our best effort at reporting what we can verify and stepping back from that which we cannot. The way this story has been developing, there’s always the chance new insights will be learned after publication, and this column will provide a relevant update if and when such become available.