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NBC uses unqualified psychiatric ‘experts’ to disparage gun defense

Relying on the wholly unqualified for "expert opinions" to justify citizen disarmament is just plain crazy. So predictably, NBC News does just that.
Relying on the wholly unqualified for "expert opinions" to justify citizen disarmament is just plain crazy. So predictably, NBC News does just that.
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

A recent real-world defensive gun use, something Moms Demand Action insists “never happens,” has “legitimate news media/real reporters” scrambling to play it down. Psychiatrist “Lee Silverman defied company policy ... walked right past ‘no guns’ signs,” and ended up using his gun to stop a crazed armed assailant.”

“Psychiatrists with Guns Likely More 'Harmful Than Helpful': Experts,” a Friday hit piece masked as an objective report by NBC “News” declared in response.

“I had a holy cow reaction -- a psychiatrist with gun in his office!?” Dr. Stephen Marder offered. “The idea of a psychiatrist having a weapon in his desk is entirely new to me. I haven’t heard of anything like it before.”

So he has no experience? It’s entirely new to him? He’s never heard of anything like it before?

Then how is it he’s an “expert” qualified to comment on defensive gun uses, and influence a mass audience to boot with his opinions?

“My guess is that arming psychiatrists is more likely to be harmful than helpful,” DJ Jaffe, executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org, weighed in.

He guesses? More likely? Based on what data? Is this guy a scientist, or a Mark Dice interview subject?

"The APA has no official position on unusual incidents like this one and has no comment at this time," American Psychological Association spokeswoman Eve Herold evaded, “misdirecting” in the bargain. Whether one consults the work of criminologist Gary Kleck, or accepts the more “conservative” results from the National Crime Victimization Survey, it’s indisputable that such incidents are not as rare as Ms. Herold would have us believe. This is a transparent attempt to direct attention away from the egg on the collective faces of the agenda-driven anti-gun APA that this incident highlights, and of course NBC “News” has no interest in admitting that.

One point of clarification: Ms. Herold's LinkedIn profile lists her as "Director, Office of Communications and Public Affairs at American Psychiatric (not "Psychological') Association."

The use of "professional" opinions in this piece amounts to journalistic bait and switch when they are presented as subject matter experts on topics outside their accredited fields. They’ve never heard, they guess and, they have no opinion. Holy cow!

If there are actual informed, scientific method-derived conclusions here, NBC failed to produce even one. In this case, they may as well have asked Stephen Marder, DJ Jaffe and Eve Herold what hesitation on acceleration and a “check engine” light on the dashboard signified, and then asked them to fix the problem instead of consulting a qualified mechanic.

Just because they may be experts in one field hardly makes them authorities in all. And that goes double for doctors who presume to ask gun-related questions and prescribe preventive measures without first proving they actually know what they’re talking about, as opposed to just parroting political talking points couched as validated “gun safety” advice.


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