“The gun advocates are winning, and now want concealed weapons in Ohio college classrooms,” a hand-wringing anti-gun rant by Brent Larkin, retired editorial director for Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer bemoaned. “For those keeping score, the National Rifle Association is winning.”
Citing the post-Newtown “push for sensible gun laws,” Larkin elaborates what he means by “modest,” promising “Nothing to offend those who fall asleep at night reciting the Second Amendment.
He’s the arbiter of that, you see.
“Just a few simple things like tightened background checks and curbs on assault weapons,” Larkin elaborates, citing recent draconian infringements in “Maryland, New York and Colorado [as] reasonable restrictions on guns.
Again, he’s the one who presumes to define what's reasonable.
But mean old Republicans are thwarting all that Solomonic wisdom, with one legislator, Rep. John Becker, introducing a bill to provide Ohio voters a mechanism by which they can actually recall politicians! How very anti-progressive, acknowledging people have a right to dismiss servants caught stealing more than the silver.
And horror of horrors, another bill would “allow” responsible adults, who have already passed those background checks Larkin says we need and more, and who legally carry concealed weapons, to cross imaginary border lines around campuses and other currently “prohibited” places. Hasn’t it been proven that whenever that happens, previously peaceable citizen immediately lose all sense of morality and go violently berserk? And what safer places can there be than “gun free zones”?
Add to that unchecked Dodge City/blood-in-the-streets carnage with another bill that “would mirror Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, largely eliminating the “duty to retreat before using force in self-defense.”
Can you imagine? I mean, who in their right mind would believe these guys know more about the subject than noted self-defense expert Brent Larkin?
His screed continues with more emotion than anything else, including carefully crafted manipulations like saying a man was “murdered with an easily obtained handgun,” as if no human agent were involved, which actually is tacit admission that a handgun ban is something he’d be happy to endorse if only he thought it were feasible. He then wraps things up by soliciting the opinions of “the most thoughtful person I’ve ever spoken with on the subject,” Tom Diaz.
“Thoughtful” in this case evidently means someone who has made it his life mission to ban rifles like the .50 BMG, a gun that the Violence Policy Center, in a frustrated frenzy to prove it to be a grave threat to public safety, could only come up with one documented case of a U.S. homicide (you could almost sense their bitter disappointment) committed with the weapon in an exhaustive (meaning they used Google) scouring of reports encompassing nine years of news searches.
Diaz is the best mind he could find? Larkin doesn’t get out much, does he?
But then, there's something he’s not telling his readers, because when throwing around terms like "reasonable," it's best not to show your hand. Besides, if one dares mention a “slippery slope,” they simply must be a paranoid gun nut.
Here’s what The Plain Dealer editorial board really wants, as articulated in an editorial published last December:
Any serious discussion of preventing more slaughters has to start with significant restrictions on the availability of high-power firearms and large magazines. But it also has to examine how guns are bought and sold in this country and the terms under which people can own them. It has to be far-ranging and fearless, including the possible repeal or revision of the Second Amendment if that is what it takes to regulate private arsenals and enact meaningful gun control. It's not 1789 anymore. This is not a frontier society.
The cynical use of code words like “common sense” and “reasonable restrictions” by these Fourth Estate Fifth Columnists means nothing less than the elimination of private firearms ownership. But Larkin can’t just be honest about that. He’s compelled to mask his goals as “a few simple things” that are “modest,” which ought to tell us all we need know about this character and the clumsy con he’s trying to pull.
That more people are seeing through being manipulated this way is reflected in a Rasmussen poll from earlier this year, where the numbers showed “Only 6% Rate News Media As Very Trustworthy.”
New business models, changing technologies, and the market realities of free content internet alternatives are forcing old media to adapt or die. And promoting disingenuous hit pieces that call for a government monopoly of violence to crush fundamental natural rights -- by the very people who sanctimoniously present themselves as watchdogs against official abuse -- can’t be helping foundering ventures.
That’s a reality evidently being denied at The Plain Dealer, which recently had to cut a third of its newsroom staff and reduce home delivery from daily to four days a week (and they then laughably had the gall to present reduced service to subscribers as a “premium print experience.” Dianne Feinstein and Joe Biden may call such as these “real reporters’ and “legitimate news media,” but a critical mass is able to see through the sleight of mind.
Fortunately, hackneyed statist cheerleading is hardly the type of content that will lend itself to paywalls or any of the emerging monetization models needed to survive and grow.
Some in the field appear to recognize that a unique quality product is what must be produced first and foremost, and that means unique and qualified people are needed to produce it. Veteran New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh told The Guardian the American media is “pathetic,” and that the first needed “fix” is to “close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90 percent of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider."
Don’t look for such critical thinking or ability for introspection among the dinosaurs lumbering about the board room of The Plain Dealer. Any bets that they, and editorial sauropods like Brent Larkin, won’t go extinct long before the demand for freedom does?
I’ll be talking about “Authorized Journalists” later today at 3 p.m. Eastern on Tom Gresham's nationally-syndicated Gun Talk® Radio. Click here to find a station near you or here to listen via live streaming.
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