Sunday, April 27, 2014

‘Unbiased’ Coverage Of The Safe Carry Protection Act

This past week there was a huge decision made in Georgia that didn’t ripple across the national news… it swept across all media channels like a tsunami. When the southern state came to the realization that more common sense needed to be injected into the national firearms debate, there wasn’t a single silent voice on the subject. However, there was a clear difference in how the new law was reported in a variety of ‘unbiased’ media sources. While it may not be as clear to some, it is rather obvious when you take a second look at the language that is used.

Time Magazine can be balanced on a rare occasion and this was definitely not one of those instances as the first word in the article colored the remaining prose. Here is the title and tag line for the story:

Radical new gun legislation signed into law on Wednesday allows licensed owners to carry guns in more public locations than ever before, as places like churches can opt in to permit the weapons and bars can opt out if they want them banned

The Washington Post offered a little more balance to what is written as they accurate described the expansion of the rights afforded to law abiding citizens:

Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a broad expansion of gun-carry rights into law Wednesday, allowing legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches and government buildings under certain conditions.

The measure, which will take effect July 1, also permits hunters to use silencers and authorizes schools to allow staff members to carry weapons on campus.

What you don’t see in this second example is the photo that was selected and prominently displayed at the top of the page before a single word is read. The caption to the photo of a grieving family standing over a casket reads, “Judith Skinner, mother of Indianapolis police officer Kim Carmack, and Dustin Carmack, son of Kim Carmack, take one last look at the casket after the burial services at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis on Wednesday. Carmack was slain by her ex-husband and fellow officer who then killed himself.” The story itself was a great piece of reporting but during the process that took place between the writing of the article by and the posting of the story was skewed by someone who clearly disagrees with the new law.

The law (House Bill 60 or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014), supported by politicians from both sides of the isle in the Georgia legislature (including President Jimmy Carter’s grandson) “specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports.” Essentially, those with carry permits (having no criminal background and are familiar with and accept the responsibility of carrying a firearm) will have greater freedom to carry in a variety of previously restricted places.

Is it a perfect bill? No, there are a few flaws in my view namely with the inability of law enforcement to question those carrying. However, if you are driving a car down the road a police officer needs just cause to pull you over and ask you for your license so, in that regard, I understand and accept this aspect. Honestly, I would rather lean on the side of individual rights and freedoms rather than control and fear mongering that seem to be so prevalent in the vocal views of the minority.

What do you expect from a group of people who have their priorities confused? While they teach children to fear firearms they teach them to respect and even revere an overbearing government. It should be the exact opposite… teach the next generation to respect firearms, treat them responsibility, and revere life. Fear those who strip you of your rights and freedom. Maybe if this fundamental formula was embraced by all we wouldn’t be having this debate and objects wouldn’t be feared because of the actions of criminals, law abiding people wouldn’t be punished for the monstrous acts of the insane. Maybe people should be our focus and the next generation should be our passion.