Gun Control, Media Bias, and the Talmud
NRA-ILA FAX ALERT
Vol. 7, No. 1 1/7/00 YET MORE CONFIRMATION OF ANTI-GUN MEDIA BIAS
This week, the Media Research Center (MRC) confirmed what the pro-gun community already knew -- when it comes to firearm-related stories, the news coverage on ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC is decidedly anti-gun. The MRC study, which examined stories from July 1, 1997, to June 30, 1999, covered 653 morning and evening news stories, and found that:
** Stories promoting gun control outnumbered those opposing gun control 357 to 36, with another 260 stories giving neutral coverage. The stories advocating gun control outpaced those opposing by a ratio of nearly 10 to 1!
** On the evening news, nearly 60% (184) of the stories favored one side. Of those stories taking a side, 89% (164) promoted the anti-gun position, while only 11% (20) supported pro-gun views, a ratio of 8 to 1. The worst in this category were ABC's World News Tonight (43 anti to 3 pro), and CNN's The World Today (50 to 7).
** The morning news coverage was even worse in its bias. Of the 208 morning segments that exhibited bias, 93% (193) promoted an anti-gun message, while six percent (15) presented a pro-gun view, a ratio of 13 to 1. ABC's Good Morning America ran 92 anti-gun segments, and only one pro-gun story.
** Anti-gun sound bites were used twice as often as pro-gun sound bites -- 412 to 209.
** Morning programs with interview segments had more than twice as many anti-gun guests as pro-gun -- 82 to 37.
** Pro-gun themes, like the decline in federal gun prosecutions under the Clinton-Gore Administration, or the success of the "Project Exile" prosecution model, received scant coverage, in the single digits, from the 653 stories reviewed.
This is the second analysis of this subject conducted by the MRC. In 1994, MRC released a study that examined evening news programs on ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC, that time focusing on the period of December 1, 1991, to November 30, 1993. MRC researchers found that of 107 stories examined, 62% devoted substantially more time to anti-gun arguments than pro-gun, that news commentators who endorsed gun control outnumbered those opposed by nearly 2 to 1, and the anti-gun bias was even more distinct when the story concerned the Brady bill, expanding to 3 to 1 against the pro-gun view. If you would like to see a full copy of the MRC report, you will find links to it through the NRA-ILA's website, at http://www.nraila.org. You can also receive a reprint of Guns, Bias and the Evening News, an article that closely examines MRC's 1994 study, by calling the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.
NEW GROUP ENTERS NEGOTIATIONS
A group that claims to represent the interests of firearm retailers was recently formed, and immediately began negotiating with the Clinton-Gore Administration in what seems to be an attempt to appease its anti-gun appetite. The group, the National Coalition of Firearm Retailers, is headed by Robert Ricker, who previously worked for the American Shooting Sports Council (ASSC). The ASSC, which represented a small segment of the firearms industry, was dissolved last year. The industry, of course, is represented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), headed by Robert Delfay. The Wall Street Journal reported that Delfay stated NSSF was representing the interests of retailers, and many within the pro-gun community question the advisability of Ricker's representation given his proven willingness to grandstand for the media and promote compromise with anti-gunners such as those in the Clinton-Gore White House.
A LOOK AT THE STATES
Next week, two significant anti-gun bills will be heard in committee in the Assembly. The first, AB 1010, to be heard on Monday, January 10, by the Governmental Organization Cmte., seeks to prohibit any organization, such as a gun club or local Friends of NRA chapter, from raffling off firearms or firearm-related accessories at any group-oriented gathering. The second, AB 1607, to be heard on Tuesday, January 11, by the Public Safety Cmte., seeks to establish a licensing, registration, and registration renewal scheme for all handgun owners and even require so-called proficiency tests! Be sure to contact your Assemblyman as well as members of these committees and urge them to oppose these proposals. For a list of committee members and phone numbers, contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.
NRA-ILA will be hosting three free Grassroots-Legislative Workshops in January to help prepare our members for the legislative battles that lay ahead. The workshops are scheduled for January 8 (tomorrow) in Denver, January 12 in Colorado Springs, and January 15 in Grand Junction. For meeting locations, additional details, and to reserve your spot, please call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.
Despite intense pressure from Governor Ryan (R) and anti-gun Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D), the Illinois Senate, under the leadership of James "Pate" Phillip (R), refused to pass the "Safe Neighborhood Act" with its provision making improper transport of a firearm a felony. Although the Governor had called the Senate back for a third special session convinced he had the votes for passage, several pro-gun legislators refused to succumb to his pressure. Our thanks go out to all gun owners across Illinois who made calls to their lawmakers ensuring the swift defeat of this measure.
On Wednesday, January 12, the Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Procedures Committee will hold a hearing on SB 45, the Lawsuit Preemption bill. SB 45 would prevent municipalities from engaging in reckless lawsuits against legal gun manufacturers. Please make plans to attend Wednesday's hearing at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol.
Gun owners are bitterly disappointed that Governor Pataki (R) vetoed NRA-backed legislation authorizing schools to implement firearm safety programs. Had A 2045/S 4057 been signed into law, it would have encouraged schools to teach firearm safety courses such as NRA's award winning Eddie Eagle GunSafeï¿½ Program with its important gun avoidance message for children: "Stop. Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult." Our thanks go out to members of the Senate and the Assembly who voted in favor of this critical legislation as well as to NRA, NYSRPA, SAFE and SCOPE members who worked hard to get the bill to the Governor's desk. It's a shame that politics could not be put aside in order to begin implementing programs like Eddie Eagle that have been proven to prevent accidents with guns.
On Tuesday, January 11, the House Criminal Justice Committee will hear testimony on HB 526, the "Taft Burglar Protection Bill." Among other things, HB 526 would require that all firearms be locked away, including guns intended for self-defense purposes! Please attend this hearing, which will be held at 1:30 p.m., in room 114 of the State Capitol Building on Tuesday.
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