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ROLLING OUT THE BAN

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A syndicated column by Amy Goodman, titled “Tucson, Juarez and the Assault Weapons Ban,” attempted to conflate the media’s most recently preferred reasons for renewing the semi-auto ban—Tucson and Mexico—when she wrote, “The ban [pushed by McCarthy and Lautenberg] on these bullet clips is a start. But ultimately, the guns themselves—semi-automatic weapons—are the personal weapons of mass destruction that are designed not to hunt animals, but to kill people. These guns need to be controlled. And by controlling them, we will reduce violence not only in the United States, but across the border in Mexico as well.”

Website Salon.com used the headline, “Weapon in rampage was banned under Clinton-era law,” though, as National Review Online pointed out, “The [firearm] in question, a 9 mm Glock 19 pistol, was not banned; neither were the 31-round magazines the shooter used. What was banned was the manufacture or importation of new magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.”

Perhaps one of the most telling events to come out of the national media’s coverage of the Tucson shootings was when The Washington Post was forced to suspend a Pulitzer-prize-winning reporter after she plagiarized content for two different articles she authored on the events in Arizona.

The fact that national newspapers are copying each other’s coverage of the murders should make clear why no one should be surprised over their consensus on bringing back the gun ban.

Then there are the stories from those who admit a ban almost certainly would not have stopped the shootings in Tucson, yet nevertheless persist in their calls for reinstatement of the ban.

“[E]ven if Arizona were to repeal its carry-and-conceal law and the federal government were to ban extended clips, the sad fact is that the Tucson shooting likely still would have happened,” Louis Klarevas wrote in The New Republic. “So Arizona should certainly repeal its 2010 [Right-to-Carry] law, and Congress should certainly reinstate the ‘assault weapons’ ban.”

While we expect most of these writers won’t let the truth get in the way of their calls for the gun ban, it’s galling that so many of these editorialists know the ban was useless in curbing violent crime back in 1994-2004, and admit the ban would be impotent to stop shootings such as the one in Tucson.

What pushes this infuriation into fear is that through continuous coverage of an event like Tucson, and incessant calls for reinstatement of the ban, the media can push the debate from one occurring on editorial pages and nightly news programs into an issue of national politics and policy—see the recent efforts by Rep. McCarthy, Sen. Lautenberg and Sen. Feinstein mentioned above—should the truth not be disseminated by the NRA.

And should the media chorus clamoring for renewal of the ban inspire further legislation at the federal level, or spark state legislatures to attempt to curtail the Second Amendment rights of gun owners in their state, NRA will be there, too.

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