Media Perpetuates Myth that ‘Gun Control’ Equals ‘Gun Safety,’ Sacrificing Credibility

Does media bias creep into reporting on gun-related events and surveys? Find out about reading between the lines to sort things out. iStock-637619186
This is a message the establishment media fails to recognize, at its own peril. iStock-637619186

As the establishment media has delighted in reporting the ongoing civil litigation against the National Rifle Association and its now-former executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, there has been no slowing down of efforts to portray gun control groups and efforts as “gun safety” organizations and advocacy.

While one can read in the Courthouse News about how Virginia Democrats are pushing “gun safety measures” with assistance from March For Our Lives co-founder David Hogg, it is also possible to see LaPierre attacked at the Daily Kos, by a writer observing, “You’d think a guy who’s dedicated his whole being to making random public shootings far more frequent, deadly, and traumatizing would be completely beyond reproach. Or at least be satisfied with L.L. Bean. But no.”

Check the Everytown for Gun Safety website, where this myth is perpetuated: “In recent years, the gun lobby has worked to allow anyone to carry guns anywhere in public, anytime, with no questions asked.”

This is how so-called “constitutional carry” efforts are described, essentially to portray gun rights activists as being in favor of arming criminals. It’s a lie, and they know it.

The mudslinging gets even better at Business Insider, where coverage of the NRA trial and LaPierre’s own testimony about alleged lavish spending includes this paragraph: “Gun control and gun safety advocates say they’re not sorry to see LaPierre go. A few took the opportunity to unload, so to speak, to Business Insider on what they described as LaPierre’s bullet-riddled legacy.”

But, say many in the firearms community, when will the establishment media start challenging these so-called “gun safety” organizations to, at the very least, provide a schedule of where they teach firearms safety? Who in the so-called “mainstream press” has ever inquired of outfits including Everytown, or its subsidiary Moms Demand Action, or the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, about how many certified instructors they have around the country?

And when will anyone in any newsroom in the U.S. explain what “gun reform” is? What does it mean, actually, other than more restrictions on the constitutionally-enumerated rights of honest citizens to keep and bear arms?

For genuine firearms safety advice, perhaps one might direct the newsroom gun reporters to consult the NRA Gun Safety Rules.

Maybe those whose tender sensibilities do not allow them to even remotely associate with anything bearing the NRA logo might opt for a visit to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Firearm Safety – 10 Rules of Safe Gun Handling.

It was rather grimly amusing to read in the Courthouse News report that Virginia “Democrats also seek to ban firearms on public college campuses. In 2007, 23-year-old student Seung-Hui Cho committed one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, killing 32 people and wounding 17 others at Virginia Tech.”

If anyone on the Courthouse News staff—or any other general circulation publication—honestly believes that a campus gun ban would have prevented Virginia Tech, it suggests a naivete so profound as to require at least remedial counseling on the subject of “Thinking Like an Adult.”

The prohibition on guns at Hogg’s Parkland, Fla., high school didn’t prevent killer Nikolas Cruz from murdering 17 people and wounding as many others.

Across the landscape, groups and individuals clamoring for “safe storage” requirements that all guns be locked up all the time apparently failed to read, or didn’t understand when they read the passage on Page 58 of the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which can be interpreted to make such mandatory lock-and-key storage unconstitutional.

Writing for the majority, the late Justice Antonin Scalia observed, “We must also address the District’s requirement (as applied to respondent’s handgun) that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times. This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.”

While CNN and other news outlets can enjoy LaPierre’s courtroom testimony in which he reportedly acknowledged trying to appear to be a hunter when meeting with sportsmen’s groups, but that network, nor any other major media outlet ever calls out any gun prohibition lobbying organization for their self-proclaimed “gun safety” group label.

It is a classic example of the double standard, which begets often justifiable complaints about “fake news” from gun owners, conservative politicians and even former President Donald Trump.

The establishment media may not like it, but so long as editors and reporters allow anti-gunners to get away with it, and even support their gun prohibition efforts in logically-challenged editorials, the firearms community—made up of real hunters, genuine firearms safety instructors, handloaders, home gunsmiths and honest-to-goodness firearms experts—will always have the high ground in the gun rights debate, especially as they approach the media with well-deserved skepticism.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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