Following the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the dominant media seemed to go full tilt toward the left with an anti-gun bias, according to a report from the Media Research Center on Newsbusters.
According to Newsbusters, the “Big Three” networks “wasted little time in exploiting the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda” with an almost 5-to-1 reporting ratio that left stories stressing gun rights at a distinct exposure disadvantage.
The report accused NBC of being “the most stridently anti-gun rights network.” NBC reports supporting gun control efforts outpaced stories supporting gun rights by a 10-to-1 ratio, Newsbusters reported this week. Coming in at second place was CBS, with a 4-to-1 anti-gun ratio.
“Separate from the overall arguments on gun rights, the networks also devoted 28 minutes and 30 seconds to regulation of bump stocks (devices that allow semi-automatic guns to perform like fully-automatic guns) that would essentially put them in line with already existing laws about fully-automatic weapons. With the NRA and many Republican lawmakers signaling they would be open to looking at regulation of bump stocks, the thrust of the coverage favored some sort of restrictions. However 1 minute and 45 seconds was spent on those who opposed any new regulations, even those on bump stocks.”—Newsbusters
The report came almost simultaneous to an editorial in the Weekly Standard that essentially threw down the gauntlet, challenging gun prohibitionists to have a serious discussion about guns, and in the process drop all pretenses about being only interested in new regulations. The Weekly Standard declared, “What makes the debate so stale, rather, is the disingenuousness of those who claim to want ‘sensible’ and ‘reasonable’ gun regulations but who in fact want an outright ban.”
So far, none of the major gun control organizations has taken up the challenge.
Instead, the well-financed Everytown for Gun Safety was out with an email early Wednesday morning that declared the group has “Hosted over 65 vigils to honor those affected during the Las Vegas shooting,” and “Held over 200 events, including public education events and visits to members of Congress across the country.” The Michael Bloomberg-backed anti-gun rights organization has also “Driven 30,000 messages to Congress, demanding them to (reject the NRA’s) dangerous policies.”
The imbalance in reporting should be no surprise to veteran Second Amendment activists. They have long complained about media bias against their gun rights that, in their view, only gave cursory attention to their side of the story.
But the Weekly Standard challenge included a slap at the gun prohibition lobby’s deliberate avoidance of any discussion about the failure of its gun control agenda.
“The case for increased gun regulation isn’t helped, either, by the fact that what laws have been passed and rigorously enforced all over the nation have had little or no measurable result. A comprehensive study published in 2013 by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council could find no clear correlation between the implementation of gun-control laws and reductions in gun-related violence.”—Weekly Standard
The controversy over guns is not going to disappear, and so long as one side of the argument seems dishonest while the other side at times seems reclusive, those who practice the alleged bias will continue getting away with it.