Saturday, June 30, 2018
2 Reasons Why the Media Will Drop Coverage of the Capital Gazette Shooting
This shooting can’t be blamed on lax gun laws. Maryland has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, earning it an A- rating from the Giffords Law Center—one of only six states to earn above a B+ score. It has enacted almost all of the gun control measures commonly proposed by gun control advocates.
And yet, despite this, not only did this incident occur, but Baltimore is one of the worst cities in the U.S. for gun-related violence, and was recently named by USA Today as “the nation’s most dangerous city.” In the last sixth months, 120 Baltimore residents have been murdered with firearms—21 in the last 30 days. Maryland itself does not fit the gun control narrative.
But this tragedy does fit the actual common fact pattern of mass public shootings: An individual with a long history of concerning behaviors managed to avoid a disqualifying criminal or mental health record, took a legally owned “non-assault” firearm to a gun-free zone, and picked off defenseless people in the time it took law enforcement to respond...
Reason No. 2: Pundits immediately—and incorrectly—blamed President Donald Trump.
Within an hour of the first reports of shots fired in the Capital Gazette building, numerous media pundits took it upon themselves to blame the shooting on Trump’s rhetoric about “fake news.” A Reuters reporter accused the president of having blood on his hands, followed by similar accusations from a New York Times journalist, a White House correspondent, an investigative reporter from Politico, and other high-profile media personalities.
They were completely, unequivocally wrong.
The suspect wasn’t motivated by political ideology, but by a longstanding feud with the newspaper that predates Trump’s election by roughly four years. Had these journalists waited for the facts of the situation to come out, they could have avoided looking exactly like the “fake news” media the president has accused them of being.
Instead, they’re having to backtrack and justify irrational statements. That’s not an easy job, and often requires a bit of humility.
On the other hand, simply dropping the story as fast as possible is much more convenient...