“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — G.K. Chesterton
The New York Times has a series on gun violence whose intent appears to keep before the public horror stories where some madman, criminal, or just plain jerk uses a firearm as his tool of terror. It is unfortunate that these stories appears on the news rather than the editorial pages, given that the slant is obvious. For those who believe that facts cannot be presented in a literally truthful way in a misleading manner, I tell them there are many of my colleagues who do just than on a daily basis and make a good living at it. For the most part, the NYT is preaching to the converted, but its past reputation for journalistic impartiality and excellence still give it some credibility among those who can be persuaded.
The most recent article displaying such bias is entitled “In Some States, Gun Rights Trump Orders of Protection” see this link. This story reported a case where in the State of Washington, one Corey Holten threatened his ex-wife Stephanie by threatening to shoot her if her new boyfriend “gets near my kids.” Stephanie went to the court and obtained a protective order that required Corey to stay at least two blocks away from her home and included a number of other restrictions. It did not require him to surrender his guns. Those who appreciate the Dixie Chicks’ song Goodbye, Earl, where the culprit “walked right through that restraining order and put her in intensive care, understand how effective a piece of paper can be. Disregarding the protective order, Corey wen to Stephanie’s home and terrorized her with a rifle, yelling over and over again he was going to kill her. She managed to call 911, the police arrived quickly, and Corey surrendered. Fortunately, Stephanie wasn’t put in intensive care, though she would probably benefit from some counseling post the incident.
The NYT, and to be sure others, decry the NRA and other gun rights organizations for blocking state laws requiring that persons subject to domestic violence and other protective orders to surrender their firearms. Now, come on, would one deranged enough to ignore a court order to stay away from his ex-wife obey an order or even a law to surrender his gun? Anyone who thinks so would be a good prospect for the next scammer who sends them and e-mail asking for their bank account number in which to deposit a million dollars.
The NYT claims to have performed a statistical analysis of domestic violence crimes involving guns, especially those occurring in the face of domestic protective orders. It found that within the last decade, there were at least five instances in Washington where women were shot to death less than a month after obtaining protective orders. This of course, only proves that there were five estranged partners who were nuts enough to kill after having been spurned. The NYT admits that laws mandating the surrender of firearms might have done nothing to prevent an attack. It qualifies that admission by stating, without a shred of back up evidence, that “[I]n many cases, upon close scrutiny, stricter laws governing protective order and firearms might very well have made a difference.” Pure speculation. All of the “mights” add up, and prove absolutely nothing.
On the way downtown this morning, I caught part of the Diane Rehm Show on NPR where a panel, which included one Jennifer Fiore, vice president of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and others, discussed the gun debate in Congress. Ms. Fiore adamantly expressed her opinion that guns should be strictly regulated and even banned except in limited circumstances. A caller named Barbara from Panama City, Florida had this to say. “I find if interesting that as a mother of three and a member of the NRA and also a 16-year survivor of a 16-year domestic abuse relationship that Jennifer has nothing to say to me as a member of the NRA. It’s interesting also that my domestic abuse ended when I became a member of the NRA and learned to become a responsible gun owner. My ex-husband suddenly changed his demeanor and realized that I have a brain, I have a backbone, and that if he touched me and put me in the hospital one more time or touched any one of my three children, he would end up six feet under.”
Or end up like Earl: “a missing person who nobody missed at all.”