Tag Archives: gun safety

Reporters Call Foul on NRA Claim That Media “Loves” Mass Shootings

“Journalists are humans, not story-pursuing robots salivating for the death of young kids.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 2-23-2018

NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, right, told CNN host Alisyn Camerota on Friday that the news media “loves” the ratings delivered by mass shootings—a remark that drew condemnation from journalists on social media. (Photo: @CNN/Twitter)

Journalists on social media pushed back on Friday against NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch’s claim that the news media “loves” mass shootings because they deliver ratings boosts.

“Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it,” Loesch said Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), addressing reporters in the back of the room. “Now I’m not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media.”

Loesch’s comments echoed those made in a video released this week by the NRA, in which gun rights activist Colion Noir argued, “If there’s one organization in this country that has a vested interest in the perpetuation of mass tragedy, it’s the mainstream media.”

The former Blaze host doubled-down on her comments in a Friday morning interview on CNN with Alisyn Camerota, who told her, “You’re wrong on every single level,” and argued against her claim that shootings provide a ratings boost for news programs.

“Americans have reached saturation level,” said Camerota. “They’re so sick of it and it’s so heartbreaking that they actually often turn away.”

Many in the news media have pushed to refine how news stations cover mass shootings, urging journalists to focus less on the perpetrators of attacks. Much of the ongoing coverage of the shooting in Parkland, Florida last week has focused on efforts by survivors to achieve gun control legislation in order to prevent more shootings—a push that is strongly opposed by the NRA.

On social media, many reporters reminded Loesch and her supporters that journalists are members of their communities whose families are put at as much risk as any other American household by the prevalence of military-style semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15.

Others pointed to the emotional toll covering repeated mass killings—typically with little to no action by legislators in the wake of such attacks, to curb shootings—can take on journalists.

As Catherine Woodiwiss wrote at Sojourners last July, reporters’ prolonged exposure to violent and traumatic events including shootings can correspond with high levels of distress:

In 2014, a study of “frequent and prolonged exposure to deeply disturbing images” published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found that the frequency with which a journalist watches violent content correlates with the journalist’s likelihood of having anxiety, depression, PTSD, or alcoholism.

The Radio Television Digital News Association also released a statement about the NRA’s new talking point.

“We are your neighbors. Your friends. We attend the same houses of worship. We go the same classes at the gym. Our children are in the same classes at school…We are deeply affected by tragedy. We are journalists and we do what we do because you have a need to know and understand the world around you.”

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As Nation Suffers 18th School Shooting in 45 Days, Trump Budget Would Slash Funding for Background Checks

The president’s 2019 budget would cut allocations to enhance national database system by 16 percent

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 2-15-2018

Funding cuts for background checks in President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal would make it more difficult for states to compile criminal records of prospective gun owners. (Photo: Erik Jaeger/Flickr/cc)

As a Florida community reels from the nation’s latest mass shooting—the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018—President Donald Trump is pushing for a new federal budget that would call for cuts to programs that aim to keep guns out of the hands of people with criminal records.

The National Criminal Records History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program provide funding to states to improve their reporting of domestic violence and other violent crimes in order to include perpetrators in the national background check database for gun purchases. Continue reading

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If You Can’t Change Laws, Change Minds

Every once in a while we run across things that give us hope. This is one of those things. The following comes from States United To Prevent Gun Violence, an organization that uses a new approach to an old problem. The rest speaks for itself.

States United To Prevent Gun Violence opens a “gun store” in NYC as a hidden camera social experiment to debunk safety myths. Every gun has a history. Let’s not repeat it. From their website gunswithhistory.com:

“States United to Prevent Gun Violence is a national non-profit organization working to decrease gun death and injury and build healthy communities by supporting and strengthening state gun-violence-prevention organizations and nurturing new state organizations.

Together with our 28 state affiliates – and our combined 200,000 grassroots supporters – we are dedicated to making our families and communities safer through stronger laws, community education, and grassroots action.”

 

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The Enemy Within

Photo by Newark Preschool Council, Inc (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Newark Preschool Council, Inc (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

10,000 children are injured or killed every year in this country by the same thing. We should be outraged. If it were a corporation doing this, we would demand laws and criminal processing. If it were a terrorist group, we would demand the almighty forces of our military be used to utterly destroy the enemy. If it were a disease, we would demand the CDC and other government agencies pool their resources and stop at nothing until it could be halted in its tracks.

But since it is because of gun violence, we can’t even talk about it. America has passed no federal gun restriction laws since 1993, when President Clinton signed the Brady Bill into law. Since then, we have had a few executive orders signed, the most recent by Pres. Obama following the Newtown shootings in January of 2013. But there has been no congressional action on this issue, despite studies and reports proving the statistic of our children being slaughtered by 10,000 per year.

I am not an advocate of those who subscribe to the notion that all guns are bad. I hunt, I grew up with firearms and I understand the traditions most Americans cherish in that regard. But I also believe that parents should be able to send their children to school without wondering if they will come home that day. They should not hope someone starts making bullet-proof clothing for children. They should be able to count on their elected officials to respond when the nation faces the loss of our greatest national treasure.

Join Occupy World Writes in our support of Americans For Responsible Solutions. It is worth your time to at least explore and consider the topics presented on their website.

Go ahead – pull the trigger.

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