This feature appears in the November ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
Sometimes the ways so-called “mainstream” media manage to let slip their anti-gun bias make me stop, scratch my head and wonder what the heck writers and editors were thinking when preparing a news story for publication.
Enter The Kansas City Star. With recent editorials titled “Pandering Politicians Fail Again On Gun Control” and “America Needs Stricter Gun Control. Now,” there’s little doubt of the editorial board’s bias against the right to keep and bear arms. But that shouldn’t be allowed to slip over into the “news” coverage.
Unfortunately for the paper’s credibility, it has. In an apparent attempt to paint concealed-carry permit holders as irresponsible gun owners, the Star repeatedly cited the state’s new campus-carry law in what became a fake news story about a gun found in a Kansas University restroom.
There’s little doubt of the editorial board’s bias against the right to keep and bear arms. But that shouldn’t be allowed to slip over into the “news” coverage.In the feature about the gun found in KU’s Wescoe Hall, the first sentence read: “Two weeks into the fall semester, the first in which Kansas students can legally carry concealed handguns on campuses, an unattended gun turned up Tuesday in a bathroom at the University of Kansas.”
If you can read past all the anti-campus carry sentiment in the top paragraph, you learn that the gun was traced by police and found to have been stolen, so there is nothing—repeat, nothing—tying the firearm in any way to campus carry or concealed carry.
Is the lead paragraph factually incorrect? The answer is “no.” A gun was found in a bathroom on campus. And the fall semester is the first in which the state’s campus-carry law permits those adults who are already licensed to carry a firearm elsewhere in the state to carry when on university property.
But the story is both misleading and deceiving. By mentioning these two unrelated facts together in the opening paragraph, it seems the authors—Mara Rose Williams and Toriano Porter—are trying to make readers believe that the gun was left by a permit holder who was carrying it under the new law. Yet from the information in the story, there’s simply no reason to believe that was the case—none.
Perhaps it was just an accident? That’s hard to believe when you consider that the authors concluded the piece with three more full paragraphs about Kansas’ new campus-carry law. In fact, out of the story’s 226 words, 126—more than half—dealt with the new campus-carry law. And that law had nothing to do with the real story about an unknown person dumping a stolen gun on campus.
Two thumbs down to the Star for publishing what amounts to fake news about concealed-carry permit holders and campus carry. Perhaps going forward, reporters and editors there might try to keep the anti-gun bias on the editorial page.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.