The Second Amendment Foundation says it has caught the Associated Press wire service blatantly electioneering against guns in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Such bias “invariably seems to show up in headlines and news reports just prior to an election,” said a statement from the foundation’s headquarters in Washington state.
“We’ve got an important midterm election next week,” noted SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb, “and gun control versus gun rights is an important shadow issue because Democrats have already made it clear that guns will be on the agenda if they take control of the Congress.”
He said he was not surprised that the Associated Press circulated an article headlined “Guns send over 8,000 US kids to ER each year, analysis says.”
Gottlieb said such stories often appear right before an election.
However, he pointed out, guns “haven’t sent anybody anywhere.”
“Careless people or criminals misusing guns are responsible, but guns get the blame. The problem is that many people never read past the headline, and this sort of thing contributes to the public’s impression that bias drives such sensational headlines,” he said.
He said that in his own state there is “obvious media bias in some publications about a gun control initiative on the ballot.”
“All five major law enforcement groups in the state, representing thousands of rank-and-file lawmen and women, are opposed to the measure,” Gottlieb said, “but the media downplayed their importance, referring to them as a ‘handful of law enforcement groups,’ or ‘some law enforcement groups,’ while vastly inflating the importance of three officials, including a single county sheriff, who are supporting the initiative.”
He said the media “screams when anybody talks about ‘fake news, but this bias is exactly what people are talking about, and when it comes to gun issues, it’s blatant. News agencies refer to gun prohibition lobbying groups as ‘gun safety organizations’ to help disguise their true intent. They talk about ‘semiautomatic assault rifles,’ when there really is no such thing, since true ‘assault rifles’ are fully automatic.”
Gottlieb’s group is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Second Amendment.
“It’s all subliminal, but it is designed to create an impression about firearms, gun owners and their desire to add further restrictions on the Second Amendment,” he said. “It’s deplorable and dishonest, but it exemplifies why people no longer trust the media. The public is not as dumb as the press thinks, and the proof is shrinking newspaper circulation and declining ratings. The press needs credibility, but on the gun issue, that was sacrificed a long time ago.”