Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bias in the media

It really bothers me to see blatant bias and ignorance in the news. I just read this short article from reuters:

OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - An Oakland, California man killed three police officers and wounded two others on Saturday in two separate shootings that began with a traffic stop and ended with a gun battle, police said.

Lovelle Mixon, 26, was pulled over during a traffic stop in the early afternoon. Mixon, who was wanted for violating parole on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, opened fire on two officers, one of whom later died, and fled.

Officers found the suspect later that afternoon in an apartment.

When a Special Weapons and Tactics team forced their way in, he opened fire with an assault rifle, hitting three officers, including two who died from the wounds, according to a statement by police in the San Francisco Bay area city.

Mixon was killed in the gun fight, and the officer wounded in the traffic stop is in critical condition.

(Reporting by Peter Henderson, Editing by Sandra Maler)

Ok, now some may read this and think the best thing to do would be more gun control. While it's not stated, there are many phrases that clue you into this. "Gun battle," "opened fire," "assault with a deadly weapon," "assault rifle." Now if after reading this you think there should be tighter gun laws, let's think again.

First the criminal was "violating parole on charges of assault with a deadly weapon." I don't care what state you are from, it's illegal for him to posses a gun. He shot at two police officers, do you still think at this point he cares about breaking yet another law? Do you really think he got his gun legally?

But let's not forget that he opened fire with a rifle at the Special Weapons and Tactics team. I abhor the term assault rifle because really, if you are shooting at someone, any rifle is an assault rifle. The assault weapons ban was based on meaningless components and really seemed to focus on appearance rather than some sort of increased capacity for violence. And while we're on the subject of words and phrases, let's also look at "assault with a deadly weapon." Ummm... aren't all weapons deadly? I mean I think that's part of the definition of weapon. But it sounds so much more horrific than just assault with a weapon.

So how are more gun laws going to affect people like this man from getting guns? There not, just look at prohibition and the war on drugs. People still get drugs despite them being completely illegal. If something has value to someone, they will find a way to get it. In the case of guns, I really think the best defense is to arm as many "good guys" as possible. Then maybe the bad guys will think twice before using a gun for evil.

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