Thursday, November 5, 2015

Just The Facts, Ma'am

I don't know when journalism morphed from the "who-what-where-when-how" school of reporting facts to the current "write-your-opinion-as-if-it-is-true" mode, but here's a prime example of the latter.

Wonkette is a liberal/progressive website. To its credit, it doesn't claim to be an unbiased news source. It succeeds magnificently in its self-proclaimed mission to be vile, nasty, and snarky. It also succeeds magnificently in displaying its profound ignorance on many topics - in this particular case, on gun safety.

Ted Cruz Doesn’t Care If He ‘Accidentally’ Blows Off Someone’s Head With A Shotgun
Here’s something that is not even a tiny bit funny: Ted Cruz casually and negligently mishandling a deadly weapon ... demonstrating how to “accidentally” kill someone, maybe in that farmhouse not far behind him. Oops, bang bang, sorry, kid — you’re dead.

Cruz, who so loves his guns that he supposedly uses them to fry up his breakfast bacon, is demonstrating to the kids at home exactly how not to handle a gun. Anyone who has had even a second of firearm safety training can recite the rules for you, but in case you’re not one of those anyones, here they are:

    Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
    Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.
    Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
    Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
So far, so good. We're all for gun safety. And the author did get the "Four Rules" correct.
These are the rules. At all times, these are the rules. Even if you think you know better. Even if you are a licensed firearm instructor. Even if you are so sure that gun isn’t loaded. Even if you are positive you’re the only living creature within a 100-mile radius. Even if you’re certain it’s set to safety. Even if you’ve been shooting guns since you were knee-high. Even if, always if, every single time.
No argument there. In fact, I pretty much agree with what's been said. So what's the problem? What egregious - and potentially deadly - mistake did Ted Cruz make? Here's a hint.
The muzzle of Ted Cruz’s break-action gun is pointing all over the place — at the buildings, at people who might be behind him, but he doesn’t know because he’s not looking over his shoulder — instead of at the ground, in front of him, where he can see it. That’s where you are supposed to point your gun, even if if if if and if. Always.
Did you catch it? The key phrase there is "break-action." Here's the picture that got the author so riled up.

People who are knowledgeable about firearms will note that the shotgun is in fact 'broken open' - that is, the weapon is a breech loader, the breech is open or 'broken,' and the weapon is unloaded. Cruz is employing what is known as the "shoulder carry" method of holding a shotgun - a perfectly safe and acceptable practice.

For a more informed commentary on how Cruz is carrying that shotgun, here's an excerpt from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's online hunter education course.
Shoulder Carry

The shoulder carry balances the rifle on your shoulder, controlling the firearm by a hand on the grip. Always keep your finger off the trigger and on the outside of the trigger guard. This is a good carry when walking beside or behind others. It is not a good carry if others are behind you.
As the picture of Cruz plainly shows, there is no one behind him. So what's the problem?

Guns in general, of course.
We can, and do, argue about how to reduce the number of gun deaths in America. Fewer guns, less accessible ammo, stricter background checks, stronger mental healthcare. All of the above.
I might be inclined to take the author's argument more seriously if she hadn't just demonstrated what an absolute moron she is. I guess it's too much to hope for that 'journalists' would have a basic understanding of what they write about...


Well Seasoned Fool said...

In an ideal world, own whatever you want inside your home. Step out in public? Not until you have passed a safety course. Hunter Safety courses would be a good model. Never happen because the Chucky Schumers of the world will grab any good idea and pervert it.

They want an "honest" conversation? Start by being honest.

CenTexTim said...

Can't speak for other states, but here in TX you have to take a safety course and pass a written exam in order to get your carry license.

If you were born after Sep. 1, 1971 you have to take a hunter safety course to get a hunting license. I have no idea what's so magic about that date...