Yesterday our NRA-backed Attorney General, JB Van Hollen, claimed that openly carrying a firearm should not result in a disorderly conduct charge in a memorandum issued to Wisconsin’s district attorneys.
Yesterday was also April 20, 2009’ten years to the day after the Columbine Massacre in Colorado: the most infamous school shooting in U.S. history sparked a nationwide debate on tolerance, firearms, schools, the media, and violence.So it beyond puzzling how the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel could have covered Van Hollen’s memorandum on openly carrying firearms and NOT MENTION that its release fell on the 10-year anniversary of when two kids openly carried firearms into a high school, killed a dozen people, and wounded nearly two dozen more.
Instead, the MJS reporters who threw the story together quote a gun fanatic and apparent homophobe with ONLY a half-assed pro-gun website behind his name to lend his two-cents: “People who open carry do not do so to get attention,’ this guy says. ‘They do so to make a political point, in many cases, just like a same sex couple going out of their way to hold hands in public.”
Now, I don’t need to explain the kind of right-wing crazy it takes to think that when a loving same-sex couple holds hands it’s to make a political point. And I can’t explain how the hell anyone would know if two people have actually ‘gone out of their way’ to hold hands in public.
But what I do know is that the MJS completely missed the mark on journalistic standards by covering Van Hollen’s open carry decree without nary an opposing viewpoint from Van Hollen, who is given more than plenty of space for his talking points, and then proceed to quote a right-wing tool while simultaneously ignoring the obvious parallels to the Columbine Massacre.