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10/25/2002

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James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP both of them!)

James

As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.

While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.

The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.

National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.

But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.

Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.


Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP both of them!)

novia

the film was not perfect just like anything else in this society but it obviously made peoples screws start turning in their noggins. people who hate the film still want to talk about it.
but anyhow. i dont want to talk about politics or gun laws. i dont know enough statistics to make an arguement-even after watching the movie. but how can you not forget that little girls picture that michael moore left in front of hestons house. if any of you are parents think about that little girl. sure the us sends guns and money to terroists so they can just turn around and use it against us like sept 11. thats not a good thing. i dont care if men go hunting with guns during the season, or someone wants to buy a handgun to protect themselves in their own home. for gods sake keep it locked up and away from children. a parent once told me that the grandmother of her child was a police officer and she would take off her gun belt at home gun and all and leave it on top of the tv. she was a police officer. stupidity rules.
obviously there a few kids out there who arent sure how to handle their anger. like the boys at columbine, that little boy in michigan, and that boy who shot his teacher in florida over being suspended and so on and so on. if the boy in floridas grandfather had kept the gun in a safer place and locked maybe it would have deterred that boy from getting the gun. and if the father of that boy in michigan had not had his gun under a mattress or in a drawer wherever it was then that little boy maybe would have just gave the girl a black eye or soemthing. obviously you can buy guns on the street through illegal sales but what little six year old would have known that. what ordinary kid would think of that. what we could do about the kids at columbine who were of legal age to buy guns i dont know. something has to be done. michael moores movie is not going to solve that problem. if you have a kid in school who is at risk of being shot at in the future maybe you should think about what can be done. i know im always thinking. its difficult because we are just people in a chat room. we may have all these amendments which give us rights but we arent in political power and we cant change the rules, but because the people who are in charge dont know what to do either our children are always goign to be at risk. that doestn mena that they should stop going to school as a matter of fact most gun deaths happen in your own home where someone else like an intruder or other person uses your gun agaisnt you. so ive heard, since guns are going to stay part of life here we have to do something to make guns safer and educate our youth about how permanent a gun can make things. some kids with all the hype and everything now find it very difficult to distinguish between reality and fiction im nt talking abotut he kids from columbine they knew what they are doing but little kids who cant distinguish between fake and real and think someone can come back from the dead even if they are shot to death. actually the nra has an okay program called eddie eagle that teaches kids that guns can be harmful. at least they are trying to do somehting. even if it is somewhat ironic. i used to do that presentation in schools. not a lot of schools knew about it because the nra doesnt widely publicize the program. but some of the schools i offered the presentation to refused it saying it would encourage kids to use guns. guns, condoms, whatever kids are going to be facinated. get over it.
but many schools were receptive but then the bad part was the agency lost funding for their gun safty program with so much violence that makes no sense. kids are educated on everything else...i dont want a gun myself, but people have their rights to keep a gun, get rid of the gun..melt it down into a statue whatever you want to do-just please make sure it doesnt get into your childs hands-be responsible.like i said i still dont know how to control things liek columbine but as for easier things like putting a lock on your gun-good idea. of course if you live alone like heston and that tofu growing guy you can have it loaded and unlocked if you want-but when the grandchilren come over its a differnt story-
dont forget that picture of the girl could be your kid.

Davo

To all of those who are deadset obsessed with Moore's "distortion" of the facts - I have a question.

Why has nobody stepped up to sue him yet? If he has made such evil 'propaganda' with a casual disregard for the truth, why then is no one willing to make him pay?

ToastedMunchkin

Now here we seem to miss one thing. We're supposed to be open-minded, to respect each other's view-points, opinions, etc. We should attack arguments, not people.

Now to the question of Moore. He has money, agreed. He has lots of money, agreed. He is in some ways a hypocrite, agreed. Now the key thing here to note is "in some ways". Now, don't flame me as a Moore-lover, but there tend to be assumptions made about content of his films without people actually seeing them.
Whenever people hear/read the words "film about gun control" and "Michael Moore", they assume that from his left-wind view point, the film will be anti-gun. I did this, in fact. I had heard that he had a permit for a concealed hand gun, and as a result my brain screamed "HE'S A HYPOCRITE, A HYPOCRITE". But then I watched the film. Amazingly, it is not anti-gun ( to a certain degree). It talks about the circumstances which lead to gun-related violence.

Also, I believe that people need to be a bit more (haha- I made a joke) open-minded.
Posts such as "Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP both of them!)" don't show any measure of understanding, just a willingness to try and prove that we're superior to them. (The same goes for the Pro-Moores.) I also believe that we need to be careful about- saying foreigners don't understand the situation. Why wouldn't they understand the situation? Is it because of a "complex, political climate"? If so, do you understand all the intricacies enough to be justified in abusing the foreigner? Are you involved in the political process? Or do you sit back at your computer, (no offence) thinking that you are so damn smart because you know big words, and because you got a 9/10 in your social studies project from grade school.

-You should all note that words and phrases like "evil", "bad guys", "good guys", "these guys hate freedom" and "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" are always incorrect labels when applied to complex situations and people. Unfortunately, many of you (and Dubya) use these. Generally (not always), these show a simplistic,one-sided view of a complex idea,which borders on being completely juvenile.

ToastedMunchkin

Now here we seem to miss one thing. We're supposed to be open-minded, to respect each other's view-points, opinions, etc. We should attack arguments, not people.

Now to the question of Moore. He has money, agreed. He has lots of money, agreed. He is in some ways a hypocrite, agreed. Now the key thing here to note is "in some ways". Now, don't flame me as a Moore-lover, but there tend to be assumptions made about content of his films without people actually seeing them.
Whenever people hear/read the words "film about gun control" and "Michael Moore", they assume that from his left-wind view point, the film will be anti-gun. I did this, in fact. I had heard that he had a permit for a concealed hand gun, and as a result my brain screamed "HE'S A HYPOCRITE, A HYPOCRITE". But then I watched the film. Amazingly, it is not anti-gun ( to a certain degree). It talks about the circumstances which lead to gun-related violence.

Also, I believe that people need to be a bit more (haha- I made a joke) open-minded.
Posts such as "Michael Moore's a moron and Bowling For Columbine is just rediculas (CRAP both of them!)" don't show any measure of understanding, just a willingness to try and prove that we're superior to them. (The same goes for the Pro-Moores.) I also believe that we need to be careful about- saying foreigners don't understand the situation. Why wouldn't they understand the situation? Is it because of a "complex, political climate"? If so, do you understand all the intricacies enough to be justified in abusing the foreigner? Are you involved in the political process? Or do you sit back at your computer, (no offence) thinking that you are so damn smart because you know big words, and because you got a 9/10 in your social studies project from grade school.

-You should all note that words and phrases like "evil", "bad guys", "good guys", "these guys hate freedom" and "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" are always incorrect labels when applied to complex situations and people. Unfortunately, many of you (and Dubya) use these. Generally (not always), these show a simplistic,one-sided view of a complex idea,which borders on being completely juvenile.

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