Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Anti-gun bias by State House News Service reporter Kyle Cheney

From a recent article by Kyle Cheney on the hearings for new gun control in the MA Statehouse.

First there's the common misreporting of ammunition terminology.  I haven't read about any technology, nor can I imagine any, that imprints a serial number on a bullet upon firing.
Specifically, opponents of microstamping legislation – which would require gun manufacturers to etch serial numbers into firearms and introduce technology in which fired bullets would be “microstamped” with a matching serial number
That can be forgiven.  Misidentifying ammo components is now an inside joke, like a bus-plunge story, among journalists. 

Here's the bad part.
At a State House hearing held by the Committee on Public Safety, freshman Rep. Paul Adams (R-Andover) weaved in verbatim NRA talking points as he testified against the microstamping legislation, although he didn’t acknowledge that his testimony was based, in part, on the national pro-gun organization’s research.
Yet Kyle Cheney fails to weave into to his article any evidence that this is true.  What did he say verbatim from any NRA talking points?!  Is "verbatim" the new "literally" or "fascist," just a meaningless word?  The reader is left with an image of Rep. Adams reading from an NRA-ILA pamphlet. I doubt this happened. 

Cheney gives one quote from Adams, but it's not clear it's one that resulted from NRA brainwashing.
Adams said “household tools” could be used to file down serial numbers on guns, and in many cases, gun crimes wouldn’t be solved by microstamping.
Adams' first claim, that anyone can file off microstamping imprints from an autoloader's breechface or firing pin is absolutely, demonstrably true.  A hardened, serrated steel file will remove material from a softer steel part, every time you try, without exception.

His second claim, that many gun crimes wouldn't be solved by microstamping, cannot be refuted either.  Smart criminals use revolvers because they don't leave cases.  In addition, criminals could contaminate any crime scene by scattering other microstamped cases they picked up from the local range.  Or, the case stamp could be illegible because the technology is so unreliable.

Cheney fails to apply the same scrutiny to self-professed constrainer of liberty Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.  The links between any of her appeal-to-emotion statements and Brady or VPC talking points go unquestioned.

Did reporter Kyle Cheney's biased comment about Rep. Adams' statements serve any purpose, other than to invoke the NRA bogeyman in an otherwise stale article?

ETA Here is the State House News Service's description of their journalism (emphasis mine):
Objective News
Our coverage stands out in the modern climate of journalism because we strive to keep it so straight. We're proud to have become a vital part of State House life, almost like a public utility. We earned that status by being as objective and impeccable as we possibly can.

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