From The Buckeye Firearms Association By Gerald Valentino, Tue, 11/15/2011
Just when it seemed like the Ohio establishment media can’t sink any lower, the crazed ravings of Chris Evans of The Cleveland Plain Dealer remind us of how far they will go to destroy the private ownership of firearms. The editorials in question should also shatter any notion held by the general public that the establishment media plays fair when it comes to the gun issue.
Taken individually, each editorial is best described as a poorly argued, one-sided anti-gun rant devoid of logical foundation, proper research or any semblance of journalistic standards, or journalistic integrity. Together, they expose Chris Evans and the editors at The Plain Dealer as little more than exploitative tabloid hacks more concerned with pushing their ill-conceived agenda than creating thought provoking discourse.
The total lack of restraint shown in his most recent anti-gun screed, entitled “NRA calls the tune and kids pay the price,” includes a claim that the National Rifle Association is a front for illegal gun sales, a notion so outlandish that it creates questions about whether Mr. Evans has lost his mind. As unbelievable as it may seem, however, calling the NRA a front for illegal gun sales is far from the craziest assertion made by Chris Evans on the gun issue.
That title goes to the baseless claim, made by Evans in another editorial, entitled “Bring Accountability to Gun Shows,” that guns shows are “Tupperware parties for criminals” – a statement that is easily refuted by a Department of Justice study that traced guns used in crimes and found less that 1% came from gun shows.
Any journalist researching the issue of illegal gun purchases couldn’t avoid finding the DOJ study because it is widely cited on the Internet and in newspapers. That means Chris Evans flouted all reasonable journalistic standards by ignoring a study from an unbiased source like the DOJ, or is so bad at his job that he missed a piece of evidence that a 3rd grader could easily have found.
By allowing his personal bias against guns to cloud his professional viewpoint on the issue, Chris Evans committed one of the mortal sins for a journalist. He also painted himself into a corner, because once on record as a vehement gun-grabber, he is forced to stick to that position. That forces him to use shoddy research techniques, unfounded theories, and what can only be described as false statements to bolster his argument.
So, when he failed to find a shred of statistical evidence to prove his claims that felons are getting most of their guns at gun shows, and that the NRA is a front for illegal gun sales, Evans chose to back up his flawed premise with anecdotal evidence, and evidence from anti-gun advocacy groups. Anecdotal evidence is a favorite weapon of the anti-gun crowd because it is nearly impossible to refute, and often allows them to sprinkle their propaganda with stories that tug at the public’s heartstrings.
In this case, Evans uses the tragedy of a prospective veterinary student shot during a back to school party as the emotional trigger. He is hoping people are outraged by such a senseless event that they suspend critical thinking in the process of holding someone responsible.
If the emotional blackmail is stripped from either editorial, however, we are left with a sad attempt to vilify guns and gun advocacy groups. We are also left with a misguided attempt to blame pro-gun advocacy groups for the villainous actions of common street thugs.
As we know, street thugs don’t obey the law, and the various anti-gun schemes dreamed up over the last 50 years hasn’t put a dent in their ability to get a gun. They have only succeeded in disarming law-abiding Americans, leaving them as easy prey for armed criminals.
If anti-gun advocates truly cared about keeping the criminal element from getting a gun, they would spend their time demanding that law enforcement use all the tools at their disposal to stop illegal gun transactions. Instead, they get anti-gun law enforcement administrators like Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath to conspire with them in their crusade to destroy gun rights.
But, according to the premise put forth by Chris Evans, Chief McGrath is also to blame for gun crime because he failed to enforce local gun ordinances in the past. Once again, had Evans properly researched the issue, he would find that very few prosecutions took place under Cleveland’s now defunct assault weapons ban. Since including that information in his editorials would have cut the knees from under his arguments, Evans disregarded them, just as he disregards integrity and journalistic standards in order to push a logically flawed anti-gun agenda.
Chris Evans, and his bosses at The Plain Dealer, should be ashamed of their actions. But it is more likely they are so blinded by hatred of guns, and gun owners that they are convinced of the righteousness of their actions.
Gerard Valentino, a former military intelligence analyst, is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of “The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative,” available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.