Dereliction: A Constant Stream of Media Misinformation in Conn. Shooting

The Old Media establishment has done a disservice to an American public heartbroken over the murders at a Connecticut grade school by reporting untrue “facts” over and over again and by using emotionally tinged phrases that do not relay fact but instead push an agenda.

Here are just a few of the badly garbled “facts” in this story that the media rushed to “report” before any truth was put to them.

Of course, the very first major mix up was the shooter’s name. All across the Old Media the shooter was reported as “Ryan Lanza.” However, within hours we discovered that Ryan was the killer’s brother and the killer’s name is Adam.

Also from the beginning, the murderer was reported as having strode through the school with a .223-caliber rifle, often referred to by the media here as an “assault weapon.” This also turned out to be untrue. In fact, he only had handguns with him in the school, not any “assault rifle.” He did have a rifle but it was left in his car and not carried into the school.
(Addendum: And the “news” is still shifting back and forth about what guns this murderer had, what he used, what he left in the car… they still can’t get it right.)

Many media outlets reported that the school principal, and a victim of the murderer, was the one that let the shooter into the building. But it turned out that the killer broke glass to gain access to the school. He wasn’t buzzed-in by the principal as was reported and there is no evidence he was recognized by anyone working at the school and allowed in as a result.

Lanza is also being said to have been wearing “combat gear.” What does this even mean? Some reports say it was a black shirt, or maybe some sort of vest and “possibly a mask.” Is a black shirt somehow automatically “combat gear,” now? This “combat gear” claim, though universally picked up by the Old Media as a description of Lanza’s appearance, is meaningless without any actual listing of that “gear.” What does “combat gear” even mean, here? We have no idea. But it sure sounds menacing, eh? Quite emotional. Whatever he was actually wearing, this descriptive term was used before any hard facts were known.

The killer’s mother was also reported to have been a teacher at the school and found dead on the premises. That also turned out to be untrue. The killer’s mother was found dead in her home and it appears she was not connected to the school. Her name does not appear on the school’s list of teachers. She may have been a substitute teacher, but even that isn’t clear. But the Old Media definitively reported that she was a teacher and was killed inside the school.

Some reporters are calling the killer’s mother an “avid gun collector.” There is no basis for this label. It is an emotional phrase meant to make the deceased mother into some “gun nut.” In truth there is no public knowledge about how many guns she owned and whether or not she considered herself a “collector.” She may have been, of course, but we just don’t have any knowledge to say so.

It was also reported that on December 11 Adam Lanza was “denied the ability” to buy a rifle he wanted to purchase at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Danbury, Connecticut. But this is also untrue. It appears that what actually happened is that Lanza wanted to buy a rifle and then take it immediately from the store. The store informed the killer that the state has a waiting period and because of that the killer walked out of the store without completing the purchase.

The latter fact actually proves that the waiting period works as intended. A person that wanted to go kill someone on the spur of the moment and in the heat of a passion of sorts could not buy a gun and then immediately walk out of the store with it.

Still, Lanza was not “denied” the opportunity to buy the rifle. He decided not to finish the purchase. So, the media is wrong to say he was denied the ability to buy the gun.

Other pertinent facts have also been left out of this story. With the renewed call for “strict gun laws,” it should be noted that Conn. already has bans on guns in schools. It is a felony to carry a gun on school property if you have no concealed carry permit, and local school boards have even been given the power to tell concealed carry license holders that they haven’t a right to carry in their district. Local school districts have the power to deny a permit holder his right to carry.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Connecticut has the fifth strictest gun laws in the nation. The strict gun laws didn’t stop the killing just as in the case with a long list of similar killings in foreign countries that also have strict gun banning laws.

Yet, with dozens of reports on this crime, the Old Media sneaks in phrases such as this incident “renews calls for gun control” without noting that the state already has such laws in place.

Naturally, every “news” outlet is screeching about “assault weapons,” too. But the fact is there is no such thing as an assault weapon. It has neither a legal nor a logical definition. Every gun is literally an “assault weapon.” Further any military rifle can be made to look like a civilian rifle and vice versa. There just isn’t any such thing as an assault weapon and the media’s constant use of the term relays no meaningful information to the news consumer.

In all, the Old Media has badly mauled the facts in reporting this case. With their rush to be first, the facts were deemed less important.

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Posted by on December 17, 2012.
Filed under Constitutional Issues, Corrections, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Deaths, Democrats, Dumbasses, Liberals, Media.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • jim_m

    Good thing the MSM has all those layers of fact checkers and editors to make sure they get the story right.

    I like the part about her being an “avid gun collector”. the national average for gun owners is 4 guns. She had 5. Some collection! She had one more than the average person.

    And since the lefties here seem incapable themselves of explaining what exactly an assault weapon is other than it looks “threatening” we have confirmation that the designation is basically any gun they want to ban and that it has no fixed definition other than as an excuse to take away our civil liberties.

    And we know that this is now about taking our civil liberties because we have lovely people like Steve “thought crime” Crickmore blaming this on conservative ideology.

    • warnertoddhuston

      Yeah, that was my favorite, too. They said “avid gun collector” as if a) it meant anything and b) they actually had any knowledge upon which to make the claim. Just liars.

    • Carl

      Oh Look, we caught Jimbo lying again.

      She didn’t own 5 guns, shoe owned six, including an antique firearm.

      Yep, she definitely was a collector, but she did have just a small collection.

      • jim_m

        The last list I got was 5 and this is the first time I have heard anyone claim she had an antique weapon.

  • Carl

    Yeah, a ban on guns in schools. That was really effective.

    Just remember, guns don’t kill people….

    • jim_m

      I have never heard of a gun killing someone without a person pulling the trigger or otherwise negligently discharging it. If you have evidence otherwise I’d like to see that.

      Speaking of things I’d like to see…We are all still waiting for your explanation of what an assault weapon is and why it is more deadly than a rifle of the same caliber. You’ve run away 3 times now

      Waiting….

      Waiting….

      Waiting…

      • Carl

        Still waiting for you to explain why you’re a habitual liar.

        Waiting… etc.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          I’ll bite, then -

          Carl – what’s an assault weapon, and why is it more deadly than a rifle of the same caliber that looks different?

          I’ll even help you a bit here. Which rifle is more dangerous?

          This one – a British Enfield .303…

          http://www.fingalsports.com/images/Lee410.jpg

          Or a Hi-Point 9mm carbine?

          http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/carbines/carbines_9mm.html

          • jim_m

            Carl says on the other thread

            let’s just make ownership of assault rifles legal -

            This actually implies that he might think that they are currently illegal. But then why does he want to ban them?

            Maybe he just doesn’t know what he is talking about.

          • Carl

            No, that describes what we did in 2004. The 10 year ban on assault rifles ended in 2004, making the purchase of assault rifles legal again, but Jimbo is too stupid to remember that.

            Lifting the ban has been particularly successful, don’t you think?

            Oh I forgot, you don’t.

            What carl said on the other thread that has Jimmy so baffled… let’s see if anyone besides Jim can figure this out.

            Naw… let’s just make ownership of assault rifles legal — then every mentally ill person will have ready access by just stealing it.

            Then they can murder innocent Americans, especially children.

            Oh wait, we’ve already tried that – and it was a huge success.

            Anyone with a third grade reading level can understand the sarcasm — but poor old jim see it as an opportunity to lie – so he lifts the one line “let’s just make ownership of assault rifles legal” and takes it out of context.

            And all it did was prove that jim has no clue that there was a 10 year ban on assault rifles. That’s why it wasn’t necessary for me to define what an assault rifle is — it’s already been defined.

            He acts like a child while proving that he’s a know-nothing idiot.

          • jim_m

            You claim to know the law. Obviously you don’t. It took you two days to claim the law defining assault weapons and you think that mentally ill people can go out and buy guns. Federal law prohibits that. If you are worried that a mentally ill person would buy a gun then make it easier to have people adjudicated as mentally ill.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            I think that’s the most likely scenario – that Carl hasn’t a clue when it comes to firearms beyond talking points.

          • Carl

            An assault rifle was defined in the 10 year ban singed by President Clinton in 1994.

            Are you really so stupid that you don’t know what an assault rifle is?

            It’s already been defined by law. You and Jim playing “who can be the biggest moron” is entertaining… but boring.

            Now be sure to be an idiot like Jim and ask the same question repeatedly. It shows such intelligence to do the same thing over and over again expecting the result to be different.

            Oops, that’s one definition of insanity. My bad.

            Well, it certainly applies here. Watching you “pro-life” extremists seeking to protect the right of murderers to kill innocent children is enlightening.

            Bring a whole new meaning to “walking the Christian path”….

            Now where is jim-M – I’m sure he’ll ask again. Idiots do that sort of thing.

            Come on JIm ask again – you idiot.

          • jim_m

            OK. You are going with the definition of assault weapon as found in the 1994 Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act,

            Now do us the favor of explaining what makes such a rifle more deadly than another in the same caliber. I will make it easy for you the features of an assault rifle as defined by the law were:

            Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

            – Folding or telescoping stock
            – Pistol grip
            – Bayonet mount
            – Flash suppressor,
            – a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades (even though the grenades themselves are illegal already so this is still just a cosmetic device)

            Explain how any of those make the weapon more deadly. Certainly no one is being stabbed with a bayonet so that isn’t it. I’m having a hard time figuring out how the cosmetic features make the bullets more deadly. I am sure that you have some wisdom from on high that will tell us.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Carl’s being Carl. It’s difficult to understand just why he’s the way he is – unless he’s just being intentionally obtuse for the (for him) entertainment value of it.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            I asked about assault WEAPONS, Carl. Not assault rifles. There’s a difference – one is a term that has pretty much no meaning, while the other is a class of firearms used by the military

            Here – let me help you. From Wiki on ‘assault rifle’ – “An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. It is not to be confused with assault weapons.[1]”

            From wiki on ‘assault weapon’: A common usage is to interchange the term with assault rifle, but unlike that term, “assault weapon” has no consistent or specific definition and so is subject to varying definitions for varying purposes, including definitions that include common non-military-style firearms.[4]

            Now, at the risk of boring you – Which rifle is more dangerous?

            This one – a British Enfield .303…

            http://www.fingalsports.com/images/Lee410.jpg

            Or a Hi-Point 9mm carbine?

            http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/carbines/carbines_9mm.html

            “Watching you “pro-life” extremists seeking to protect the right of murderers to kill innocent children is enlightening.”

            That implies we condone what happened. We don’t.

            That we agree with what he did. We don’t.

            That we want to protect murderers. We don’t.

            You’re taking two entirely different issues – the responsibility for one’s own actions – whether mentally ill or not – and the legality of firearms, and mixing the two together.

            Your apparent thinking on this is a twisted mess.

          • puhiawa

            It is clear that you in fact do not know what an assault rifle is. Invented by Germany in WWII, an assault rifle is a light automatic rifle (not a submachine gun), designed for rapid fire deployment by light infantry.

          • Carl

            An assault rifle was defined in the 10 year ban singed by President Clinton in 1994.

            Are you really so stupid that you don’t know what an assault rifle is?

            It’s already been defined by law. You and Jim playing “who can be the biggest moron” is entertaining… but boring.

            Now be sure to be an idiot like Jim and ask the same question repeatedly. It shows such intelligence to do the same thing over and over again expecting the result to be different.

            Oops, that’s one definition of insanity. My bad.

            Well, it certainly applies here. Watching you “pro-life” extremists seeking to protect the right of murderers to kill innocent children is enlightening.

            Bring a whole new meaning to “walking the Christian path”….

            Now where is jim-M – I’m sure he’ll ask again. Idiots do that sort of thing.

            Come on JIm ask again – you idiot.

        • jim_m

          I responded to your last bogus charge and explained why I wasn’t lying and you were incorrect with your charge.

          You have run away each time on this issue. You are doing it because you don’t know the answer.

          • Carl

            And now you’re lying again….

          • Carl

            And now you’re lying again….

        • 914

          If you cant add to the discussion constructively then leave. In other words, leave.

          • Carl

            hahahahaha

          • Carl

            hahahahaha

        • 914

          If you cant add to the discussion constructively then leave. In other words, leave.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          Project you very much indeed.

    • http://www.shockandblog.com/ Jay McHue

      Oh, so you agree that guns should not be banned from schools. Good to know. Yes, let trained, law-abiding citizens and teachers carry guns so they can protect our children. Glad you agree.

      • Carl

        Oh yes, absolutely – you got it figured out.

      • Carl

        Oh yes, absolutely – you got it figured out.

  • Commander_Chico

    the murderer was reported as having strode through the school with a .223-caliber rifle, often referred to by the media here as an “assault weapon.” This also turned out to be untrue.

    I guess you can add Warner’s post to the “misinformation.” The Chief Medical Examiner said the victims were shot with a .223.

    • Brucehenry

      Leave it to Warner to respond to the tragedy not with a thoughtful, reflective piece like the Baron, Robertson, or Drummond, but with another tired rant about the lamestream media.

      • Commander_Chico

        The big media I’m sure he desperately wants to join, just as Sarah Palin did.

        You are right about the other pieces – they rose to the occasion, even if I don’t agree with all of it.

        • Brucehenry

          They were thoughtful and reflective, but were still full of nonsense. But at least they broke up the monotony of crybaby victimhood.

      • Commander_Chico

        The big media I’m sure he desperately wants to join, just as Sarah Palin did.

        You are right about the other pieces – they rose to the occasion, even if I don’t agree with all of it.

    • Brucehenry

      Leave it to Warner to respond to the tragedy not with a thoughtful, reflective piece like the Baron, Robertson, or Drummond, but with another tired rant about the lamestream media.

    • warnertoddhuston

      You might want to learn to read. Idiot.

    • warnertoddhuston

      You might want to learn to read. Idiot.