chapter  14
10 Pages

Firearms Follies: How the News Media Cover Gun Control

WithTed Gest

America's news media consistently display a mixture of bias, carelessness and plain error in reporting issues involving guns. The media a predictable story line: Lobbying by the powerful National Rifle Association had overcome the shock of one of America's worst mass gun murders and stalled the latest attempt at gun control. The episode hardly is remarkable in the annals of news coverage of guns. America's news media consistently display a mixture of bias, carelessness and plain error in reporting issues involving guns. The prominence of firearms in the news seems inevitable. Crime is a prime subject of news coverage, and guns are a major means of committing crime. The FBI says that 64 percent of the nation's 20,045 murders in 1990 were committed with firearms, as well as 36 percent of the 639,271 reported robberies and 23 percent of the 1,054,863 reported aggravated assaults.