Not Shocking, Quite Appalling: Media Bias on Gun-Free Zones

gun-free fedexAnother multiple victim public shooting, yet another attack that occurred where guns are banned.

Tuesday’s tragic attack at a FedEx facility in Cobb County, Georgia, left six people injured, with one still in critical condition.

The media quickly rushed in with stories about an “assault rifle” being used in the attack.  This claim was made everywhere, in stories including the New York TimesUSA TodayCBS News and the BBC.  But it wasn’t an “assault” weapon.  The attack occurred with a shotgun.

During the first two days of news coverage, there was a virtual complete media blackout on one of the most important aspects of the attack: that it occurred where guns are banned, in a “gun-free zone.”

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Only the Atlanta Journal-Constitution mentioned it in a one-sentence update added to the end of an online story on Tuesday, the day of the attack.

Even the Wall Street Journal bungled the coverage, concluding that the attack shows gun ownership doesn’t help stop these attacks. Tim Noah argued that the attack occurred in Kennesaw, a city that had “an ordinance requiring every household to own a gun,” but that all these guns didn’t stop the attack from occurring.

Never mind that the FedEx facility wasn’t actually in Kennesaw, the photo used in Noah’s article showed the gun-free zone signs.  Obviously he didn’t know what photo would be used, and he wrote the story without asking if gun-free zones were even something to consider.

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