Media Portrays Gun Ownership as Dangerous

A row of shotguns in a store
Owning multiple guns doesn't make you dangerous and more than owning multiple cars does.

I dislike headlines like this one from Barrons: “’Drunk’ California Judge Shot Wife With One Of His 47 Guns” because they are an attempt to make gun owners and collectors look dangerous.

The judge in question was 72, reportedly had “dozens of guns and 26,000 rounds of ammunition at his house,” and had been married for years. The media is using the guns and ammo to make him look like a guy waiting to snap when any thinking person would know that it shows he is a law abiding gun owner. If he was an “evil” killer collecting guns for some nefarious plot, he would have gone on a rampage years ago and killed dozens of strangers in a no-guns zone. Instead, this is a case of a guy who argued with his wife and killed her in a fit of rage, likely exacerbated by his drinking, after she egged him on. The fact that he had 47 guns and 26,000 rounds of ammunition has nothing to do with his intent.

It is also noteworthy that all of his guns were legally owned. In California, that’s a pretty high bar. This is clearly a man who did his utmost to comply and be a law-abiding gun owner.

I also question why they put the word drunk in quotes, implying that perhaps he was not drunk. Yet police detected alcohol on his breath, and a condition of his release is that he was ordered not to drink.

The New York Times also stressed the 47 guns in their headline, despite that portion of the story not appearing until the 12th paragraph. A clear case of anti-gun sentiment at the time, which should surprise no one. The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, CBS News, and many other papers showed more restraint and didn’t lead with the gun angle.

Owning lots of guns doesn’t make you more likely to kill any more than owning multiple cars makes you more likely to speed. In my book, owning 26,000 rounds of ammo doesn’t make you scary, it makes you smart. And as a guy who dealt with criminals every day, I can’t blame him for wanting to be prepared to defend himself.

Published 8/16/2023. See full article.