Gutowski SCHOOLS Media on Their Ignorance of Basic Gun Knowledge

Breaking News

On CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter spent much of his show on Sunday discussing the fallout from the mass shooting in Uvalde Texas. During the second segment of the show, Stelter brought on founder of The Reload, and former MRCTV writer and MRC Bulldog Award winner Steven Gutowski, as well as Mother Jones editor in chief Clara Jeffery to discuss the media’s coverage of the shooting. 

As is expected for Stelter and Jeffery, they brought no substance or knowledge to the discussion which Gutowski made sure to point out during his sober and reasoned analysis. 

Jeffery started off complaining about “how does an 18-year-old, on his birthday legally buy a weapon of war with no checks, no training, no accountability of any kind?” 

She dismissed the idea that we should be focusing on why the Uvalde police waited an hour to kill the gunman, and demanded we all “keep our eye firmly on that ball” and rush to ban AR-15s and other weapons. 

You Might Like

Gutowski calmly responded that “there should be quite a lot of focus on the failings of the law enforcement response at the elementary school in Texas. Because that very likely got a lot of people killed.” 

He also pointed out the obvious that “there’s no single magic switch that you can flip, whether it’s about hardening schools or banning guns as people propose, that’s going to instantly solve this problem.”

Stelter asked Gutowski how the media can do a better job of covering guns and tragic incidents like in Uvalde. In response, Gutowski noted that “we need better literacy about guns” and made the point that there isn’t “even a base level of knowledge that we have in our industry.” 

Gutowski made several interesting points about the media’s lack of knowledge or curiosity about guns:

“There’s no beat, nobody covers this in our industry on a regular basis. This is not something that’s prioritized. And so when there are events that happen like this, what you get are reporters who are general-assignment reporters who don’t have knowledge of the subject and that’s when mistakes get made constantly.”

Jeffery predictably took issue with what Gutowski said and insisted I would just like to say that “Mother Jones have been covering this for more than a decade intensively.” 

Which is not the point he was making. You can cover a news story while simultaneously being completely ignorant about the nuances of the topic at hand. 

The unhinged Mother Jones editor couldn’t handle being called out so she lashed out at Gutowski and wailed “This sort of shield of expertise that always comes up, oh, if you don’t know that an AR doesn’t stand for assault rifle, then you have no business talking about guns” Jeffery shrieked. “No, we’re all parents, we’re all citizens, we all have to go to school and to church and to temple and to the store. We are all experts. We don’t want to be. But that’s what’s happened.” 

After she finally calmed down, Gutowski clarified his point so even she could understand: “I’m not talking about you needing an expert level of education to comment on firearms. I think what we have issue in our industry is that we don’t very rarely have even a base level, even an understanding of the difference between semi-automatic and automatic.” 

This segment was made possible by LifeLock. Their information is linked. 

To read the relevant transcript of this segment click “expand”: 

CNN’s Reliable Sources
5/29/2022
11:20:06 a.m. Eastern

CLARA JEFFERY (EDITOR IN CHIEF, MOTHER JONES): We need to back up and take a look at the real issue, and that’s how does an 18-year-old, on his birthday legally buy a weapon of war with no checks, no training, no accountability of any kind? And so as much as we need to figure out what happened with the police, we need to keep our eye firmly on that ball. 

BRIAN STELTER: Stephen, I wonder how you react to what Clara said. 

STEPHEN GUTOWSKI (FOUNDER, THERELOAD.COM): Uh, well, I would strongly disagree on a number of points there. Certainly I do think there should be quite a lot of focus on the failings of the law enforcement response at the elementary school in Texas. Because that very likely got a lot of people killed. And I also do not believe that it undermines the idea that somebody can stop a situation like this with a firearm. And certainly they have repeatedly over time. It’s not a guarantee, certainly. Just as an assault weapons ban is not a guarantee of preventing these shootings from happening, as we saw in Buffalo where there is an assault weapons ban, and the shooter bought his New York legal version of his rifle and modified it. There’s no single magic switch that you can flip, whether it’s about hardening schools or banning guns as people propose, that’s going to instantly solve this problem. 

STELTER: Agree with you, no magic switch. But if we can just reduce the number of deaths, shouldn’t that be the goal, Stephen? That should be the goal. It’s just about reducing the slaughter. 

GUTOWSKI: Of course. 

STELTER: What do you think the media needs to be doing in covering guns? 

[crosstalk]

STELTER: Stephen, you’ve been on this beat for years. I always rely on you for coverage of gun issues. What does the rest of the media need to do differently? Or what should we do to be better when covering this beat, this issue? 

GUTOWSKI: Certainly. I think the very base level we need better literacy about guns, about our gun laws, how they work, about the gun politics, why people oppose these sorts of restrictions that you often hear called for in the media. I don’t think that there is even a base level of knowledge that we have in our industry. And I think a large part of that is not just, you know, bias that people talk about. That is an issue. But mainly there’s no beat, nobody covers this in our industry on a regular basis. This is not something that’s prioritized. And so when there are events that happen like this, what you get are reporters who are general-assignment reporters who don’t have knowledge of the subject and that’s when mistakes get made constantly. 

STELTER: Interesting. Clara – 

[crosstalk]

JEFFERY: If I can interrupt for a second. 

STELTER: Yeah, please. 

JEFFERY: Well, I would just like to say that we at Mother Jones have been covering this for more than a decade intensively. We have a vast repertoire of knowledge on this subject. And I think, frankly, most Americans have had to get up to speed with at least some of the broad outlines of gun laws and gun restrictions and views on guns. But a central view on guns is that most people do not own a gun, most people, overwhelmingly, want universal background checks, want red flag laws, want to raise the age, at a minimum, for purchase of an assault weapon. And a majority of people want to ban assault weapons. So I think this sort of shield of expertise that always comes up, oh, if you don’t know that an AR doesn’t stand for assault rifle, then you have no business talking about guns. No, we’re all parents, we’re all citizens, we all have to go to school and to church and to temple and to the store. We are all experts. We don’t want to be. But that’s what’s happened. 

Because a small cadre of politicians, lobbyists, and manufacturers sell fear to their base, and that base then they’re beholden to it. And it’s an antimajoritarian system that we live in now where a tiny fraction of the American public with the most extreme views on guns is setting the policy agenda for the entire country at the expense of our children. 

(…)

GUTOWSKI: But of course I’m not talking about you needing an expert level of education to comment on firearms. I think what we have issue in our industry is that we don’t very rarely have even a base level, even an understanding of the difference between semi-automatic and automatic. And these things matter significantly when you’re trying to discuss policy responses to this and trying to explain to the audience what they would actually do and what the impact would really be.

(…)

Articles You May Like

She Had an Abortion. Why She’s Glad Roe Was Overturned.
World Health Organization says monkeypox is not a global health emergency right now
One Big Reason Americans are Ignorant About Russia’s Role in WW II
Who Actually Approves of Joe Biden’s Handling of the Economy?
Psst…Americans Actually Agree With the Principles of the Dobbs Decision

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.