The BBC, Guns, and Mental Illness

There were two tragic shootings in the US this past week or so, and the BBC was keen to use them to promote their anti-gun agenda. Not only did they seek to exploit both events to further that agenda, but stooped to dishonesty, and in one case censorship, in the process. The fact that these occurred around the time the media was acknowledging the one-year anniversary of the sad Newtown massacre, what many of them felt certain was going to be the turning point for the anti-gun movement, only added to their urgency.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the media seeking to exploit a tragedy to further a political agenda, Mark Mardell flew back from honoring his “secular saint” in Johannesburg to interview a mother of one of the little victims in Newtown.

(NB: Before I continue, let me warn you that this will be a very long post, the length of a magazine feature, as this is a complex issue and there’s a lot of ground – a lot of BBC coverage – to cover. If you’re one of those TL/DR types who believes all blog posts should be short and sweet, 500 words maximum, then please click away now. Also, it’s important to point out that my opinion and your opinion of gun control and of gun culture and gun laws in the US is irrelevant. This is about the BBC’s biased reporting on the issue. Whether or not one agrees with a given ideological perspective should neither deny the BBC’s right to report on something, nor give it carte blanche when it’s an issue with which one agrees. I’m going to repeat this more than once, because I don’t want discussion in the comments to degenerate into moaning about guns in the US. We should be able to discuss the bias on its face, with the evidence I’ve provided, whether we agree with the specifics of an ideological position or not.)

After painting the picture of a heartbroken town, using the tools of a professional wordsmith to evoke emotion and gently guide the reader towards the desired conclusion, Mardell presents the words of Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylon, one of the little victims of a mentally ill teenager who killed his own mother and stole her guns to use in a mass murder. It’s impossible not to be moved at least a little by her pain, the loss of love and the unimaginable potential of a young life. Her expression of the loss of the physical sensation of holding her child touches deeply. It’s why the media engages in this kind of reporting. They know it’s moving, they know people will feel deeply. Unfortunately, they know it can sometimes be used to manipulate, and in some cases it strays into exploitation. It’s also impossible not to detect Mardell’s disappointment that the woman seems to him not to have learned the correct lesson from the tragedy.

Mrs. Hockley knows something must change to prevent this kind of thing  from happening again, or at least make it so rare that nobody can make the case that, as Mardell has, it’s becoming as American as baseball. We’ll return to that highly biased bit of journalism later. Contrary to BBC reporting on the topic, nobody believes that nothing should change. Nobody wants these things to continue just so a few of us can keep our crazy arsenals. One of the lowest rhetorical tricks is to demonize one’s ideological opponent simply for disagreeing, denying the possibility that there might be a reasoned opinion on the other side worth discussing. With this trick, the debate is stifled before it begins, as Mardell demonstrates expertly:

President Barack Obama called for new gun laws after this act of mass murder. Congress has rebuffed every single one.

This makes it seems as if Congress (as usual with the BBC, it’s presented as a single, united body, which is dishonest), and by extension, the public who voted for them, opposed to any change, any improvement which might prevent further tragedies like this. For which laws did the President call? We aren’t told. Which laws doesn’t Congress want? We aren’t told. Does anyone in Congress have an alternative solution, or do they just want things to remain exactly as they are? We aren’t told. Informing you properly is not Mardell’s goal, of course. His purpose here is to make you believe that the US culture of gun ownership – in all its myriad forms, not the monolith nutter-with-an-arsenal portrait the BBC likes to present – is wrong, must be changed, and all right-thinking people seek a new momentum.

Nichole Hockley is disappointed but says she doesn’t back “gun control” and she doesn’t want, as some do, a ban on military-style rifles.

“Its not just about the gun at the end of the day. The gun is the weapon that was chosen to kill my son and others at Sandy Hook Elementary,” she said. “Certainly there are lots of common sense solutions required around gun safety – keep you guns locked up, make sure only people capable of having guns have them, report it if your gun is stolen.”

This reflects more of the consensus in the US than Mardell and his BBC colleagues are comfortable with. Contrary to the general BBC coverage of the issue, there are already plenty of laws controlling guns in the country. They vary from State to State (anathema to the BBC), yet we’re always given the impression that most of the country is one heated argument short of becoming the Wild West. (NB: Your opinion of whether or not people should own guns is irrelevant. The BBC’s reporting is biased, whether you agree with their ideology on the issue or not. Don’t appear to take the position that it’s okay for the BBC to be biased when you agree with them.) Fortunately, as the woman is being presented as an absolute moral authority, he must let her speak. No BBC censorship at this point.

But she says issues about mental health are just as important. There should be early intervention and programmes to stop people feeling isolated.

Now we get to the key element of this tragedy: mental illness. We aren’t properly reminded here, as the BBC expects we all know the details but anyone who remembers the story will know that a mentally ill young man killed his mother, stole her legally-owned weapons, and went on to commit mass murder against small children and their teachers. Here’s where the BBC begins to discuss the reality behind the tragedy, and to address the issues behind it.

Oh, hang on, no it isn’t. We’re back to gun control laws.

But she doesn’t see why Congress couldn’t have banned large ammunition magazines that can hold many bullets.

Connecticut has enacted such a ban on magazines of more than 10 rounds.

“The most lethal feature of a gun is the high-capacity magazine clips,” she said. “When you look at a lot of states there, hunters don’t have more than three or seven per clip because it is about being fair to the animals.

“I would like to see that same fairness given to humans,” she added.

That’s a great line, actually, better than just about anything put out by all the world-class, highly-trained, professional wordsmiths at the BBC. It’s so good it almost made me forget that she said the issue of mental illness was “just as important”. Mardell seems to have forgotten about it, because that’s the last we hear of it. The rest of the piece is about working to enforce more gun control laws. He even wheels out the traditional appeal to authority, this time in the form of the owner of a gun shop who denigrates some of the people who rushed to buy up certain unapproved weapons before laws banning them came into effect. Even the owner of a gun shop, you’re expected to feel, says that people who want to own these guns are idiots, and that it’s very dangerous. What more is there to say, right?

Wrong. There’s more – much, much more – to say about mental illness and the culture and laws surrounding it. Yet Mardell and the BBC swept it under the rug. Mardell simply doesn’t care that the woman – presented here as a voice you must listen to due to her absolute moral authority, remember – said that the issue of mental illness is of equal importance. That won’t do anything to push his or the BBC’s anti-gun agenda, so he ignored it entirely.

It’s likely that the journalist excuse for not spelling out the details of the mass murderer is that most people knew enough that it was unnecessary, and would have impeded the flow of the piece. I believe that one solitary sentence, not unlike the one I wrote above, would have sufficed, and would not have put a damper on the prose. It would, however, have detracted from the agenda. The victim’s mother said that it was just as important as what the BBC made into the main – and only – point of the story, so it’s hard to accept any excuse for leaving it out, practically denying the importance of the issue altogether.

Near the end of the article, after we hear the gun shop owner seemingly disparage many gun owners, Mardell amazing allows through one of the man’s sentiments, and perhaps the most important one of all on the issue of gun control:

He strongly believes that guns are not only a part of America’s constitution, they are also a part of its history and a bulwark against dictatorship – a frequently heard argument.

A frequently heard argument? Not from the BBC it isn’t. When was the last time you heard anyone from the BBC say this was part of the debate? It must be like racism and the Tea Party for Mardell. He’s admitted that he frequently hears people claiming legitimate opposition to Democrats’ and the President’s various Big-Government, redistributionist policies, and that he’s seen no overt evidence that it’s all due to racism, yet he remains convinced that it’s actually all due to racism – or crypto-racism – and pretty much all BBC reporting on opposition to any of the President’s policies is inspired by racism.

In the case of gun control laws, something that is apparently something Mardell hears frequently is never evident in his or his colleagues’ reporting on the issue. Right here, this tells us that he and the BBC just ignore a large portion of what they hear, because it doesn’t suit their agenda.

Getting back to the gun shop owner’s opinion, we get one more little mention of mental health issues, but it’s again subsumed by “common sense” gun control laws.

But he does insist that mental health is an issue and that people should be properly trained in using firearms.

Leaving it like this is sickening, as anyone who paid attention to the actual story will know that the mentally ill mass murderer was properly trained in using firearms, taken to training by his own mother. One can learn all sorts of hypothetical tactics from video games, but that doesn’t teach one how to actually hold, fire, and reload a weapon in meatspace. To claim, as many in the media did, that he learned it all from video games, is a lie, and is actually evidence of the naïvité endemic in the industry’s expert practitioners. So much for that point about proper training preventing this kind of tragedy, and so much for BBC honesty on the matter. Mardell should have pointed that out, but he didn’t, because he doesn’t give a damn. His real agenda is to promote the idea that the US needs to change.

There’s no doubt guns are one of the issues that are central to the wide political gulf in America.

Compromise seems unlikely but Ms Hockley insists what she calls “a conversation” is possible with the focus on the safety of children.

It’s not possible with anyone at the BBC, as their minds are already made up to take what for the majority of people in the US would be an extremist position. The BBC has never, and will never, discuss the fact that, due to the police taking twenty minutes to arrive on the scene, never mind getting in their and stopping a killer, Lanza could have used one of those hunting rifles with clips of only five rounds to kill just as many children and teachers. These were just about the most defenseless victims imaginable, and couldn’t have stopped him if they tried. Hell, he could almost have used a muzzle-loaded musket from the 1830s and done the same thing. Even an amateur can manage one round a minute, and it’s not like any of the little children or their young teachers would have known the difference or dared move when a lunatic with a gun was stalking them. In essence, none of the stricter gun control laws Mrs. Hockley nor most other not as extremist as BBC journalists are talking about would have prevented the tragedy. Only addressing the national culture on mental health issues will be able to even begin to deal with this. Yet Mardell swept it aside.

The second shooting tragedy this week was also covered by the BBC, and they had a difficult time using this one to push their agenda. Not that it stopped them from trying. And in this case, they stooped to censorship in order to aid it.

Gunman dead after Centennial, Colorado, school shooting

A student at a Colorado school shot and wounded two students, one seriously, before dying of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say.

If this hadn’t happened one day before the Newtown anniversary, would the BBC have even bother with it? Possibly, as it still would have been a good opportunity to send Jonny Dymond over to tell you that this occurred just a few miles away from the infamous Colombine mass murders.

“In the cold, outside their classrooms, waiting to be frisked, the students of another terrorized school,” Dymond intoned ominously, describing the scene with his voice carefully measured and modulated, placing emotive stress on “frisked”, in order to give the proper dark impression, like an actor giving a dramatic reading of a Gothic horror. Professional, world-class BBC journalism in action.

And thus begins the Narrative, one of too many schools cowering in fear of gun massacres. Whatever shall be done? More gun laws needed? Yes, of course. After all, this is the BBC, and that is their agenda.

Just like with , though, all the stricter gun control laws currently being revisited wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy.

The gunman brought a shotgun to the school and was looking for a specific teacher when confronted by a classmate, the Arapahoe County sheriff said.

Nobody in the gun control crowd is talking about banning shotguns. In fact, Vice President Biden recommends owning one for home defense. Even some people in Britain, such as farmers, are allowed to own shotguns. No way are shotguns going to be part of the national debate the BBC dreams of, nor are they going to be restricted or limited in any way. So this isn’t at all a useful tragedy to exploit to further the gun control agenda. Yet the BBC wanted to do it anyway, and so we get Dymond’s dramatic performance.

In addition, the BBC assigned David Botti (just how many Beeboids are working in the US these days? It’s getting ridiculous.) to do a “bespoke” video magazine piece on how US schools are so scared of these mass murders that they’re locking down. The point of his piece is actually not whether or not schools are over-reacting to an existential threat. In reality, the agenda is to stoke emotions against gun ownership and encourage approved thoughts about stricter gun control laws. Think of the children!

As for the Arapahoe shooting, since the BBC had little success in finding a way to push their agenda with that story, they engaged in censorship so it wouldn’t detract from another Narrative: who engages in gun violence.

It’s a behavior we’ve heard all too often from the BBC. I’ve lost count of how many times a shooting gets reported, and BBC journalists and on-air talent start speculating that it must be a Right-winger or white supremacist (to most BBC journalists they’re one and the same), before the facts come out. For example, we heard it with the Toulouse shootings (eventually Gavin Hewitt had enough evidence shoved in his face to make him wonder if it was something else), we heard it with Norwegian shootings, we heard it with the Tucson shootings (some Beeboids tweeted that bias and even blood libel of Sarah Palin as well: see Mark Blank-Settle Jim Hawkins, Katty Kay, and Rachel Kennedy, on our “In Their Own Tweets” page), and we heard it with the Boston bombings. There’s no need for an editorial directive for this biased agenda to be institutional if they all think the same way already. In only one of those cases – Anders Breivik in Norway – did the perpetrator turn out to be driven by some sort of Right-wing ideology. And he was clearly mentally ill. The Tucson murderer, Jared Loughner, also turned out be mentally ill. Yet the BBC reflexively leapt to assume that all of them must have been, before waiting for facts. And in Loughner’s case, tried to sweep the mental illness issue under the rug in favor of pushing their gun control agenda.

In the Arapahoe case, we do know the ideology of the shooter, and we know why the BBC decided to censor it.

Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates said

The teenage gunman who entered Arapahoe High School on Friday afternoon and shot two fellow students with a shotgun was outspoken about politics, was a gifted debater and might have been bullied for his beliefs, according to students who knew him.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson identified the gunman as Karl Pierson, an 18-year-old student.

“He had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff,” said junior Abbey Skoda, who was in a class with Pierson during her freshman year. “I also heard he was bullied a lot.”

The part about being bullied has a parallel in the Columbine tragedy, actually. In addition to the easy connection for the lazy journalist of the geographical proximity, somebody decided to tack on a gratuitous mention of the Adam Lanza’s obsession with mass murder stories like Columbine. It’s completely irrelevant to the story itself. The Arapahoe shooter didn’t seem to keep a scrapbook like Lanza did, nor are we hearing about any other shared obsessions. The BBC included that for Narrative purposes only.

As for the Arapahoe shooters beliefs:

In one Facebook post, Pierson attacks the philosophies of economist Adam Smith, who through his invisible-hand theory pushed the notion that the free market was self-regulating. In another post, he describes himself as “Keynesian.”

“I was wondering to all the neoclassicals and neoliberals, why isn’t the market correcting itself?” he wrote. “If the invisible hand is so strong, shouldn’t it be able to overpower regulations?”

Pierson also appears to mock Republicans on another Facebook post, writing “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die, Climate Change: Let ‘em Die, Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die, More War: Let ‘em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?”

Carl Schmidt and Brendon Mendelson, both seniors at Arapahoe High, knew Pierson. They said he had political views that were “outside the mainstream,” but they did not elaborate.

And there you have it. He held similar political beliefs to most BBC journalists. This would have detracted from the anti-gun agenda, so they left it out. Unlike with other shootings where political motivations came from the other side, or at least when they assumed as much. Perhaps the cognitive dissonance was just too much for them.

(UPDATE Dec. 16: More info on the political beliefs of the Arapahoe shooter. This CNN report gives conflicting anecdotes from his fellow students:

Stutz, an offensive tackle on the football team, had known Pierson since the two shared a human behavior class when Stutz was a freshman and Pierson a sophomore. They worked on a class experiment together in which they went into the community and tried breaking unwritten rules, Stutz said.

“I did think he was a little weird, but I didn’t think he was, like, bad weird,” Stutz added. “He always kind of talked about how America was a communist country, how the government was, like, trying to take us over and stuff. I don’t know, just some weird stuff that I didn’t really pay close attention to, but nothing that alarmed me.

But then there’s this:

Senior Chris Davis, 18, was among many students Saturday trying to make sense of Pierson’s shooting rampage.

“He was a weird kid,” Davis said. “He’s a self-proclaimed communist, just wears Soviet shirts all the time.”

Pierson became easily aggravated, “always liked to be right” and didn’t like losing, Davis said.

“It seems realistic, now, that he did it,” Davis added.

It can’t be both. Either the football player misunderstood what Pierson was saying, or the other kid was hallucinating and imagined the Communist t-shirts. Of course we also get the usual “He seemed so nice, can’t imagine him doing this” statements, which never illuminate any of these stories. Two minutes of an internet search ignoring non-Left sites which seized on only one of those quotes found this from the Left-leaning LA Times:

Joe Redmond, an 18-year-old senior who was good friends with Pierson and was also on the debate team, praised his former teammate’s debating prowess, saying Pierson was the best on the team.

“He and I talked politics and economics a lot. He was very good when he was on the team, and he knew what he was talking about,” Redmond said.

Pierson, he said, was a self-proclaimed socialist. “But he also wore a Communist Party T-shirt to confuse people,” Redmond said. Pierson also sometimes wore an Air Force Academy hoodie and apparently wanted to attend the school, Redmond said. His political leanings, friends say, were more antiauthoritarian than communist.

Antiauthoriatarian. So not so much like your typical Beeboid. Although reading further about his arrogance and viciousness against people who disagreed with him politically, he’s sounding more and more like one. Actually, if he’s a self-proclaimed socialist but doesn’t trust the government, he’s like the Occupiers I’ve talked to. And one with emotional problems at least. This just makes it even more curious that the BBC didn’t bother following up on his political beliefs, seeing as how they usually aren’t shy about doing so. Perhaps it just added nothing to the Narrative, so never mind.)

The BBC, in fact, has a long history of pushing a gun-control agenda. And we have proof that it’s not mere supposition, something I’m only inferring, reading something that isn’t there. Mark Mardell himself admitted it. Near the beginning of this piece, I mentioned his quip that mass shootings were becoming “as American as baseball”. It came from this report on that shooting on a Naval base a couple months back.

In his online report about the incident, he admitted the agenda.

I’m standing in front of a yellow police cordon, the flashing lights of emergency vehicles in the background. The locations change, but the question from the presenters in London is as predictable as it is understandable.

“Will this tragedy make a difference to the debate on gun control?” The short and blunt answer: “No.”

Certainly the murders at the Navy Yard will give fresh impetus to a very old debate.

That’s what they were looking for, and came up empty-handed. Mardell’s disappointment was palpable (I wrote about that incident here). In fact, just like with the recent shooting at that Arapahoe school, the murderer brought only a shotgun to the party. As I said earlier, that’s not going to add one iota of support to the gun control agenda. VP Biden says we can have one, British farmers can have one, banning large-capacity magazines will change nothing. Funny how no Beeboids were tweeting that Biden had blood on his hands for encouraging people to get themselves a shotgun. Oh, and that killer was….wait for it….mentally ill. So was at least one of the Columbine murderers, come to think of it. And the BBC quickly abandoned the story once they realized it. Mardell swept the mental illness issue aside after paying lip service to its existence.

Actually, I have to admit that’s not quite true. BBC journalist Debbie Siegelbaum (I repeat: just how many BBC journalists are there in the US?) reported that one possible reason the man was able to kill so many people is that the SWAT team was ordered to stand down. The BBC got the scoop (I don’t know which one of them got it), and the US media picked up on it immediately. Why or how a BBC journalist got this scoop, I have no idea. Right place, right time, perhaps. However it happened, this was – or should have been – an example of good investigative journalism, placing the facts of the story over any ideology or preconceived notions about the surrounding issues. It was then that the BBC quickly abandoned it. Why? This should have been major, worthy of following up.

Instead, the BBC chose ideology over journalism. No aspect of this incident was useful for the anti-gun agenda, so they simply moved on to bloodier pastures. They thought they found them this week. Because the BBC has so many journalists in the US, including BBC News America, a daily news broadcast produced in and targeted at the US audience, it’s deserving of scrutiny and concern. This is one of the ways that the BBC tries, as Jeremy Paxman put it, to “spread influence”. So let’s not pretend any longer that the BBC doesn’t try to do this, or that they don’t believe the BBC doesn’t have some sort of Divine Right to do it.

The BBC should be doing stories about how we need a national debate on mental health issues, rather than constantly seeking to push gun control buttons. Perhaps they’re simply intellectually incapable of making the leap. They’re certainly ideologically incapable of dealing with the entire issue reasonably or impartially. Or honestly.

More evidence of the BBC’s history of an anti-gun agenda can be found here, here, and here.

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56 Responses to The BBC, Guns, and Mental Illness

  1. johnd2008 says:

    I am a retired Police Officer and during my service was an Authorised Firearms officer. Because of the knee jerk reaction to the Dunblane killings, again because of mental illness, private firearms were banned. We now have the stupid situation that a police officer can carry a firearm whilst at work but in his own time is deemed not fit to own one.The way in which the BBC pushes its own agenda is a disgrace which needs to be sorted.

       59 likes

  2. John Standley says:

    Strange how the BBC doesn’t seem troubled by bearded men with AK-47s being wrapped in a gun-culture.

       67 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      That’s just their soft racism of lowered expectations.

         34 likes

      • John Standley says:

        “soft racism of lowered expectations.”

        A sad but necessary definition – a leftie friend of mine was demonstrating this concept (unconsciously of course) when she said that the tragedy of Rwanda was what can only be expected when different ethnic groups were forced to live in artificial countries.
        I pointed out that the former colonial power in this case was Belgium, itself an “artificial” country yet the Walloons and the Flemish have yet to start slaughtering each other.

           44 likes

        • Chris says:

          Ha. I’m waiting on a response to a complaint to a BBC article on the same issue with regard to a report on the CAR civil war.
          And Rwanda is an interesting example, because that assessment is wrong. The Tutsi and the Hutu had been living together for centuries. The Tutsi formed an ethnic minority governing class. A tenuous comparison would be between the Boers and Zulus in South Africa. Their violence was nothing to do with “artificial borders” and the Belgiums did not force them together.
          On a further note, Belgium is a crap hole.

             21 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          True enough about Belgium, John. The hardest core they get is when postmen in Liège refuse to deliver letters with street addresses written in Flemish. They couldn’t possibly be expected to figure out that Henrikstraat was Rue St. Henri.

             19 likes

    • David Kay says:

      lol good point. maybe if the al qaeda terrorists who shot frank gardner only had 10 round mags his camerman Simon Cumbers would still be alive and Gardner wouldnt be in a wheelchair. Some how i dont think so

         19 likes

    • Chris says:

      That cracked me up!

         7 likes

  3. David Kay says:

    al beeb seem to think 30 round mags are “dangerous” and 10 round mags would make things “safer”. Even a bumbling idiot can change a mag in less than 5 seconds. It just seems a no brainer to me.

       32 likes

    • pah says:

      That maybe so but, all else being equal, a man with a ten shot semi-automatic will lose hands down to someone who is Uzi akimbo. It’s not a question of how fast you reload but shots per second.
      That is after all why spray guns were invented. They take little training and you can empty a 50 round magazine in under a second. The more shots you have the more likely you are to hit. You don’t even have to aim much.

      Would banning magazines over 10 make one jot of difference to spree killers? No, of course not. Even so you can’t successfully argue that a 50 round gun isn’t easier to kill with than a 32 or 20 or 10 round one.

         3 likes

      • David Kay says:

        but they’re not using automatic weapons, they only fire single shot, automatic weapons are banned in the US, and they are shooting unarmed people, so mag size is irrelevant when no-one is shooting back at you

        and 50 rounds a second is nonsense, even a GPMG only fires 1250RPM, thats 21 rounds a second, and even if you fired at that rate, it wouldnt take long before the barrel over heated, bent and then blew up in your face. Real life isnt like what you see in a film

        just my experience as an infantry soldier

           11 likes

        • pah says:

          Apologies – school boy divide by 10 error – 5 rounds per second. Still a lot more than a semi automatic pistol or a revolver. Plus they may not be shooting back but they could be running away or ducking for cover so a longer lead in between magazine changes increases the kill rate. Spray and Pray. You know it makes sense.

          IIRC, fully automatic weapons are not illegal in the US just highly regulated. Currently there are about 10 million legally held ‘assault’ weapons. You may be thinking of the AWB which was a 10 year law that ran out in 2004 (ish).

          Real life isnt like what you see in a film

          Well thank God for that. I was worried for a moment there …

             3 likes

  4. Chris says:

    The reason the US has guns in private ownership is due to the constitution. They are allowed to carry guns so that if the government oversteps the mark, they can shoot the government officials in the face. As it should be.
    The left wing Fabians kiddy fiddlers obviously dislike this arrangement as they want to be the government officials implementing their dystopian 1984 hell, as such, they would not like to be shot in the face.
    If only our country wasn’t filled with Muslims, we would be able to push for gun ownership, and we could then shoot Fabian kiddy fiddling Labour party officials in the face.

       38 likes

    • David Kay says:

      could you imagine in America if a council employee or the police knocked at your front door and asked you to take your flag down because it was racist or offensive to someone? They’d probably get shot in the face. And rightly so. Its why or government doesnt want us armed

         30 likes

      • Chris says:

        Not sure where this quote originated from; but it gets to the point –
        “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

           31 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Are you kidding? Unfortunately, people get told to take the Stars and Stripes down all the time. It’s a real problem.

        I’m generously assuming you’re not talking about the Confederate flag which stands not only on one important level for States’ Rights which are entrenched in the Constitution, but for the right of secession, which was a major consideration as far back as 1788, for starters (a descendant of the Cavaliers, by the way), and was a primary reason for the creation of the Bill of Rights, which enabled the approval of said Constitution.

        However, those who created the Confederate flag screwed the whole thing in hindsight because it looks like they chose the wrong right to protect. There are many issues surrounding that, and it’s not nearly so simple, but that’s how it appears. That could have been overcome eventually (see what I did there), but things like the KKK and Jim Crow ruined it permanently. The people who created those and proudly went on lynching parties are the ones responsible for associating the Stars and Bars with racism, not me, not the Left, and not black people. There’s no avoiding it, and to pretend otherwise won’t stand up to scrutiny.

        It’s not a pleasant or easy task, but people need to find a different symbol for all the positive aspects of Southern Heritage.

        If you give a damn, and are generous enough to give me the benefit of the doubt without assuming I’m a fascist Left-winger who wants to stifle your free speech, I’ve written about some of these issues here.

           15 likes

        • Chris says:

          Don’t get me started on the political misrepresentation of modern left wing twats as a means to attempts to smear anyone not left wing. Slavery, the Civil war, the whole shebang is far more complicated, nuanced and difficult then they seem to comprehend, but it suits them to turn it into a simplistic story to suit their racial marxism. A good example was a US remake of a British show called ‘meet the ancestors’ involving famous black americans researching the family history. Wanda Sykes was taken aback to find out her black family owned slaves. John Legend was also descended from slaves, and had a family member whose children were kidnapped from Ohio (I think) by slavers. Ohio actually spent years helping him get them back from the neighboring states. If you look at it from a neutral standpoint, and in context, then their “narrative” begins to fall apart, and the humans involved are able to be heard.

             22 likes

        • David Kay says:

          Thanks DP, i didnt know people got told to take the stars and stripes down.

          btw, i dont think your a facist left winger, we may disagree on the status of mandela, but that just goes to show what a divisive person he was, which is not reflected in al beebs biased coverage of him. To them he’s Jesus, which to me is blasphemy

             21 likes

      • Rodney says:

        Its not just the reason the government doesn’t want you armed. Its the reason I don’t either.

           0 likes

        • David Kay says:

          everyone had a shotgun in their house up until the early 1960s

          The first Battle in Britain during WWII happened in Glasgow when a lone German bomber was flying over the Clyde looking for HMS Prince of Wales

          At the time, the dock workers were all at home having dinner, they got their shot guns, went outside, and started shooting and the enemey bomber. Very ineffective, but it shows the fighting British Spirit.

          In 10 -15 years time, when anjem choudarys’ muslim patrol become armed, and try to enforce sharia law on us, how are we going to defend ourselves?

          The government seem hell bent on destroying our Army so we have to rely on weekend warriors, the police will probably side with the islamists, how are we to defend ourselves without weapons for personal protection? Go to the European Court of Human Rights?

             13 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          And the thread has degenerated into a debate about gun laws, pro and con. I wish there was more interest in whether or not I got the analysis of BBC bias correctly.

             4 likes

  5. Span Ows says:

    David, another masterpiece. Well written easy to read and easy to understand and full of adequate warnings for those that don’t want to comment on topic.

    The mental health problem is clearly an issue but short of locking away anyone not ‘designated normal’ something that used to happen a lot, what can be done? Special schooling, help for parents, tighter controls, sharper response to problems whatever, nothing is going to make the problem go away and it has nothing to with guns. How many mentally ill people attack with knifes, machetes, umbrellas, dustbin lids, shovels, ski equipment, camping gear, baseball bats etc but we never hear about it because there are no/fewer victims, sometimes only within the family!

       20 likes

  6. therealguyfaux says:

    The BBC has only followed the lead of the metropolitan newspaper serving Littleton CO, The Denver Post, whose online edition initially carried a quote from a fellow student that the shooter was a self-proclaimed Socialist, and later, in a “stealth edit,” that quote was removed.

    It would be one thing were the Post initially to have said that “he was described by a classmate as a ‘socialist,’ and postings to his FB page seem to bear out his antipathy to capitalism as he understood it,” and left it at that. The BBC likewise could have taken this tack irrespective of what the Post may have done at first. It is legally impossible to libel the dead in the US and even if this allegation by the classmate were false, accusing someone of being a Socialist is not something which is a libelous-per-se allegation. They had the quote and the source– and could have used it, had they wanted. The question is then one of relevance; were his political leanings anything to do with his deed?

    One could easily say, “Probably not; on balance, this looks to have been a personal grudge.” But where the suspicion arises, is that it seems that, of the shooters in these incidents, they are almost all to a man NOT a “RWNJ.” In fact, right-leaning blogs which are rather more to the centre than to the extreme right have noted that many if not all shooters have had left-leanings, Floyd Lee Corkins being the most egregious example, with James J. Lee coming in right behind.

    One wonders if the BBC could muster the intellectual curiosity for finding out what it is that makes Lefties want to commit such acts, and the candour to report on it. If, that is, their idea of their brief is the honest reporting of news, without fear or favour.

       14 likes

  7. Stewart says:

    Re; the BBC’s reporting of lock downs
    I recently , thanks to the inadvertent encouragement, of the greatly missed (genuinely) CTC , read ‘White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century’ by Jared Taylor
    The first 1/3rd of the book is a rejection of the notion of diversity as a strength and deals in some detail with the increasing number of ‘lock downs’ . According to his statistics this is not a response to ‘gun rampages’, but to interracial violence between blacks and the rapidly increasing Hispanic school population
    Also an article I came across on the internet (but cant remember where), shortly after the sandy hook shooting claimed that ,while there was no statistical relationship between the levels of gun ownership and mass shootings there was one with the amount of psychotropic medications prescribed nationally ,i.e. the number of mass shooting had risen at time when gun ownership was falling but had broadly matched the increased use of drugs to treat mental illness . Abductive reasoning I know but,it went on to make the point that while there was no discernible pattern of race , class or political affiliation among the perpetrators of these crimes , most (though not all) had some history of mental illness
    While it might be too much to expect the BBC highlight these disputable facts ,to keep pushing their gun control agenda on the basis of a completely unproven correlation is , in the circumstance, distasteful to say the least.

       13 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Good point about the true nature of the majority of school security issues. It’s probably more about gang violence, full stop, rather than mostly racial strife, but either way the BBC decided it didn’t exist temporarily for the sake of their agenda. This just makes Jonny Dymond’s and the BBC’s Narrative all the more phony.

         16 likes

      • pah says:

        IIRC 90% of gun crimes in the USA are committed by gang members and 90% of the victims of those crimes are also gang members. If you remove the gang related crimes then gun crime in the USA is on a par with that in Canada.

        That would suggest to me, if it is true of course, that tackling gangs would be more productive than tackling guns. But what do I know eh?

           13 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Indeed. Which begs the question: Where is the serious of BBC reports about what Drudge calls “Chicagoland”? There’s no political agenda to pursue there, so it simply doesn’t occur to them.

             6 likes

        • Stewart says:

          But the problem is illustrated by David’s post above. Where, for entirely decent reasons, he rejects the notion that the lock downs are in response to racial tensions in favour of gang violence.
          Those gangs however are entirely self segregated along racial lines ,mainly Black and Hispanic. where as gun ownership is seen as a white issue and is therefore politically legitimate for the liberal establishment to crack down on it. Street gangs- not so much

             5 likes

          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Gang violence at schools, and the extreme violence at schools in general, is more done with knives and blunt instruments than with guns, but yeah.

            By the way, gun control laws in the US really originated with those who wanted to keep the blacks in the South unarmed and helpless. Don’t tell the BBC, though, as it would freak them the @#$% out.

               7 likes

    • Germanicus says:

      There is a very definite link between mass shootings and prescribed psychiatric medications, this list makes for interesting reading – http://adventlife.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/school-shootings-list/

         4 likes

      • Stewart says:

        Nice find ,so clearly a link that has been spotted by more than one observer. Out side of the BBC of course.

           1 likes

  8. Rob Peterson says:

    Lefties hate anyone doing anything which they themselves don’t like, such as using guns either for sport or recreational purposes. The Sea Cadets which is run by a bunch of lefty charity types have banned the use of weapons under the pretense of one being ‘lost’ on a Naval Base and blaming the Cadets when we all know it;s because they don’t like the idea of Cadets learning to use weapons. Now Royal Marine Cadets can’t learn to shoot or handle weapons sensibly but Boy Scouts can. The Sea Cadets also dropped the connection with the Royal Navy from their mission statement

       17 likes

    • pah says:

      What the left do not want, under any circumstances, is a population that is gun friendly and able to defend itself. How much easier it would be, come the revolution, to quell an unarmed, infantilised public that is scared of its own children than it would be if the buggers were armed.

      There was a famous incident in the 1920s or 1930’s, CRW, which led to the British gun control laws, where an armed robber was chased and caught by a crowd of gun toting citizens. The Police, who were of course unarmed, were made to look useless (for once) and that would not do. So all those Lord Peter Whimsy and Bull Dog Drummond types were prevented from doing so again. Also there was the fear after WW1 that the Working Class would rise up as they had in Russia.

      But mainly it’s because the left want us easier to control.

         8 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Exactly. Which is why the original reason of defending against tyranny is, as Mardell put it, “a frequently heard argument”. Of course, one has to ask him, if it’s so frequently heard, why hasn’t he or his colleagues mentioned it before, and why don’t they bring it up every time they do a feature on gun control?

        The war for independence essentially started when the British regulars went to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams in Lexington, and to grab a stash of colonists’ arms in Concord. If the people hadn’t been allowed to own weapons, the world would be a vastly different place. That’s where the Second Amendment comes from. It’s much more than the rednecks shootin’ stuff and misguided people who can’t see past what their parochial parents taught them the BBC thinks it is.

           6 likes

      • Rob says:

        You are thinking of the Sidney Street Siege of 1911 I think, when the police did indeed have to arm themselves with shotguns taken from gun shops. At the time very many people carried a pistol for self-defence perfectly legally. Things changed in Britain after World War One, when a fear of Bolshevism led to the Firearms Act 1920, which introduced registration and licensing for all rifles and pistols. Significantly, we now know the Home Secretary lied to Parliament at the time, claiming that the Act was a measure to combat armed burglars. Most firearms legislation over the years has been a result of panic and lies, the 1920 Act certainly established that precedent.

           4 likes

        • DICK R says:

          The difference being in the US the people told their interfering politicians where to go.

             1 likes

  9. flexdream says:

    The BBC is obsessed about gun shootings in the US but not so interested when similar happens in Mexico. The difference is that some in the BBC want an active role in the grand stage of US domestic politics and see it as a crusade. Also Mexicans speak and look funny and a noisy journalist is likely to turn up dismembered somewhere. Well if you were on expenses and only spoke English where would you rather go?

       15 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC, following extreme-Left and White House talking points, blames the US gun culture they hate for the violence in Mexico. Ever heard of Fast & Furious? This blog has covered that. Info on that is here, here, and here, for starters.

         8 likes

      • flexdream says:

        Thanks for the links David. So under Obama the US was allowing assault rifles to be sold to Mexican drug dealers, some of which have found their way back to the US and been used against cops! Unbelievable. You really couldn’t make it up. I guess they didn’t bother with background checks then!

           5 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Not allowing, flex: ordering. And they certainly did the background checks, as that was the whole point of the exercise. The plan was to create a body count they could then blame on lax US gun laws, which are in turn blamed on the evil, all-powerful Gun Lobby.

          The President and Eric Holder have serious blood on their hands, but they’ve gotten away with it, as usual.

             5 likes

    • pah says:

      You think these Mexicans look funny? Do you need spectacles old chap?

      Howoooogah! Woof! Woof! etc

         4 likes

  10. DJ says:

    Great post.

    It’s all about setting the permitted terms of debate. What I mean is this: when a forty-something country GP in Kansas claims that restrictions on his right to own guns are an attack on liberty in general, the BBC treats his views as self-evidently absurd, but when mental health activists claim that restrictions on the rights of the verifiably insane are an offense against liberty, the BBC gobbles it up.

    One set of restrictions is just common sense, the other is outrageously outrageous!

    Bear in mind that the average Briton is vanishingly unlikely to be killed by a legally-held semi-automatic weapon, but off-meds schizophrenics? *Not* so unlikely, but when is the BBC going to run a tear-jerking interview with someone whose son was killed by a lunatic?

       9 likes

    • Stewart says:

      When the victims family blame ‘tory cuts’ And if they aren’t on message go straight the killers family ,their bound to be

         6 likes

  11. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The Beeboids are seeing the Narrative everywhere, apparently. They thought it necessary to whip up a news brief about the Harvard campus being evacuated because of a bomb threat. For some bizarre reason known only to professional journalists, they saw a connection between that and their school lockdown nonsense, which is part of the gun control agenda and nothing to do with bomb threats. It’s not a “related story” at all. It’s not even really newsworthy for a national news outlet, but the Beeboids saw an opportunity anyway. Who’s seeing things that aren’t there again?

    Some idiot probably needed an extra day to prepare for finals.

       5 likes

    • David Kay says:

      sky news were leading with the bomb scare, BBC news had a charity advert for people to give money to syrian refugees masquerading as news

         5 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Sky was leading with the Harvard story? They’re just as bad as the BBC if they tried to connect it with the gun control issue.

           2 likes

  12. Germanicus says:

    The BBC has got it all wrong, guns don’t kill people, death kills people, medical fact, ask any doctor.

       8 likes

  13. flexdream says:

    David,
    your posts are very informative and it would be good to get wider coverage. I know this has been mentioned before but what do you think about a twitter account? You can link to articles here by shortened urls. There is a problem with this blog in the names of posters of comments are not validated, and it could easily be abused, but that could happen now anyway.

       0 likes