Written by Tim Lynch, Director of the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
A gun-carrying grandmother in Milwaukee foiled an attempted robbery when she pulled a firearm on the suspect as he grabbed for her grocery store cash register.
Ernestine Aldana, 48, was behind the counter at the San Ignacio Market when a man in a dark hat pulled a knife on her and attempted to rob the store register, police said. Aldana pulled a handgun from behind the counter on the man, causing him to flee.
Americans use guns every day to stop mayhem. It’s nice to see some of those incidents reported in the news during the on-going gun control debate.
Cato hosted a book forum the other day for Craig Whitney’s Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment. Since Whitney is a former reporter for the New York Times, I took the opportunity to ask him why reporters will ignore stories in which civilians use guns in self-defense or even write stories that omit the details where a civilianused a gun to stop a criminal attack. For example, the newspaper article might say something like “students were able to subdue the gunman” instead of letting readers know that “students had carry permits and used their own weapons to confront the gunman, who then surrendered.”
Whitney’s reply (at the 70:30 minute marker) was that it was just bad reporting. But it wasn’t one reporter who botched one story; dozens of stories have made the same “error.” And I supplied just a single incident—there are others. I agree with Whitney that it is not a liberal conspiracy, but I do think there’s a bias at work here. And think about the consequences: the average American is bombarded with news stories about criminals using guns in violent attacks, but there’s very little reporting when an ordinary civilian uses a gun to put a stop to a criminal attack. No wonder polls jump around.
To learn more, check out the paper Cato published last year that compiled scores of cases where civilians used guns to defend themselves.