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Anti-gun journalists suddenly realize they need firearms to be safe in aftermath of shooting in France


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(NaturalNews) Gun-rights and Second Amendment advocates have never said that everyone in the country ought to be armed -- only that the Constitution recognizes that "arms" are important for liberty and self-defense and that Americans ought to be permitted to arm themselves if they so desire.

Anti-gun advocates, meanwhile, have always said the opposite -- that Americans do not have an inherent, constitutional right to "keep and bear arms" (outside of an organized militia), even for self-defense. Many of these people are journalists, by the way.

Now, however, a number of formerly anti-gun reporters and correspondents are beginning to realize the importance of the Second Amendment as they digest what happened to cartoonists and writers working at a satirical magazine in Paris, France, recently.

Unarmed and unprotected by Paris police (who are also unarmed), many are now concerned with their own safety in the newsroom.

As reported by the Washington Examiner:

Newsroom security is a big worry among journalists in the wake of the Islamic terrorist attack that killed 10 Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris Tuesday, but it's not a new issue in this country.

Other incidents at newspapers historically have involved guns

"Because I was working in a North Carolina newsroom at the time, this week's Paris massacre immediately made me think of the 1988 hostage-taking at the Lumberton newspaper -- no casualties there, thank goodness. But 21 people died in the infamous Los Angeles Times bombing of 1910 and there must be other examples," Frostburg State University English professor Andy Duncan in Maryland told the newspaper.

Duncan was referring to a 10-hour incident at the Lumberton, N.C., Robesonian daily paper that took place when a pair of men described by The New York Times as "heavily armed American Indians" took 17 newsroom employees hostage, in protest of the death of a black jail inmate, the Washington Examiner reported.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Times bombing was linked to two brothers tied to the International Association of Structural Bridge and Iron Workers union, the paper said. One brother admitted to authorities that he set the explosive and was sentenced to life in prison; both brothers were protesting the paper's anti-union position.

As for Duncan, he was answering a question -- "do you want to be armed?" -- posed by the Washington Examiner on a list-serv that is hosted by Investigative Reporters and Editors at the University of Missouri, home to one of the nation's top journalism schools.

Scores of journalists around the nation responded to the question posed on the list-serv and also to a writer's group on the social site LinkedIn.

Shereen Siewart, an investigative reporter with Gannett newspapers, said officials at the Wausau, Wisconsin, Daily Herald have "implemented an 'active shooter plan' within the building last year with the help of our local Sheriff's Department."

Continuing, Siewart said, "We had our head SWAT guy do a walk-through, identifying potential security risk areas and offering recommendations to improve safety in the building. This is something many local law enforcement agencies will offer to businesses -- and here, at least, it was free."

Some still cling to the theory that they will be unarmed and safe

As the Washington Examiner noted, though:

Siewert's organization contrasts mightily with what appears to be a more widespread attitude of uncertainty that anything can be done to secure newsrooms against Paris-like attacks or outright revulsion against journalists being linked with firearms for any reason.

This was typified by a response from the BBC's Fiona Graham, a business technology writer, who said: "This is quite possibly the most bizarre and horrifying reaction I've seen thus far to the terrible events in Paris. It blows my mind that you would even contemplate this."

However, other journalists were more willing to consider adding additional layers of protection. Matthew Leonard, an editor at WXXI radio and television in Rochester, N.Y., responded that he had "just had a very 'spirited' discussion with our president and CEO over the lack of a basic layer of fob-entry security to the floor that houses our newsroom and radio area."

Leonard said is concerned because "we have nice people on reception, but otherwise we're essentially an open building as of this moment and nothing to slow down a determined intruder for one second."





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