(Natural News) There are so many misperceptions about so many of the most important issues of our day because the one institution charged with informing us — the “mainstream” media — is itself ill-informed or politically compromised.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the coverage of firearms, gun rights, and the Second Amendment.
Case in point: Earlier this week a local ABC affiliate reported a remarkably erroneous and, likely purposefully misleading story claiming that 3D-printed gun props are no different from actual 3D-printed firearms, though the former is non-functional. (Related: 3D-printed gun designer sues federal government over constitutional violations.)
According to the Katy, Texas, affiliate, sheriff’s deputies told the station that a 14-year-old student was taken into custody after allegedly making a terrorist threat with a 3D-gun he printed at the house of a friend.
The report said the student stands accused of texting pictures of the gun to another student at Harmony School and then telling him he’d better not attend any classes.
Officials with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department said deputies took the student into custody after the friend told school officials he’d made a threat. Officers told the local affiliate that they found the 3D printed gun prop in the student’s bedroom after his parents agreed to let them search the home.
Later, investigators would learn that the student bought plans for the fake gun for $5 then put the pieces together with super glue. The sheriff’s office did say that the ‘gun’ was non-functional because it is constructed entirely of plastic and has no moving parts.
But the report apparently did not emphasize that point, and that’s a problem because the Democratic Left has now begun targeting 3D-printing plans for firearms components — even though they’re not really reliable — and treating them the same as a regular firearm.
Blown opportunity for a teachable moment
As The National Sentinel reported last year, the National Rifle Association, as it so often has in the past, stepped up to educate the general public on 3D-printed ‘guns’ after Cody Wilson, publisher of blueprints for 3D guns, came to an agreement with the federal government following a years-long legal battle involving freedom of speech, and anti-gun Leftists stepped in to halt the settlement:
Several state attorneys general filed lawsuits in cherry-picked federal courts with judges known to be sympathetic to opponents of the Second Amendment, and at least three courts have issued a stay, once again blocking Wilson from being able to publish his blueprints. Democrats are claiming the plans will be used by criminals to print untraceable, undetectable firearms.
Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, noted that too many media types and politicians were making false claims regarding the legality behind making 3D firearms and components.
“Many anti-gun politicians and members of the media claimed that 3D printing technology will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms,” he noted at the time.
“Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years. Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA’s support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm,” he added.
Regarding the Katy, Texas student’s dumb act of intimidation, it’s highly likely that a number of viewers went away from the story thinking it is feasible to actually print a functional firearm that is just as functional and capable as a real firearm — and that’s just not the case. But rather than use the situation as a major teaching moment, the local station chose to hype the “terrorist” and “another potential school shooting” angles instead.
That’s not only a disservice to the community the affiliate serves, it’s an affront to honesty.