For the media, COVID-19 is a good reason to bash gun owners

April 1, 2020

By

Matthew Hoy

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the left-wing media (redundancy noted) yet another opportunity to bash gun owners, new and old.

It didn't take long after there were mixed messages from various governors, sheriffs and mayors on whether gun retailers would be affected by the COVID-19 for anti-Second Amendment voices in the media to make it clear now wasn't the time to go out and buy a gun.

Shooting the COVID-19 virus at the LA Times

An editorial writer at the Los Angeles Times wrote this ill-informed screed with a snarky line about "shooting those little coronaviruses one by one." The writer refers to the Michael Bloomberg-backed The Trace without identifying its pro-gun control mission. The kicker is when the writer, Scott Martelle, refers to the Supreme Court's Heller decision as "atrocious" and then willfully misconstrues the majority opinion written by Antonin Scalia.

But that doesn’t mean that individuals have the right to buy any gun or ammunition at any time they want. In fact, in the Heller decision, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the government has a legitimate interest in regulating the sales of firearms and that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

And ordering gun shops closed along with most other businesses clearly falls under that authority to impose conditions on the sale of weapons.

Martelle has separated "conditions" from "conditions and qualifications" in a way that Scalia's opinion does not. What Scalia is obviously referencing, for anyone who has done a more than cursory study of the issue, is the ATF's system for Federal Firearms Licensees. The conditions referred to are bookkeeping, reporting, and security requirements. The qualifications are those requiring that you not be a citizen, not a felon and not have renounced your U.S. citizenship.

Martelle reads "conditions" so broadly that there is no whim of a bureaucrat or elected zealot could effectively shut down gun sales anytime they wanted.

Interestingly enough, just two days later, the Times editorial board published another editorial attacking the governors of Ohio and Texas for banning elective abortions as being non-essential. (On the plus side, at least the editorial writers acknowledged that an abortion does, in fact, kill a baby.)

The differing "essential"ness of rights specifically mentioned by name in the constitution and those only found in the penumbras an emanations is telling.

Paper owned by bankrupt media organization concurs

The McClatchy-owned San Luis Obispo Tribune posted a similar screed attacking county Sheriff Ian Parkinson. The paper followed up with a selection of letters to the editor universally echoing their view, only days later adding a couple of letters supporting the Sheriff's decision.

Similarly, the safety of our overall community trumps your need to buy a shotgun, because the danger we’re facing now comes from someone breathing on you, not breaking down your door.

Rather than facilitating a firearms shopping spree, the sheriff should reassure the public that his office has things well under control, that people don’t have to worry and we are secure.

The danger doesn't come from someone breaking down your door…until it does.

During the Rodney King riots of 1992, there were plenty of Korean store owners who had to be prepared to defend themselves, because by the time they realized they needed guns, the state's then-15-day waiting period would have made it sure that was all too late.

This sort of ignorant prattle should come as no surprise coming from an editorial board with an editor who has written pieces like this and this in the past.

Sacramento Bee tops them all

The Sacramento Bee, another bankrupt McClatchy owned paper took the case with this editorial entitled "NRA’s lawsuit against California exploits coronavirus crisis to push agenda of death."

I won't go much into the Bee's unhinged screed other than to say that when it disparages the National Rifle Association, it is really impugning its more than 5 million law-abiding members and, as I have noted elsewhere, the editorial completely ignores the many times lawful gun owners have deterred crime and saved lives.

This is your mainstream media. Their ignorance on firearms is matched only by their hatred of them.

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