Guest editorial: Resident’s commentary on guns is fatally refutable | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: Resident’s commentary on guns is fatally refutable

Harry E. Fuller, Jr.
Park City

Anti-gun regulation folks tempted to find convincing argument in a March 28 Park Record Guest Editorial should reconsider. The piece is fatally refutable.

Its contention that news outlets deliberately neglected a Maryland high school shooting, during which a teen-aged gun-user died, is untrue. The incident was, of course, fully reported by the Baltimore Sun and, naturally, by the Washington Post and New York Times. It surely was dispatched nationwide by news services such as the Associated Press. Hardly supporting, consequently, the author's conclusion that the supposed non-coverage was driven by a press conspiracy against reporting less than massive gun violence in public places such as schools, particularly those stopped by alert counter gunfire from school safety personnel.

In fact, the New York Times was among newspapers first reporting that the County Sheriff responsible for the incident investigation confirmed that the shooter killed himself with his handgun, a weapon belonging to his father. So much for the Guest Editorial writer's boast about a Maryland school "good guy" with a gun stopping a "bad guy" with one, as courageous as a safety officer's swift response certainly was. Nothing in this narrative, then, convincingly supports the contention that teachers should be encouraged and allowed to act as public defenders with guns of their own. They are in classrooms to teach, not to kill armed intruders.

Secondarily, the Guest Editorial contention that Maryland's gun control laws, such as prohibiting private ownership of automatic weapons, did not prevent this specific incident collapses of its own weight. The lethal weapon used was a handgun, not an assault rifle or some other rapid fire long-gun. Moreover, Maryland's gun laws are not so stringent that it is uncommonly difficult to become a licensed handgun owner in that state.

Finally, the notion that this country's news outlets would cleverly conspire to advocate on behalf of any particular result — stouter gun regulation in this case — is ludicrous beyond measure. As technology has expanded the sources of news marketing, competition for readers, listeners and viewers has grown more fierce, creating an atmosphere in which little incentive exists to form intentional cross-purpose alliances.

Incidentally, the threadbare adage "no news is good news," awkwardly introduced by the guest editorialist, is, in its initial English written form, generally credited to James Howell, a scholarly works author, who merely observed in 1640 he was partial to borrowing an unattributed Italian source — "Nulla nuova, buona nuova," (no news, good news), context not altogether evident. As for England's King James I (1603-1625), he of the Bible's King James Version fame, an early Divine Right of Kings theory advocate and the Guest Editorial writer's choice for the "no news" originator, since that reformist noble's reign coincided with an English literary fervor, his alleged statement, "no news is better than evil news," could very well have been prompted by published put-downs he found personally maddening. In any event, no one these days of average, sound judgment considers the aphorism significantly useful proving much in matters worth serious consideration.