WaPo Loopy Labeling: 'Victims' Advocates' Oppose Gun Rights for Abuse Victims

As veteran readers of NewsBusters know, a good deal of liberal media bias comes in subtle labeling and phrasing. Today's Washington Post provides an excellent example of just that in a Metro section article pitting "victims' advocates" against "gun rights advocates" in a story about new gun restrictions lobbied for by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) and approved by the Maryland House of Delegates.

The House yesterday approved two measures that make it easier for judges to confiscate the guns of people accused -- but not yet convicted  -- of domestic violence. Brown had "campaigned for the proposals in the name of his cousin, who was killed last year by an estranged boyfriend," staffer Rosalind Helderman noted.

Meanwhile a separate bill by a Republican legislator that would make it easier for persons filing restraining orders to be granted concealed carry permits was defeated "along heavily partisan lines. Maryland is a "may-issue" state where the state police have wide latitude in denying concealed carry requests:

The House rejected a separate measure yesterday that would have made it easier for victims of domestic violence to get state police approval for permits to carry handguns. The measure had received support from gun rights advocates, who argued that women should be able to choose to carry a gun for protection when threatened by violent partners. But victims' advocates opposed it, saying it seemed to endorse injecting firearms into highly charged domestic disputes.

 

The bill was defeated 86 to 51, along heavily partisan lines, with Democrats opposed and Republicans in favor. Debate over the measure was at times emotional, echoing dramatic floor contests over issues of domestic violence that have occupied the House for more than a week.

Helderman went on to present the emotionally charged nature of the debate by quoting state delegate Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore) who argued that "as a [former] victim [of spousal abuse], if I had access to a gun at my most serious instances of domestic violence, I would have used it."

The Post reporter then turned to another Democratic delegate, Jolene Ivey (Prince George's County), "who had earlier said she supported the bill" but was persuaded by Glenn "to vote against it."

"It would have changed her as a person," Ivey said. "That made sense to me."

Ivey said she was also concerned about the possibility that victims could be hurt by weapons taken from them by abusers.

While Helderman did quote a female Republican legislator who rued that the bill was shot down, she sandwiched conservative critiques between liberal arguments by Lt. Gov. Brown and his staff.

Towards the beginning of her story, Helderman quoted a Brown statement arguing that "[t]aking guns out of the hands of abusers is a common-sense measure that will protect victims and save lives." 

Helderman opted to close her article by quoting a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Brown dismissing the pro-gun rights provision as a "misguided measure."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters