WashPost Waits Until 12th Paragraph of Story to Note Newtown Father Backs NRA Plan for School Safety

In his 19-paragraph page A4 story headlined "NRA-backed study urges armed staff at schools," staff writer Peter Finn waited until the 12th paragraph to mention that a father of a slain student at Sandy Hook was at the NRA's April 2 news conference in which former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) unveiled a "National School Shield Program" that detailed how school districts might arm security guards and/or teachers to thwart potential attacks by shooters.

Of course Finn made sure to quote the scathing attack of a liberal critic a few paragraphs earlier. "Today's report is nothing more than a continuation of the NRA's attempts to prey on America's fears, saturate our schools with more guns and turn them into armed fortresses," Finn quoted Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund, who added that the NRA's plan "must be soundly rejected."


What's more, Finn failed to mention that Wright Edelman is a longtime critic of gun rights and the NRA, a pro-gun-an liberal who urged the Supreme Court five years ago to uphold the District of Columbia's unconstitutional and wildly ineffective gun ban. From her February 18, 2008 piece at the Huffington Post entitled, "Supreme Court Must Uphold Gun Ban" (emphasis mine):

At issue in the case, District of Columbia v. Heller, is the contention of opponents to the D.C. handgun ban that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees individuals the right to own and keep guns of any type for private use including self-defense. The Second Amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Those seeking to uphold the ban contend the measure was written for an 18th century America that did not maintain a large standing army. They see the Amendment as providing for the collective rights of state militias of citizens who, if called upon, would provide their own weapons in response to an emergency. They argue that the Constitution does not deny communities the right to enact gun control laws designed to protect public safety. It is important to note that the D.C. ban does not prohibit shotguns or rifles.

On January 11, 2008, the Children's Defense Fund joined with four other national organizations: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, Women Against Gun Violence and Youth Alive!, in a brief amici curiae filed with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the District of Columbia's argument that the D.C. handgun ban should be upheld. A great deal is at stake in this case. As organizations committed to the well-being of all children, we see handguns as an ominous threat to the health and safety of our young people. In the brief, we state and believe that "the absence of handguns from children's homes and communities is the most reliable and effective method to prevent firearms-related injuries to children and adolescents." Our brief further asserts that, while "statistics reflect the devastating impact of handguns on people of all ages, handguns pose a unique danger to children and adolescents. Handguns are light, portable and easy to handle -- they are also accessible, romanticized in media available to adolescents, and fascinating to children."

[...]

The residents of the District of Columbia are not alone in their desire to remove handguns from their community. In 2006, more than 100 U.S. mayors called for national leadership to wage war on the gun violence that ends so many lives in America.

Upholding the D.C. handgun ban is vital to our commitment to protecting the health and safety of America's children. Therefore, we urge the Supreme Court to do what is right and let the D.C. handgun law remain in place.

So if Wright Edelman had her druthers, she'd ban civilian ownership of  handguns, for the sake of the children, of course. That's not something that the gun control groups are saying at present as they push for an assault weapons ban and a "universal background checks," but it's patently obvious that liberal gun-grabbers like Wright Edelman are only silent about handguns now because it's politically unpalatable to most Americans.

For his part, the Newtown father at the NRA news conference, Mark Mattioli, who lost his son James in the December mass shooting urged policy makers to put the NRA's recommendations into action. "I'm putting it on you, I'm putting it on the experts out there to do something with these recommendations, to implement solutions, so people don't have to go through what I'm going through."

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