Time Magazine: 'Odd' That Gun Control 'Petered Out' After Columbine

Michael Lindenberger of Time.com, in a April 20 article titled “Ten Years After Columbine, It’s Easier to Bear Arms,” found it “odd” that “whatever momentum the Columbine killings gave to gun control has long since petered out,” despite the “massacres perpetrated by deranged gunmen” in the following decade. He also quoted extensively from a young gun control advocate in the online article, without including any arguments from the opposing viewpoint.

Lindenberger first gave his reflection on the anniversary: “Monday April 20 marks 10 years since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold permanently etched the words Columbine High School into this nation’s collective memory. What happened that day in 1999 also seemed to wake America up to the reality that it had become a nation of gun owners — and too often a nation of shooters. The carnage in Littleton, Colorado...seemed to usher in a new era of, well if not gun control, then at least gun awareness.”

The Time.com writer continued with a seeming lamentation: “In the decade since, massacres perpetrated by deranged gunmen have continued — including the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre in which Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people and wounded many others. But something odd has occurred. Whatever momentum the Columbine killings gave to gun control has long since petered out.”

Lindenberger cited the introduction of legislation in the state of Texas which would permit concealed-carry of handguns by college students on campus as his first example of this “petering out:”
This spring, for example, Texas lawmakers are mulling a new law that would allow college students to carry firearms to campus (Utah already makes this legal). “I think people weren’t concerned about it first,” says University of Texas graduate student John Woods, who has emerged as a spokesman for campus efforts to defeat the bill. “They thought, ‘It’s a terrible idea. Why would the government consider something like this?’” But as the debate on campus has heated up, that complacency has vanished, Woods explains to TIME. Students opposed to the bill plan a big rally on Thursday at the Capitol, he says.
The writer went on to describe the possible outcome of the graduate student’s endeavors, using negative language to describe Woods’ opponents: “But efforts like Woods’ are up against powerful headwinds — and not just because of the powerful gun lobby that often strangles gun-control laws. Americans in general have cooled significantly to the idea of restricting gun rights. A poll released last week by CNN showed that support for stricter gun laws was at an all-time low, with just 39% of respondents in favor. Eight years ago that number was 54%.”

Lindenberger included one more lengthy quotation from Woods, where he tossed a standard line used by gun control champions (Michael Wolkowitz of the Brady Center used a similar line on the April 6 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America): “‘The idealist in me is shocked and angry,’ Woods says, that restrictions on guns have eased rather than tightened in the wake of tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech. ‘But the cynic in me is not surprised at all. I think if this was peanuts or pistachios causing all these deaths, then we’d be all over it. But there is no amendment about peanuts or pistachios in the Bill of Rights. People on both sides just simply won’t compromise.’”

The Time.com writer later added a second lament: “Indeed, the debate seems to be almost one-sided nowadays, with an ongoing backlash against gun control.” Mr. Lindenberger ought to know about being “one-sided,” since he only quoted from the college gun control supporter in his article.
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center