Update added at bottom of post.
In a 2:30 p.m. posting, well before details about the weapons used in the tragic Virginia Tech shootings were available, ABC News's Brian Ross devoted a "Blotter" blog entry to a gun control advocate's talking points. Ross didn't make room for any gun rights advocates or find a critic to suggest the Brady Center was callously capitalizing on a tragedy to further its political agenda. Here's the entire blog post:
High capacity ammo clips became widely available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned assault weapons.
Web sites now advertise overnight UPS delivery of the clips, which carry up to 40 rounds for both semi-automatic rifles, including 9mm pistols, and handguns.
"High capacity magazines read extreme firepower and gusto. Stock Up!" is the headline of one of many gun shop Web sites.
Virginia law enforcement officials have not identified the weapon used in the shootings today at Virginia Tech, but gun experts say the number of shots fired indicate, at the very least, that the gunman had large quantities of ammunition.
"When you have a weapon that can shoot off 20, 30 rounds very quickly, you're going to have a lot more injuries," said Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
That item is the only "Blotter" entry about the Virginia Tech shootings so far today. Hamm's group, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, issued a press statement on the site's home page that peddles its talking points. It also has a brand new petition page up at the site set up to sign up readers for e-mail updates. Curiously enough, "journalist" is one of the selections a petitioner can check off when describing him or herself on the form:
We are outraged by the increase in gun violence in America, especially the recent shooting at Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, incidents like this happen all too often in all parts of this nation.
All Americans have the right to be safe from gun violence in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, and places of work and worship and all children have the right to grow up in environments free from the threat of gun violence.
It is too easy for anyone -- children, teens, and troubled adults -- to access firearms in this country and the lethality of guns make death or severe injury more likely. This must stop!
Add your name to the growing list of people who are saying "Enough Is Enough!"
Update (17:48 EDT): A few other bloggers have been addressing ABC News for the "Blotter" post:
- "Confederate Yankee" dissects the inaccuracy of the Ross post here, concluding that "This Blotter entry by Ross and Hughes is a study in bias, wrapped around ignorance, justified by fear."
- James Joyner at "Outside the Beltway" notes that ABC's "Blotter" is guilty of "Jumping the Gun" with its entry
- Noting that "A newsman’s job is to report the facts first," Washington Times's Robert Stacy McCain takes issue with ABC peddling political talking points when the facts were still sketchy,