Friday, December 11, 2015

The Thing I Like About Small Town Papers

Unlike the editors of big city newspapers, the editors of small town newspapers have a modicum of common sense when it comes to guns. Perhaps it is because they are part of the community in which they live. In other words, they talk to real people down at the diner, shop at Walmart and Lowes, have kids that don't go to prestigious prep schools, and are themselves not graduates of Harvard, Yale, or the Columbia School of Journalism.

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina has one such newspaper. Yesterday, the editors of The Daily Herald ran an unsigned editorial headlined, "Our View: Guns not to blame for shootings". What a distinct contrast from the New York Times which ran the front page, above the fold, editorial entitled, "The Gun Epidemic".

The editorial starts out:
At some point in your life you’ve probably had to deal with someone who never accepted blame for their actions.

We all know the type. They externalize everything so that someone or something is always at fault – never themselves.
Right away you know that the people who wrote this editorial are ordinary folks. They aren't invited to fancy cocktail parties nor do they live in penthouses. They may know some millionaires but they are probably farmers who are land rich and cash poor. They live in what would be called "flyover country" if it were not on the fall line between the Piedmont and the coastal plains of North Carolina.

The editorial continues:
As usual a cry went out immediately from disarmament activists for the government to enact stiffer gun laws or ban guns altogether. But it’s still an over-simplified solution to a complex national problem.

Blaming guns for these heinous shootings is as ridiculous as blaming a fork and spoon for obesity and needles for drug abuse.

The killing sprees in California, Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina and far too many other places were tragedies that cost this country dearly. Not only in terms of the loss of human life but also in the growing shadow of disgrace.

Claims that implementing gun control will put an end to these horrific mass shootings are as shallow and baseless as claiming prohibition stopped people from consuming alcohol.

No law can guarantee preventing a determined killer. That’s been proven in countries with strict gun laws like France, England and Norway where killers have obtained weapons illegally.
"Over-simplified solution" and "shallow and baseless" are not how journalists nowadays usually refer to gun control. These journalists actually have real common sense and reject the siren call that we "must do something".

It concludes:
The very fabric of our country was woven with fundamental rights that include owning guns. The words of our Founding Fathers, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” are clear, precise and unequivocal.

The arms we bear are in fact our most important militia weapons. It was the specific intent of our Founding Fathers that our civilian populace be armed on an equal footing with any standing army to keep our homes and land safe.

With hundreds of millions of guns in private hands in this country, any attempt to take them away from law-abiding citizens will be met with strong resistance and certain failure.
Wow. Just wow. Reading something in a newspaper that refers to our firearms as "militia weapons" in a good way and not as something toted by mouth-breathing, Tea Party, right-wing, neo-Ku Kluxers is kind of shocking. Shocking in a good way, of course.

The people responsible for this editorial were Publisher Titus Workman, Managing Editor Matt Lindberg and News Editor Tia Bedwell. Two are from flyover country and the third is a local girl who worked her way up in the paper - and she has a Dachshund! The Daily Herald has a YouTube page and they put out a daily video called the Herald Bulldog Report highlighting the stories of the day. Here is the one from December 9th which features both Lindberg and Bedwell.

Why do I think I'd never see the editors of the New York Times or the Washington Post doing something like this? I think the answer is that they'd think it beneath them and therein lies the difference.

1 comment:

  1. Just proof there's still a lot of good people out there!