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Not sufficiently healing - Peter Hentges

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July 15th, 2004

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10:23 pm - Not sufficiently healing
You know, I hate it when I end up leaning toward supporting something that I normally wouldn't because of how it is reported.

The recent Minnesota judge's decision that struck down the law that changed how handgun permits are issued as unconstitutional was reported in the local paper Wednesday. Overall, I'm glad this has happened and like the idea that Minnesota legislation is supposed to be about one thing and not have stuff tacked on to it that is unrelated. (In this case, the judge may be reading that requirement too broadly, but the general idea is one I like.) I think it will be good in the long term if new legislation that is about issuing handgun permits and that alone is debated in the legislature. (Which isn't to say it wasn't in this recent change.) It might go a long way toward alleviating people's fears if the changes were laid out in the papers thusly: Currently: age 18 to get a permit. Proposed: age 21 to get a permit.

In any case, when I read things like the Star Tribune's front-page article yesterday, I end up screaming "Get Off My Side!" Lines like "the law that made it easier for citizens to pack heat." don't help the debate. They aren't an objective reporting of the facts. The language stirs the emotions. Appropriate for an Op-Ed piece, maybe, but not a straight news story. An objective alternative would be "the law that changed the process by which handgun permits were issued to citizens."

(If you need a login to read the story, use Member Name: membername, and Password: password. Thanks to pegkerr for pointing me to http://www.bugmenot.com for the login.)
Current Mood: irritatedirritated

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC)
I don't have a "side" in this (or I'm on both sides, on different aspects), but my reaction to that "packing heat" line was also "editorial, not news!"
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not so sure I'm on a side other than my own in this whole thing. I like the general idea that Minnesota legislation be about a single topic. I'm not certain this ruling is a good example of that ideal. I've learned enough about the issue (some of it not wholly of my choosing) that I get irritated when the same mistakes keep being made. You'd think that there'd be a person at the paper who had the job of making sure that the news was, you know, news. Someone that would read over the stories and approve their content and tone. They should get someone like that.

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