Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, May 16, 2003

Journalistic Consistency, or: "All the news we see fit."

There's an AP news story about the Case Western shooter. The headline reads: "Cleveland Shooter Had Military Training" (though they did leave off the hysterical exclamation point.) That's good. That's interesting. And it's in keeping with the general liberal position that people who receive military training are all psycho-killers-in-waiting. The story relates:

The 62-year-old man accused of a shooting spree at a prestigious Cleveland university had military training with the Indian army and a grudge against an employee, authorities said Saturday. Ok, fair enough. But is it relevant? The article goes on to cover the fact that Biswanath Halder was wearing a "bullet proof" vest and some kind of helmet with a wig glued to it as he went through the building apparently firing indiscriminately. The story relates that "(Halder) never walked on the sidewalks, always down the middle of the street" according to one person interviewed. OK, that's a little weird.

At the end of the article it states the source of the opening assertion:

The resume Halder posts on his Web site includes service in the Indian army, as well as experience in computer programming, designing electrical measuring equipment in Germany, real estate and financial planning. Very good - cite your sources.

Interest thus piqued, I ran a Google News search on Mr. Halder.

There was this story told us that 425 rounds of ammunition were found in his car,

this one that tells us all about the "poor man's Uzi" that Halder used (and it - as most news stories do - gets crucial information wrong concerning guns and gun laws),

this one with the headline "Alleged Shooter Had Gun With 32-Round Magazine" (No exclamation point there either, but you know it's implied.) The article discusses the ammunition used, saying: "The ammunition used were hollow-point bullets, designed for maximum amount of damage and minimal penetration." Well, not exactly but then the press so seldom gets this stuff right anyway. Note too that the article quotes a "firearms expert" who says that the Cobray pistol Halder had "...could have a 32-round magazine in it and have 32 rounds in the gun." Note that - COULD have. Did he, or didn't he? Anyway, this article also contradicts the first story a bit, because the same expert is also denigrates Halder's training. "Donnett said it's clear that the alleged gunman had little training....'If this gentleman had really known what he was doing, the fatalities would've been way up,' she said." Harsh words for a man with military training.

(Oh, and there's a photo on the site that's apparently supposed to be the two guns in question. One of them might be a Ruger, the other is DEFINITELY not a Cobray. Guess they didn't have one in their archives. I suppose I should be happy that they didn't use a picture of a REAL Uzi.

Anyway, this story mentions Halder's web site too. It says this:

Halder would write about destruction on his Web site, and there were anonymous postings calling him a moron, and a making fun of his fake hair and fake teeth.
One posting said, "People around you don't like you, so take a hike and get out of our lives."

This story has the headline: Case Western killing inflames gun opponents

Well THERE'S a surprise. But Halder's a side-note in this story.

Then there's this short blurb about the lawsuit over Halder's web site that apparently sparked the shooting.

Anyway, it's pretty apparent that the news organizations not only knew he had a web site, but where it was and what was on it.

So, why was there no mention of the fact that Halder was pretty rabidly against the war in Iraq, and a supporter of gun control? His site is down now, but it wasn't immediately after the shooting or the media couldn't have checked his resume. I got in before they firewalled the sites and looked.

It was apparent that the guy was one bat short of a full belfry.

Oh, right - Relevance.

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