Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don’t Say ‘Shotgun’

Shotgun Club raises alarm on campus

Published on February 09, 2011.
By Cassie Stone

A new club forming at Northern Kentucky University and its promotional materials are raising safety concerns for some students.

The Shotgun Club is a registered campus organization designed to bring interested students together to compete in trap and skeet shooting competitions, but the new club’s name choice made some students concerned that it might be promoting personal gun use . . .

Kent comments:

This is a ‘story’ from The Northerner, the official, university-sponsored student newspaper at Northern Kentucky University.  I don’t know Cassie Stone, and I am not picking on her in particular.  NKU is just ‘my place’ so I pay attention here.  But if you have ever wondered why it is that reporting is biased, you can see that it begins early, and appears to be encouraged by those who teach journalism.

Now, to be completely fair (something journalists don’t always bother to do), this story does go on to quote a university official who attempts to disarm (maybe a little pun intended here on my part) these “concerns”.

But notice how this story begins.  Our attention is supposed to be arrested by the concern of “some students.”  Who are these students?  How many students?  None of these questions are even recognized in the ‘story’ – let alone answered.  One wonders if the “students” who were concerned might be just Cassie Stone and some one person she knows.

But, whoever they might be, notice also exactly what “concerns” these students:  the name of the club.  These students are “concerned” that a group is named “The Shotgun Club.”  A name like that worries me to the point of sickness – how about you?

Can’t you just picture this little group of concerned students (assuming they exist) huddled in some corner of campus, worrying about the name “Shotgun”?  Imagine someone passing by whispering the word “shotgun” – at the sound of which the group faints dead away in fear.

And why does this very troubling name “concern” these (perhaps two) students?  Because “it might be promoting personal gun use.”  What other kind of gun use is even possible – “group gun use”?  And what, exactly, is wrong with persons using shotguns?  Does out little concerned group want everyone to vote?  (I am willing to bet the answer is ‘yes’.)  Then why not desire that everyone exercise his right to keep and bear arms?

The attempt to raise false – and somewhat idiotic - concerns about a non-issue in this way is just what recent “journalism” has become.

Cassie should expect offers from The New York Times or The Washington Post at any time.

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