Friday, December 15, 2006

Letter to the Trib

Just sent this letter to the Chicago Tribune. Don't hold your breath, they have never ever printed one of my letters.
Re: "Tackle facing 6 gun charges"

With four reporters working on this story, it would be nice if the Tribune could get its facts straight. It would also be helpful if the story was written as a straight news piece rather than an anti-gun oped. However, it appears that straight news reporting would be inconsistent with the Tribune's apparent anti-gun agenda.

The first paragraph of the story read:

"A cache of unregistered guns and assault rifles—some loaded—was found Thursday inside the home of Bears defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson when Gurnee police raided his house while he was at Halas Hall preparing for Sunday's Tampa Bay game."

"Unregistered guns"? The fact is that guns do not have to be registered in Illinois. While it would have taken a little knowledge or research to get this basic fact correct, it sounded much better to say Johnson had a "cache of unregistered guns".

Moreover, the word "cache" sounds so much better than a less emotionally-charged word like "collection". Similarly, what is an "assault rifle"? Boy, it sure sounds dangerous, but what is it exactly? Even the drafters of the 1994 "Assault Weapons" Ban had a hard time defining what an "assault weapon" was.

However, basic factual information and accuracy appeared to be much less important to this story than using accurate information and emotional jargon to promote an anti-gun point of view.

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