by Dan Zimmerman
Oct 23, 2017
Nothing freaks out the anti-gun media like more left-leaning gun owners . . . As far right rises, LGBTQ gun group hits firing line in NY
The former pacifist pumped a shotgun at the firing line.
Lore McSpadden never touched a gun before the Trigger Warning Queer & Trans Gun Club started this past year. Now McSpadden is among the shooters routinely yelling, “Pull!” and blasting at clay pigeons angling over a mowed field near Rochester.
Trigger Warning members are anxious about armed and organized extremists who seem increasingly emboldened. Their response has a touch of symmetry to it: They started a club to teach members how to take up arms.
“It’s a way to assert our strength,” said Jake Allen, 27, who helped form the group. “Often, queer people are thought of as being weak, as being defenseless, and I think in many ways this pushes back against that. And I want white supremacists and neo-Nazis to know that queer people are taking steps necessary to protect themselves.”
A Bloomberg-paid Trace editor on what it takes to cover firearms with credibility…now that’s funny! . . . A gun-focused news outlet on what it takes to cover firearms credibly
In our newsroom, we may describe AR-15s as “semiautomatic rifles,” or sometimes “assault-style” weapons, but never as “assault rifles”—a term that typically refers to weapons with variable modes of fire, including fully automatic.
Reporters also frame stories in ways that make it clear they see gun-owning Americans—roughly 22 percent of people in the US—as distinctly other. A particularly irksome example: first-person accounts, with the reporter as a buyer, of how easy it is to purchasea scary-looking firearm (frequently a semiautomatic rifle) in “minutes” from a gun shop.
As problematic as these errors and practices are, the most pernicious challenge facing any outlet that covers gun violence, including The Trace, is one of emphasis: the blanket coverage of mass shootings, and underreporting on daily gun violence. Even as we cover attacks like those in Orlando and Las Vegas, we do so with the recognition that they are are not a good proxy for understanding the epidemic of gun violence in America.