I always crack up when people tell me that there’s no media bias against guns, especially when it’s as plain as the nose on your face in articles like the linked piece from Reueters. In an article which is allegedly talking about how collecting firearms is a legitimate hobby, the article is littered with phrases which display the anti-gun bias of the author.
An odd contraption in retired firefighter Alex Black’s cluttered garage looks a bit like the hand winch at the top of a well. In fact, it is a machinegun.
Turning the shiny brass handle spat out a withering hail of bullets that transformed modern warfare.
Except that it’s not. That gun, which you have to turn the handle to fire, is a Gatling Gun, and while it does fire rapidly, it most certainly is not a machine gun. A machine gun requires you to pull the trigger one time to fire a constant stream of bullets until you release the trigger or the gun runs out of ammo. Contrast that with a Gatling Gun, where you have to manually cycle the handle to fire the rounds. Essentially, the handle is a big round trigger.
The rest of the article contains a choice selection of weasel statements, sentences carefully constructed to appear unbiased on their surface, but which are in fact quite heavily slanted. Review the following statements and tell me if you think they’re biased (my comments in italics):
The owners are not just urban criminals and drug dealers. (implying that it’s surprising that people other than criminals own guns)
The arsenal of revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, rifles and carbines spans conflicts from the American Civil War right up to World War Two, and all the guns are legally held. (as opposed the scourge of illegally owned Mausers causing random gang shootings)
He has a private arsenal of around 100 handguns, shotguns and rifles of all sorts (media outlets love the world “arsenal”, it’s all scary and military sounding)
and rifles to pop off prairie dogs over an afternoon in the countryside with a case of beer. (because we’re alcoholics as well)
It’s pretty much par for the course; sadly. Even relatively positive articles about firearms ownership have to be carefully qualified. For example, I had to say “relatively” there, because while it had some positive points, the almost subconscious insertion of biased language goes a long way towards undoing any positive effects the article might have had.