Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Selective Truth in the Press

As the pundits continue their shrill noises about the VA Tech Massacre, other people are also starting to dig through some archive material. Checking up on this I found some interesting tidbits about how the nature of self defense is approached by some press outlets.

Case in point: The Appalachian Law School Shooting in 2002.

Failing law student Peter Odighizuwa shot the dean of the school and two others on January 17, 2002.

Depending on the coverage, some news outlets chose to either state that two students who owned firearms retrieved them, confronted the shooter, the shooter dropped the weapon, and was then tackled by a third student. Other outlets leave this out entirely.

The Washington Post article leaves this out.

The article at states that there is some confusion as to whether the armed students actually did confront the shooter.

The Roanoke Times, normally a stalwart anti-firearms news organization (recall, they had published the list of everyone who had a concealed carry permit in Virginia online, comparing the public's right to know about permit holders to the right to know about sex offenders), mentions during the reporting on the April 16, 2005 incident where a VT student with a concealed carry permit was disciplined for carrying a firearm. The date is sadly ironic.

The tip-off for this article is this blog post.

In other news, it turns out the shooter was remanded to custody (Roanoke Times, Washington Post) for a mental health evaluation in 2005. This should have shown up on the background check when the firearm was purchased.

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