Given they have a little patience and no deadline, it is not generally difficult for journalists to go in search of and then to find selective statements that tend to support their (or their editors’) predispositions. And there may be no better exercise in this regard than to dig through old deposition transcripts and to pick out quotes that can be characterized, both by choice of phrase and by opponents, in an unfavorable light.
And such was the case for the Monday New York Times story with the misleading headline “Gun Makers Saw No Role in Curbing Improper Sales” for which two Times reporters dug through thousands of pages of depositions taken in connection with a decade old series of liability lawsuits brought by several cities. It is important to note that all of these lawsuits were either dismissed or voluntarily abandoned by the municipalities that brought them.
In this article, however, the writers’ assumptions are never in doubt and mirror those of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence that, along with other anti-gun organizations, usually get the opportunity to set the agenda for these stories in the mainstream media. The goal of these groups is to discredit firearms manufacturers and retailers and ultimately gain passage of additional legislation to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. They do not want to focus on truly effective law enforcement tactics to reduce the criminal misuse of firearms, but instead focus on the sales process.