What ever happened to reporting?

February 26th, 2013

I was listening to NPR’s This American Life’s latest episode this weekend, cialis sales rx when I was struck by how large their blind spot is when it came to guns.

The story was about a Chicago high school that had seen an enormous number of shootings. Eventually, troche they asked the question: where were all the guns coming from?

A very good question, especially considering that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the nation.

The conclusion? Straw buyers (people who buy handguns legally but then give them to people, usually felons, who would not be allowed to buy a gun themselves) and the infamous “gun-show” loophole (that’s when people buy guns from private sellers who aren’t required to do background checks on the people they sell to).

Well, I guess that’s possible. But then the very next subject made me question their assertion AND their journalistic credentials. The reporters asked the kids how much a gun cost on the street. The numbers the teens threw around were all around a couple hundred bucks.

The very next thing a real journalist would have asked is who the hell is eating the difference in the retail cost of the gun and the street price?

This is what I mean: a straw purchaser is paying full price for a gun. For a Glock that’s probably around $500. Plus, guns hold their value extremely well, so even at a gun show, a decent gun is unlikely to sell for much under $300 or $400.

So if all the guns are coming from gun stores and gun shows, who the hell is eating the difference between the cost of the gun and the price that the kids are buying it at?

Am I supposed to believe the straw buyers are taking a loss on each sale out of the goodness (or in this case the badness) of their hearts?

Something doesn’t make sense. And when something doesn’t make sense, a journalist is supposed to ask more questions. The reporters at This American Life didn’t bother.

The question I’d like to ask them, is why?

Entry Filed under: Media,Observations

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TerryN  |  February 26th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Exposing agenda driven reporting should earn you at least one FOX news lies comment.

    Glen Levenhagen, have you excused your pupils yet? Here’s your chance.

  • 2. BobG  |  February 27th, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Journalists don’t usually do any research on firearms; the majority are anti-guns, so they usually go to someone like the Brady Campaign, who spins more BS than facts.

  • 3. Elliot  |  February 27th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    That’s the thing, Bob, it’s not even about guns…it’s about economics. Follow the money.

    Of course, the reason they didn’t follow the money is that they didn’t want to see where it might lead…and that is about guns.

  • 4. John Foust  |  February 27th, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    The guns could come from many sources. I’d want to verify the truth of the claimed prices. There’s all sorts of reasons to not believe students, right?

    Speculate on the potential sources: retail, used, stolen. There’s a spread of prices in each range. Does the owner of a stolen gun have the same options for selling it as a legit owner? Does a gun sell for the same price teen-to-teen as it does adult-to-teen? Do all straw buyers charge a premium for their trouble? What about other types of intermediate facilitation of a gun? What about barter?

    Or we could ask the reporter directly.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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