When is an anti-gunner a pro-gun advocate? The obvious answer is never, but that’s too simple a response. The actual answer is “any time a member of the media wants to portray the anti-gunner in a pro-gun light”. Take, for example, a new article in The New Republic entitled “Gun Crazy: The Revolt Against the NRA” by Michael Blanding. Blanding, a freelance writer from Boston, profiles the group calling itself American Hunters and Shooters Association. AHSA bills itself as a “moderate alternative to the NRA”, but in reality it’s an organization founded by leaders in the anti-gun movement who have strong ties to the Brady Campaign.
Blanding’s article calls John Rosenthal, the president of AHSA’s foundation, a “Boston real estate developer who served a stint on the board of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.” But the article also quotes Rosenthal as saying he left the Brady Campaign because of the organization’s “extreme anti-gun stance”. Blanding leaves out any mention of the fact that Rosenthal created, and still runs, the Massachusetts-based outfit known as Stop Handgun Violence. Despite the fact that Blanding is from Boston, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Rosenthal didn’t volunteer that information and Blanding simply didn’t do his research. Then I found an article in Boston Magazine from February 2006 entitled “Straight Shooter”. It’s a glowing profile of John Rosenthal, complete with many mentions of his work with Stop Handgun Violence, and Michael Blanding wrote it.
In May of this year Blanding wrote another piece for Boston Magazine called “The Ways of the Gun”, in which he makes the case that Boston’s rising crime rate is the fault of other states with less restrictive gun laws. In that article Blanding describes Rosenthal as an “anti-gun activist”, but now he’s a pro-gun moderate alternative to the NRA. Why? Because Blanding didn’t write a TNR article about the need for more gun control, he wrote an article about liberals trying to woo gun-owners. To accurately portray Rosenthal as someone who helped pass Massachusetts’ Gun Control Act of 1998 does nothing to win the hearts and minds of gun owners.