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Reporters who carry guns

DefenderDefender Member Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭✭✭
I posted this on and thought you guys might like to read it. I do a lot of investigative TV news producing on call for news organizations.

Reporters thay carry guns

Reporters, photographers and field producers bleed and die like everyone else. Reporters understandably must stay neutral in any story or conflict they're reporting. The bad news is reporters get hurt and die far too often. In many cases this is needless since a reporter or producer packing a gun to protect him, herself or their crew does not in anyway change the neutral position of a journalist.

Carry a gun? Perhaps not while covering the school board. However I say pack a rod while on the crime beat and while looking for and interviewing witnesses. During insurrections like what we just observed in New Orleans, logic defies not taking whatever steps are necessary to protect the crew and their equipment.

I make no bones about my own packing of a gun while doing news in the field. I'm also a licensed PI in several states and have the proper permits to pack that firepower. The news directors never, ever wanted to discuss that issue with me because it falls in uncharted territory. They all know I that I have the gun and they frankly want me around on the tough stories. This is in spite of most employee regulations that specifically prohibit possession or carrying firearms on station property. I've avoided becoming an employee for many years now and never had to deal with that issue.

If you dare to carry a gun at least be really safe and proficient with it's use. That means professional training by a real firearms trainer instead of some uncle that hunts deer every year. You must know the laws of deadly force. You should give yourself some other options so perhaps you can avoid drawing a gun. A large flashlight would be an example. I can't understate the importance of good training.

Another area of training that is necessary for reporter with a concealed weapon is in hostage negotiation. You can suggest to your news director, and then do some stories about such training with your local police departments. This type of training teaches officers how to deal with and diffuse disturbed and armed people. Then by osmosis, you'll get the needed training as you cover your story. You can then use this knowledge for the rest of your life. Remember that we don't want the bad guys to learn too much from your story either. Every crime& courts beat reporter should cover those training stories whenever they can.

I have worked in the field with anchors and reporters that have had current issues with stalkers and alike. I feel secure that any crew I'm with is under real protection. I've also been asked by numerous news directors, and talent for my professional assistance in dealing with stalkers. I've served many a court order on a love struck nut bothering the talent along the way.

I'm concerned that being armed while covering a war zone may cause news crews to be treated like combatants rather than reporters. On the other hand if you get grabbed and searched by some military unit you're in trouble anyway. I say go with the gun.

For a news organization sending me out as a field producer I'm always ready to take the heat from anyone as a hired gun sent to protect the crew. I shudder at the thought what terrorists would do to an American news crew that got captured in Iraq or one of their neighboring countries.

My advice to anyone covering a war zone is to get some serious training with the actual weapons of that conflict before you go. That's in case you have to pick one up somewhere and use it in order to live. The training needs to be on those assault weapons and handguns too.

None of us want to become the news story where we used firearms on anyone. It's just as true that we don't want to become the news story that hundreds of our colleagues have become as battle causalities or crime victims. Given the choice of what news story I become a part of, I'd go with that of the news-bunny who survived.

Private investigator licensed in AZ & CA that specializes in self defense cases.


  • tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    Great letter. May change a few opinions for the better. I would ask you not to encourage the use of "assault" weapons since that term has been and will be used in the future anti-gunners attempts to outlaw many civilian guns for no other reason but because of the way they look.

  • DefenderDefender Member Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Assault weapons, meaning the REAL assault weapons is what I said. The wepons in the battles of the conflicts the reporters are sent to. I'd add RPGs to that.

    Private investigator licensed in AZ & CA that specializes in self defense cases.
  • ComengetitComengetit Member Posts: 1,170 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tr fox
    Great letter. May change a few opinions for the better. I would ask you not to encourage the use of "assault" weapons since that term has been and will be used in the future anti-gunners attempts to outlaw many civilian guns for no other reason but because of the way they look.


    Great point tr, we need another term for these semi-automatic rifles, oh, I guess we already have one. We need to use it every time we refer to a Bushmaster type weapon. They are getting people's attention by hammering the term home until it hurts. We need to counter that. If we start it here it WILL eventually spill out into the mainstream. I can hear it now: "Isn't it really better to call them semi-automatic rifles, as this is what they really are?" Asks Paula Zahn of Dianne Fienstien, "No, oh no, these are insidious weapons that their user's employ to spray bullets all over a crime scene." "Yes, but aren't you really referring to AUTOMATIC weapons, and aren't those what the military refers to as "assault weapons"?" Yeah, but what difference does it make if it suits our needs and goals we'll lie a little...OK, we'[ll lie alot but who cares we get what we want, why was it that we wanted this again....?

    I took out my AR's today and decided to have a little experiment. I also brought my Browning A-Bolt Medallion 7mm Mag with awesome scope zeroed in, and I brought along my newly acquired Saiga .308 AK-47 w/ 22 inch barrel. My quest was to find out how each would do in a firefight of urban type surroundings. I set up targets at various places around the range and put up a couple of fortifications for me to shoot from. Yes, I was alone.

    What I found out was that in just about all scenarios I was better off with the Sniper-like .308 than I was an AR-15. I shot the AR-15's as they are described by the media "spraying bullets" in the direction of my targets, remembering that they shoot back. I found that I scored quite a few more kills with my bolt action Browning than any other of my competitors. What does this mean, wee, to me it means that what little "spraying", if you would call it that, I did was totally wasted as in order to continue shooting at that rate of fire, I had to reacquire my target after every shot. I found myself guessing and not hitting the target. One shot one kill with the other two weapons. CQB, without a doubt AR-15, but any kind of distance at all and give me the .308 or 7mm any day of the week. I also learned that "spraying" can NOT be accomplished with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

    There are two kinds of people in this World....Those who lead....and those who get the hell out of the way...GUT CHECK!...Which one are you?
  • DefenderDefender Member Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    We don't need another term for assault rifles. We need to educate the people who've been misled by gun rights-haters that all Assault weapons have been banned since 1934. The law that was called the "Assault Weapons Ban" and expired had nothing to do with assault weapons and that those firearmes continue to be banned.

    We've allowed that Assault Weapons term to be misused and abused by government officials, gun rights-haters, and ignorant members of the media whenever they descrime most rifles(even that ittle Ruger 10/22).

    I ask, why do we let people who can't define or describe what an assault weapon is to make public policy about firearms?

    They even made the words semi-automatic seem far more sinister sounding than automatic. Figure that one out...

    We should conduct a quick public survey asking what kind of firearm is more deadly?
    1. An automatic
    2. A semi-automatic

    Four out of five Americans would chose number two.

    Private investigator licensed in AZ & CA that specializes in self defense cases.
  • HighballHighball Member Posts: 15,755
    edited November -1
    "Assault rifle" ought to be a part of every Americans vocabulary...and would be, in a sane,healthy enviroment where "Militiaman" was the guy across the street...
    Just another part of decent, upstanding Americans doing their duty for their country.
  • ComengetitComengetit Member Posts: 1,170 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    In case you guys are unaware, there is a war going on right here at home. It's a war of propaganda to see who can get the publics ear and sentiment. The enemy uses the words "Assault Weapon" as ammunition against us, they are able to do this because there is automatically a negative connotation surrounding the words "assault" and "weapon" independent of each other. When they throw in phrases like "spraying bullets" or "blanketing a crime scene with gunfire" in conjunction with the individual words you have a very dangerous situation. Misinformation is what we are fighting in this war and you would think it would be easy to win a war of words against liars, and it should be.

    We spend far too much time fighting the true meaning of their lies than exposing them as the lies that they are. We argued that all of the different cosmetics did not make an assault weapon, yet we missed the chance to totally call them out on the lies of "spraying bullets" and the fact that an "assault weapon" is a military instrument that fires fully auto. We should have demonstrated the difference and taken away the phrase that they have so skillfully used against us to win the hearts and minds of those otherwise disinterested in gun issues.

    If we continue to use the term "assault weapon", then we are admitting that the weapons are indeed on our streets, which they are not. By exposing them as liars it will not take time before the people see them for what they are...radical gun grabbers. Once exposed they lose all credibility and eventually go away. Guns have survived attacks for nearly 100 years and we still keep them today. We all know that they will never get them legally or otherwise so, why not make our lives a little easier and fire back the same ammo being fired at us? By calling an AR-15 or AK-47 a semi-automatic weapon and clearly identifying an "assault weapon" as an automatic weapon, we can discredit the gun grabbers. It seems counter productive to say "we're going to use that phrase no matter what they say or do". A counter attack or two wouldn't hurt![;)]

    There are two kinds of people in this World....Those who lead....and those who get the hell out of the way...GUT CHECK!...Which one are you?
  • HighballHighball Member Posts: 15,755
    edited November -1
    The problem with your approach, Comengetit, is that by doing as you ask...we admit that full auto's are for military/police only...and the fedgov is right to deny them to common citizens.

    You...I...every swinging dic* out there NEEDS an 'assualt weapon' in the gun safe.
    I have no intension of crawling on my belly to get one..especially since a semi-auto is so much more effective..However, were they common...lots of practice makes them VERY deadly..and a selector switch makes the long shots possible.
  • gunphreakgunphreak Member Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You guys (well, some of you) seem to be playing into the hands of the enemy, in a way.

    One of my nastiest new strategies is to inspire fear in cowards. How, you ask? Here's how....

    Them: Why does someone need something like that?

    Me: (just getting warmed up) Self-defense.

    Them: Against what?

    Me: Haven't you heard? Apparently, there's a surge of weapons in the wrong hands, out there on the streets. Just making sure none of them POS are pointing them in my direction.

    Then: Wouldn't it be better to ban them?

    Me: Are you kidding?!?! You do that, then the only ones left with these guns will be criminals. Laws don't affect the law breaker, you know.

    Them: Well, if they are banned across the board, no one will have them.

    Me: Dream on. No law will stop it any more than a law will stop a rapist from defiling your daughter.... Only you can do that.

    Them: Me??

    Me: That's right. You wait for the cops, consider her raped. Is your daughter's safety worth killing a rapist?

    Them: I don't know.... never thought about it, before.

    Me: Well, don't wait until it's too late.

    Them: Well, still, would you need something like that to do it?

    Me: Why not? What do you think a rapist would do if you pointed one of these at them? (showing AR-15 to him)

    Them: I see your point.

    Me: Chances are, you would scare them so bad, they would either run for their life, or surrender. You wouldn't even have to shoot them. Anyway you look at it, it's better to have too many than not enough, right?

    Consider what will happen in the face of a total gun ban. New Orleans, all over again, except no hurricane.

    Something for them to think about....

    Death to Tyrants!!!
    Lev 26:14-39

    Those who would offer any interpretation that would relegate Amendment II to "relic" status of a bygone era are blatantly stating that the remainder of the Bill of Rights isn't worth a damn, either.

    Luke 22:36.

    "Mirror Mirror on the wall. Who's the ugliest one of all?"

    -Janet Reno, the Butcher of Waco.
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