ABC: Firearm Friendly Sarah Palin Locks and Loads Voters in Wyoming

ABC has a track record of slanting the news in favor of gun control.  So it was no surprise that in an otherwise positive story about gun owners in Wyoming, reporter Neal Karlinsky raised the favorite liberal specter that relaxed gun laws lead to higher firearm death rates. He based his argument on statistics from a rabid anti-gun group.

Karlinsky was in Wyoming as part of ABC News' “50 States in 50 Days” pre-election tour, which purports to “see how this election impacts all corners of the country.”   His report aired on the October 16 broadcast, with a similar version posted online at ABC

The story featured the Allan family and rightly noted that in the American West, “guns are an indelible part of the culture here.”  The patriarch of the family, Clark Allan, noted the family owned 20-25 guns.

ALLAN: Guns are just part of our life. I've got a chain saw by the door.  I've got a shovel. I've got a gun. And we use them all the time. I think living in a big city, they probably don't have chain saws and shovels by the door either.

Karlinsky also focused attention on the Allan children, giving daughter Ashleigh, a “straight-A student and stone-cold shot,” the chance to make the case for responsible gun use and ownership.

ASHLEIGH ALLAN: I tell you we're some of the safest kids with guns there can be.  It's kids that don't know what guns are. That's when it becomes unsafe.

Karlinsky immediately followed that statement with the tired liberal mantra linking less gun control with death.

KARLINSKY: Yet time and time again, statistics show that firearm death rates are significantly higher in places with relaxed gun laws. Wyoming recently ranked 11th in the nation, while New York was 46th.

What Karlinsky failed to note is that the statistics he quoted came from the Violence Policy Center, which describes itself as “the most aggressive group in the gun control movement.”  The VPF web site even has a page that attacks the late gun-rights hero Charlton Heston.

Karlinsky also failed to mention that the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms and issued a ruling that said hyper-restrictive gun control laws, like those in Washington, D.C., were unconstitutional. It should be noted that D.C.'s laws were ineffective since the crime and death rates attributed to guns did not significantly decrease in the 30 years the strict gun control laws were in place.  In fact, according to the National Rifle Association, D.C.'s murder rate tripled within 20 years of the handgun ban's implementation, and most of the murders were committed with handguns.

Liberals like to link gun control to decreased death or crime rates.  But the fact of the matter is the evidence against these myths is overwhelming.  The National Rifle Association Web site's “Fables and Myths” page shows research that debunks the most-often used arguments for gun control.

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.