Scott Vogel is the Communications Director for the “Freedom States Alliance,” a (misnamed) anti gun group dedicated to disarming the law abiding citizens of the United States.  In his interview on BuzzFlash.com, he made a great many untrue statements regarding gun rights.  However it is the one-sided, anti gun rights, interview questions that really drew my attention.  I address the incredibly biased “interview” questions below:

Incredibly Biased questions asked by the interviewer:

Why in the world does the NRA Institute for Legislative Action support the sale of weapons such as the .50 caliber sniper rifle that can be used to assassinate people from a mile away?

This question drips with anti gun bias.  It starts out with “why in the world,” which makes clear the question asker’s belief that the availability of .50 caliber rifles is a bad thing.  Next, it refers to the rifle as a “sniper rifle,” when there are a whole host of legitimate uses, such as hunting and target practice, for .50 caliber rifles.  Finally, the question mentions assassinations, when it is exceedingly rare that criminals would use such heavy, large, and expensive firearms.  It is also important to note that a great many bullets can be deadly for a mile – even a tiny .22LR bullet has the potential to be deadly for a mile.  This question was not so much a question, as a sentence laden with fear mongering anti gun rights statements, which just happened to end with a question mark.

Likewise, why is the NRA pushing for the right of individuals to shoot anyone they even perceive as a threat to them, or “claim” is a threat to them?

The statement that the NRA is pushing for the right of individuals to shoot anyone they even perceive as a threat to them, or “claim” is a threat to them is utterly untrue.  The NRA supports castle doctrine laws, which allow a citizen to shoot a criminal who has broken into their home.  These laws prevent law abiding citizens who are peacefully going about their lives from having to worry about being prosecuted for defending themselves against violent criminals.  Second guessing citizens who have reasonably defended themselves would give criminals the upper hand, as a violent criminal who breaks into ones home won’t hesitates to shoot, and hesitating to defend oneself can cost a citizen their life.  Castle doctrine laws are not some free for all where gun owners open fire on innocent people.  Once again, we have a “question” that is nothing more than anti gun rights propaganda that ends with a question mark, giving the anti gun rights interviewee an easy opportunity to respond with more anti gun rights propaganda.

As a follow-up, what constitutes an “arm”? Is a bazooka an “arm”? A .50 caliber sniper rifle? How can the Supreme Court decide what constitutes an “arm” when the only guns around when the Constitution was written were flintlocks and muskets?

Again, we have a question whose anti gun rights bias is apparent.  The suggestion that allowing gun ownership will lead to everyone owning bazookas or nuclear weapons is one that the ACLU has used for years in attempts to justify its anti gun rights stance.  In D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court made clear that “arms” include modern semi-automatic firearms, but do not include nuclear weapons, machine guns, bazoookas, or similar weapons.  Had the interviewer taken the time to read the D.C. v. Heller opinion, then they would have had the answer to this question, as the Supreme Court’s opinion makes clear through some quite sound reasoning that banning such “dangerous and unusual weapons” would be constitutional, as the Second Amendment protects arms for “traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Recently the Interior Department implemented a regulation allowing individuals to carry hidden handguns into National Parks. Just why exactly would anyone need to bring a concealed handgun into a National Park?

As I expected at this point, this question was also saturated with anti gun rights bias.  It starts out using the word “hidden,” which I think has a decidedly negative connotation, denoting not just concealment but concealment with some degree of scienter (such as how drug smugglers hide their drugs, or embezzlers hide their ill-gotten funds).  Concealed carry permit holders don’t “hide” their guns, but instead lawfully carry them concealed on or about their person for self defense purposes.  Next, the question ask “just why exactly” anyone would need a gun, rather than asking a more neutral question such as “is a gun needed for self defense in our national parks” – to which I would say “Yes!”  There are murders, abductions, and other violent crimes in our national parks.  Indeed, National Park Service officers are 12 times more likely to be murdered or injured by a criminal than FBI agents.  I discuss concealed carry in our national parks in greater detail here.

Do you believe that there might come a time when NRA members might become rational about the dangers of certain types of weaponry? After all, the NRA successfully supported the “right” of people on the FBI terrorists watch list to buy a gun. That threatens our national security. Why do members of the NRA support compromising our safety as a nation?

The bias in this question tops them all.  In just four sentences, the interviewer manages to call NRA members irrational, say that the NRA supports terrorists acquiring weapons, and say that NRA members support compromising our safety as a nation.  Indeed, the third sentence is not even a question, but a statement of (untrue) opinion that is passed off as fact.  First, NRA members are quite rational.  Unlike anti gun rights politicians, who can’t be bothered to learn what it is they are trying to ban, NRA members tend to have a firm understanding of guns and related societal issues.  Unlike some uninformed members of the general public, NRA members tend to know the facts about so-called “assault weapons” and the true causes of violence.  We know that vilifying guns won’t stop violence any more than vilifying murder/rape/robbery will stop people from committing those crimes.  NRA members also know that the “terrorist watch list” is bloated with over 1 million names, the overwhelming majority of whom have committed no crime and pose no threat to this country.  Instead, it is filled with people who are added through an incredibly arbitrary process that bears no rational relationship to fighting terrorism.  It is unconstitutional to deprive a citizen of the right to gun ownership because a government agency has decided, without showing cause or allowing due process, to place that person on a list.  While we’re discussing terrorism, it is important to note that armed citizens have stopped terrorists, while unarmed citizens are defenseless when terrorists strike.

My thanks to Anders for pointing out this “interview.”