On Wednesday, the Associated Press pushed out a story about small children writing to the White House to demand new gun control laws. Here’s how it begins:
Three days after six teachers and 20 students were killed by a rampaging gunman at their elementary school in Newtown, Conn., an 8-year-old from Maryland pulled out a sheet of paper and asked President Barack Obama for “some changes in the laws with guns.”
“It’s a free country but I recommend there needs (to) be a limit with guns,” Grant wrote in a letter dated Dec. 17. “Please don’t let people own machine guns or other powerful guns like that.”
In the days after the shooting, children around the country had the same idea as Grant. They put their feelings about the massacre on paper and sent those letters to a receptive White House.
“I am writing to ask you to STOP gun violence,” wrote Tajeah, a 10-year-old from Georgia. “I am very sad about the children who lost their lives. So, I thought I would write to you to STOP gun violence.”
As the Weekly Standard points out, not until halfway through the story does the AP admit this is the pure, uncritical transmission of Obama gun-control propaganda. The White House picked out three letters from little kids who want more gun laws and handed them to the “reporters,” who helpfully built a “story” around them. Conservatives can only dream of getting that kind of prompt, cheerful service from the “news” media.
“The White House appears not to have released a single letter to the AP in opposition to President Obama’s gun proposal,” the Standard dryly observers. Also, it doesn’t seem as if any effort was invested in determining whether these children were told what to say by their parents or teachers.
But here’s the absolute nadir of state-media-propaganda-complex stupidity, reached later in the article:
Second Amendment. Right to bear arms. Lobbying group. [sic] None of that was mentioned in any of the letters, scribbled in the rough penmanship of children.
Really? Do tell, Associated Press! You had three whole letters from 8, 10, and 11-year old children, and none of them quoted the Second Amendment, the Federalist Papers, or the Declaration of Independence? None of them displayed a working knowledge of pro- and anti-Second Amendment lobbying groups? Wow! I’m stunned. What are they teaching third-graders these days?
The implication is that the rest of us should cast aside our concerns about the Constitution and cleave to the wisdom of little kids, who (bless their hearts) obviously and understandably have no idea what they’re talking about. It would be so much better if the rest of us adopted the proper role as Uncle Sam’s obedient and dependent little nieces and nephews too, wouldn’t it?
There is absolutely no way to reconcile all of the expressed liberal desires for a “national conversation about guns” with Obama parading a squad of small children on stage to hijack their moral capital. That is emphatically not the way adults have “conversations.” It’s an underhanded effort to manipulate emotions, not a contest of reason.
If the AP wants to reclaim a little journalistic integrity, I have a suggestion for a follow-up piece: get in touch with these three young people, interview them with no other adults in the room, and get their thoughts about the $50,000 in debt Barack Obama has dropped on their backs. Oh, wait, would that be unfair and manipulative? I forgot that different rules apply to different ideologies in this great series of “national conversations” we’re having.