2nd Amendment Advocate: ‘Many Reporters Are Willfully Biased’ on Gun Issues

By Shannon Quick | June 6, 2013 | 5:54 AM EDT

Second Amendment advocate Dick Heller outside the Supreme Court. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Second Amendment activist Dick Heller, who won a gun rights case at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, criticized what he called biased media coverage of gun issues during an appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

“One of the problems is that many in government and media don’t know much about using guns for self-defense, and many aren’t particularly keen to learn,” Heller said. “It is easier to be spoon-fed quotes and false science by anti-gun lobbyists and politicians than to be a real fact-checker,” Heller said.

“I can only conclude that many reporters are willfully biased, by mainly reporting stories associated with illegal or inappropriate firearms usage only, which results in a negative portrayal of both the Second Amendment and any American citizens that choose to exercise that right, even if in a responsible manner.”

Heller singled out the Vice President Joe Biden, the administration’s point man on gun control, for his “glib, doubled-barrel shotgun philosophy of self-defense.”

Biden, during a Facebook forum in February, said he told his wife that a shotgun is the best weapon for self-defense:

“I said, 'Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,'" Biden said. "You don't need an AR-15—it's harder to aim, it's harder to use, and in fact you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun!"

Heller said two blast off the balcony or through the door would get the shooter thrown in jail or perhaps kill an innocent person. “His advice violates key rules, all the key rules, of gun safety. I never hear an admonishment from the press for that.”

As for current efforts to set “arbitrary limits” on magazine capacity, Heller noted that even the states can’t agree on how many rounds are enough or too many:

“Colorado said 15 rounds is enough, D.C. says its 10, N.Y. law now says seven rounds are enough in your magazine, and [Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.] said well three are enough for a rifle.

“Do you really believe the N.Y. cops think they would only need seven rounds if they find themselves facing a lethal threat as second responders to a scene? Shouldn’t the first responders, the victims, be as well armed as the second responders,” Heller asked. “Only the potential victim has the right to decide how many rounds are needed to save themselves.”

Labeling the war on guns a “gentle tyranny,” Heller warned, “If the government can control what and how many guns and ammo we can have just to protect our life, which is our constitutional right, then it will find ways to control all that free market, unlimited, not-yet-rationed supply of ink and paper for the press.”

Heller, a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., says he became interested in Second Amendment liberties when shots were fired at his house – once through his living room window and once into the front door – in the 1970s. He sued the city after it rejected his application to register a gun for self-defense in his home.

“I wanted to challenge the issues in a legal forum,” Heller said on Wednesday. “A team of freedom-minded citizens challenged the city’s unconstitutional laws all the way to the Supreme Court, and we prevailed,” Heller stated.

The Supreme Court in 2008 ruled that the Second Amendment protects the right of an individual to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense.

Heller said he believes the argument facing leaders today is not one of freedom versus safety, but one of freedom equaling safety.

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