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FNL Leftovers

Reported by Nancy - April 4, 2005 -

Usually there's so MUCH stuff on FNL I don't have the time to itemize every outrageous statement or ridiculous interview or over-the-top assertion. But here's one interview, from last week (3/29), that I think deserves your attention.

The "hook" for this interview was the school shooting in Red Lake, MN (& note how quickly that has fallen off the charts, as opposed to the obsessive coverage of places like Columbine, Pearl River, Paducah ...).

At 11:05am (all times ET) Brigitte Quinn reported that the FBI arrested Louis Jourdain in MN school shooting, charged him with assisting Jeff Weise.

At 11:11am teasers included: "Should teachers be armed & ready to fight back?"

At 11:39am teaser was: "will giving teachers guns help stop these ... rampages? ... a fair & balanced look."

At 11:46am teasers included: arrest re Red Lake "shooting spree"

At 11:51am Quinn said the "son of the tribal chief might have helped plan the attack" in Red Lake, & repeated the theme: should teachers be armed? She then interviewed Joe Waldron (Citizens Comm on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms) & Casey Anderson (Stop Gun Violence). Waldron said there are armed guards in schools in Israel. Quinn asked whether the teachers are armed too, & Waldron said that should be a "subject of discussion". Anderson pointed out the dangers of giving guns to untrained people, including teachers & guards. Waldron retorted they can be trained & cited the federal "flight deck officer program" claiming "it works" because if you "ask the average American" whether they'd rather have an armed or an unarmed flight crew, the "overwhelming" pick is "armed." Quinn wondered whether an armed teacher could be a "person of last resort." Anderson pointed out that even if it works & deters a particular shooting "you haven't solved the broader problem, which is you have some very disturbed teens ... " Quinn smugly retorted that it would have stopped one incident. Anderson went off on a tangent about teachers not having enough time as it is, & having them spend time as a shooting range is "not effective" & the interview trailed to a close.

At 12:09pm Rick Folbaum repeated that Lewis Jourdain had been arrested & charged with helping Jeff Wiese in planning the Red Lake school shooting.

General comments: What's "fair & balanced" about having a pro-gun & an anti-gun activist discuss this so-called "topic"? Why not ask teachers & students what they think about adding more guns to classrooms? Or parents? Or police or security professionals? Why is FNL even promoting a "subject for discussion" like this? As for Waldron's assertion about armed guards in Israeli schools -- why are reactionaries suddenly eager to follow the lead of other countries?

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's coverage of the Red Lake incident or of gun topics in general). O/T comments will be deleted. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.