This is actually spooky:
In January 2002, a shooting left three dead at the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. The event made international headlines and produced more calls for gun control. Yet one critical fact was missing from virtually all the news coverage: The attack was stopped by two students who had guns in their cars.I'm not a big fan of guns, but I'm even less of a fan of dishonesty.[...]Isn't it remarkable that out of 218 unique news stories (from a LexisNexis search) in the week after the event, just four mentioned that the students who stopped the shooter had guns?[...]Tracy [one of the armed students] related how he had carefully described to over 50 reporters what had happened, explaining how he had to point his gun at the attacker and yell at him to drop his gun. Yet the media had consistently reported that the incident had ended by the students "tackling" the killer. Tracy specifically mentioned that he had spent a considerable amount of time talking face-to-face with reporter Maria Glod of the Washington Post. He seemed stunned that this conversation had not resulted in a more accurate rendition of what had occurred.
After finishing the radio show, I telephoned the Post, and Ms. Glod confirmed that she had talked to both Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, and that both had told her the same story. She said that describing the students as pouncing, and failing to mention their guns, was not "intentional." It had been due to space constraints.
I later spoke with Mike Getler, the ombudsman for the Post. Getler was quoted in the Kansas City Star as saying that the reporters simply did not know that bystanders had gotten their guns. After I informed him that Glod had been told by the students about using their guns, Getler said, "She should have included it." But he said that he had no power to do anything about it. He noted that readers had sent in letters expressing concern about how the attack had been covered. But none of these letters was ever published.
It was not until February 28, 2004, after the preliminary hearing where testimony verified again what had happened, that the Washington Post published one brief sentence containing the truth: "[The killer] was subdued without incident by armed students."