Do You Know Where Your News Comes From?

“I would like to inform my readers that my entire funding is enough to buy a box of ammo now and then…and my reason is because I believe in the rights of people, as granted by God and the United States Constitution.”

I read a lot of news articles and opinion pieces and I get notices from various news sources on topics of interest to me. Through all of this, I have learned in the preceding few years that you cannot take for granted that the news source you are reading is a news source and not some biased opinion branch of some organization.

I recently got a note about a particular article from one of my followers who knows I like to read news on self-defense and firearms related topics. When I got this note, I saw the article from a website called The Trace. I always like to see where the people that are writing this information and passing it off as news are coming from, or at least where they get their “incentive” (code word for funding).

When you investigate The Trace a bit, you find this statement on their pages; “The Trace is an independent, nonprofit journalism startup dedicated to shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis.” While not coming out and openly saying they are anti-firearms or anti-firearms rights, it eludes to their stance.

I looked a bit further and found the information I was looking for, something that gives away what they stand for, and why anything they write and publish will be biased and against firearms, self-defense or firearms rights in any way. This was lurking at the very bottom of the “about us” page of information, in much smaller font than most of the page;

“The Trace is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, under the IRS code. Funding for our site has been provided by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the Kendeda Fund, and the Joyce Foundation. Significant individual donors include Ken Lerer and Nick Hanauer.”

Everytown for Gun Safety is headed by the notoriously anti-firearms Michael Bloomberg and his millions of dollars that are dedicated to fighting to remove firearms from law abiding, self-defending, American citizens. This tells me that if they wrote the facts or even published anything that was remotely factual about gun data or firearms information, and not slanted, they would lose funding. When you are funded for writing a certain type of piece by an organization that leans one way, you are then inclined to lean that way as well.

I give you this example of a very recent piece by The Trace to show what I mean. Just read the title of the piece, and you can get an idea of what is to follow; “The NRA Is Selling Insurance to Gun Owners Willing to Shoot in Self-Defense.” Just the title makes it sound like gun owners are a bunch of wannabe killers just waiting to get the chance to kill someone, and that they are “willing” to kill people for any reason.

Nothing is farther from the truth. The vast majority of gun owners I have trained and spoken to are anything but “willing” to shoot someone. They all say how they pray and hope that they will never have to use their self-defense firearm. They realize the gravity and responsibility involved in shooting and harming or killing a fellow human being. It is not something that they take lightly, and no matter how much insurance they have, it will not make them more willing to pull that trigger or increase the chances that they will shoot someone.

The article goes on to talk about the insurance that is offered by several companies that provide coverage to assist with legal fees and other costs associated with having to justify your use of a firearm in self-defense. Court costs, attorney fees, bail if you are arrested, and more. The article goes on to say;

“Critics of self-defense insurance worry that if more people acquire the sense of security that can come with coverage, it could incentivize more of them to turn to lethal force.”

Really? Because a person gets insurance for something, it incentivizes them to use that insurance! So by that logic, because I have vehicle insurance I am more likely to go ahead and get in an accident because it’s covered by that insurance? That is just ridiculous and very openly biased.

The Trace piece then throws in an “expert opinion” and “factual backed” statement; “It makes people believe they do have the entitlement to use force in situations where it’s not necessary,” said Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami. “Insurance says you can plan for these situations, and you’ll be covered if you’re in one.”

Now I am not sure where they got the idea that having self-defense insurance would make a person more likely to use deadly force where it was not legally justified, but it’s a very bold statement. You see it shows how little the person being quoted as an “expert” knows about the use of force in defense of oneself or another person.

Having insurance to help pay legal fees does not change the law. Nor does it change the situation you are confronted with. In the few seconds allotted to make a decision whether to take action or not, I am sure that one of the things in the forefront of the firearms owner’s mind is not;

“heck I am covered by insurance for this so I’ll go ahead and use my firearm because I know I might be covered, even if the law says I can’t use it in this instance.”

You have to be kidding me.

In the future, when you see something being presented as a fact, or an expert opinion, read into the text and find out where the author got their incentive to write the piece. Look at the funding, or as they say, “follow the money.” You may be surprised to see that your favorite media site is not what you thought, that they have an agenda to press, and they bend and twist the facts to suit their ideas.

I bet you are wondering right now, “ok so what drives or makes you write these pro-firearms pieces Mr. Wagoner?”

If so, I would like to inform my readers that my entire funding is enough to buy a box of ammo now and then. And my reason for writing is very different than The Trace’s; mine is because I believe in the rights of people, as granted by God and the United States Constitution.

Even after being a cop for as long as I was, I still think citizens with firearms are their best defense. I believe in the right of the people to be prepared to defend this great country, from both foreign and domestic threats, internally and externally if the need arises. I also believe in what is right and just. My writing reflects those beliefs and my thoughts on those subjects, not the ideas of some millionaire who pays my bills.

Click The Trace to read the article that I was referring to above.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Wagoner

Chris Wagoner is a U.S. Army Veteran and has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance writer and posts his articles on "Down Range with Chris Wagoner".

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