Paper Falsely ‘Reports’ Gun Advocate Diminished Importance of Lives Lost to Suicide

Heller presents the late Mike Vanderboegh and me with JPFO’s “David and Goliath Award” for exposing ATF Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” at the 2011 Gun Rights Policy Conference (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Lives lost to suicide are not as important as the public’s right to purchase firearms promptly, said Charles Heller, co-founder and spokesman for the Arizona Citizens Defense League,” the Arizona Daily Star cited Sunday in a report attempting to tie a university student suicide in with “same-day gun sales.”

That sounds pretty callous, doesn’t it? You’d think a seasoned advocate like Heller, a longtime radio host and AzCDL’s media coordinator, would be sensitive to that and more skilled at making his point without alienating people with such overt indifference to human tragedy.

That is if Heller actually said it. He actually didn’t.

“[Arizona Daily Star reporter Carol Ann Alaimo] made up a quote from me out of whole cloth,” Heller unequivocally declares at Liberty Watch Radio. “That quote is a lie.”

“I NEVER said that, or anything close to it,” Heller insisted in his letter to Jill Jordan Spitz, the Daily Star’s editor, in his demand for a correction and retraction. “What I said, verbatim, was:

“[T]here isn’t any excuse for infringing a right. You don’t say, well you know, a few more people might not kill themselves, so we’re going to infringe everybody else’s rights, who don’t kill themselves.”

What [Alaimo] did there is not a misquote,” Heller continued. “It is attributing to me something I never said. it is an outright fabrication…”

So, good luck proving it? He said she said?

Hardly. Heller let the reporter know at the outset he was recording their conversation and he has now posted it for all to hear for themselves.

 

As an aside, and with the disclosure that I know Charles, I have met him several times at events, been a guest on his program, and consider him a colleague and a friend, I’m once more impressed with how well he handles himself in impromptu conversation. It ain’t easy, although his depth and breadth of knowledge make it sound that way.

“That is an egregious case of malfeasant journalism. It is also a stunning example of a framing bias,” Heller elaborated in his complaint to Spitz. “Furthermore, and worse, it defames me in asserting that I, or The Arizona Citizens Defense League, care more about the speed of purchase of a firearm than the lives of the people buying them. This is DAMAGE to the reputation of the group and myself, as some people will be fooled into believing that I actually said that.”

Why wouldn’t they believe it? Most will never see Heller’s rebuttal or read this article. We’re dealing with a newspaper that reportedly has hundreds of thousands of readers. Unless the editor honors his demand for a retraction/admission and a 600-word op-ed to correct the record, the prevailing thought will be that he, and by default, all non-comprising Second Amendment advocates, are heartless, selfish, and indifferent to human tragedy. In fact, if you listen to what he really said, his advocacy was insightful, rational, humane, and respectful of rights.

Obviously, no one can force the newspaper to do this, but perhaps it can be pressured. Once this is posted, I’m going to post the link as a reply to the Daily Star’s Twitter (78.8K account followers) and Facebook ( 149,382 account followers) article announcements and invite those of you who have accounts there to join me.

Also see:


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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KC
KC
10 months ago

And that right there ladies and gents is one of the reasons we always referred to that publication as the Arizona Red Star when I was stationed there 20 years ago.

Arny
Arny
10 months ago

Democrats ruin lives that’s what they do. Just look at how many they are ruining under this Plandemic. Jacob Gardner deserved better. As many others. They pretend to care. There only goal is wanting you dead or disarmed to rule over you. People best wake up. I will surely remove myself from this world before they get the satisfaction. Hell be damned ! https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/body-omaha-bar-owner-jake-gardner-found-20-minutes-portland/

Tionico
Tionico
10 months ago

Would this “reporter” have the spine to publish a list of those who died precisely because they tried to get a defensive gunnand were not able to walk out of the store with it, because of the Gabbling Giffords types have made that “illegal”? I loved reading about the first time gun buyers (a friend’s forty year old daughter was in that group until last spring) pick out their piece, from the VERY short and shrinking California Mommy Approved List, and was furious when she learned she could not walk out with it. Then the lockdowns happened, and it took… Read more »

PMinFl
PMinFl
10 months ago

If the paper published it, and he has a recording of said interview, the slander and defamation suits will put the Arixona Daily star out of business!

Tionico
Tionico
10 months ago
Reply to  PMinFl

Better yeat, perhaps Mr. Heller could end up OWNING this fishwrap, and remake it into a valid voice for truth, liberty, and The People.

Arny
Arny
10 months ago
Reply to  PMinFl

Not sure about that. Look at the judges rulings lately ?

Boz
Boz
10 months ago

IiberaIs Iie, it’s aII they have

WI Patriot
WI Patriot
10 months ago

Suicide is suicide, the firearm is just a tool, as is the rope/cord/etc, the motor vehicle, the bottle of pills, the razor blade, etc…
When someone wants to “check out”, not having access to a firearm isn’t going to dissuade them…

Tionico
Tionico
10 months ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

True enough. I saw, some yars back, a comarison of the US and our northern neighbour Canada. VERY similar demographics, economics, culture, etc. SUicide RATES by all means were statistically identical. Broen down bythe tool of choice, howeve,r there was a massive difference on one “means: the firearm. Canad’ians used that class of tool very seldom, while a significant portion of US suicides were by that class of instrument. HOW could this be, our two countries being so similar? Ah.. a quick look at gun laws… Canadians can almost never own handguns, and own far fewer long guns per capita… Read more »

Larry
Larry
10 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

Kleck’s Point Blank (confirmed by Brandon Centerwall’s 1991 study) documents “suicide substitution” within Canada itself (much more unassailable than a cross-cultural comparison). Over a period during which Canada reduced gun ownership, suicides by other means exactly rose to compensate. Evidence is strong that the presence of the gun contributes neither to the urge (really, how could it?) nor to the success of the attempt — it is just the preferred method due to effectiveness, efficiency, and painlessness in places where it is an option when suicide is being contemplated. Otherwise, most any bridge will do.

Last edited 10 months ago by Larry
hippybiker
hippybiker
10 months ago

I think I remember in the “Good Old Days” we referred to this as “Yellow Journalism!” Correct me if I misspoke.

BigJim
BigJim
10 months ago

Alaimo-Snakes don’t have ears.

Camotim
Camotim
10 months ago

Its not the Main Stream Media; its the Main Slime Media.

nrringlee
nrringlee
10 months ago

You know you have hit a nerve when the Left resorts to blatant falsehoods in lieu of argument. I am a life member of AZCDL and work the gun shows up here in Mohave County. The energy, knowledge and intensity of AZCDL membership is not lost on the AR shootin, hyperbole tootin’ Gabby Giffords crowd. When they resort to blatant lies you know you have them cornered. You see, this goes to prove my long standing theory that the Progressive New Left knows they have no arguments that can endure the light of day and open debate. That is why… Read more »

Larry
Larry
10 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

The converse of this argument, of course, is that the US has a sufficient (and unfortunately growing) proportion of fools who are easily taken in by the lies and either can’t or don’t care to distinguish which side is presenting the truth. As we’ve seen from the recent election, the liars no longer even need to craft their lies to survive even a millisecond of skeptical thought, because roughly half of Americans will never even so subject them.