John F. Stossel, a consumer reporter, author and co-anchor for the network television ABC News show 20/20, has been named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for April.
In nominating Stossel for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “While many people rightfully complain about anti-gun owner bias in the mainstream media, it nonetheless is true that there are at least a few media personalities who are not infected with this bias and who in fact forthrightly maintain and defend the viability of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. Surrounded as they are with fellow professionals who generally are off the wall in their animosity towards gun rights, these few are outstanding in their professional commitment to the truth regarding the right to keep and bear arms. Such a professional is John Stossel, and it’s hard to praise and commend him too highly for his articulate defense of our rights in what possibly is a truly wretched and vapid intellectual environment. He most surely deserves the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award.”
Stossel recently blasted an anti-gun New York Times editorial for calling upon U.S. Senators “to realize that the innocence of Americans is better protected by carefully controlling guns than it is by arming everyone to the teeth.”
That newspaper’s editors, stated Stossel, “seem unaware of how silly their argument is. To them, the choice is between ‘carefully controlling guns’ and ‘arming everyone to the teeth.’ But no one favors ‘arming everyone to the teeth’ (whatever that means). Instead, gun advocates favor freedom, choice and self-responsibility. If someone wishes to be prepared to defend himself, he should be free to do so. No one has the right to deprive others of the means of effective self-defense, like a handgun.
“As for the first option, ‘carefully controlling guns,’ how many shootings at schools or malls will it take before we understand that people who intend to kill are not deterred by gun laws? Last I checked, murder is against the law everywhere. No one intent on murder will be stopped by the prospect of committing a lesser crime like illegal possession of a firearm. The intellectuals and politicians who make pious declarations about controlling guns should explain how their gunless utopia is to be realized. While they search for – excuse me – their magic bullet, innocent people are dying defenseless.”
According to Stossel, “Laws that make it difficult or impossible to carry a concealed handgun do deter one group of people: law-abiding citizens who might have used a gun to stop crime. Gun laws are laws against self-defense.
“Criminals have the initiative. They choose the time, place and manner of their crimes, and they tend to make choices that maximize their own, not their victims’, success. So criminals don’t attack people they know are armed, and anyone thinking of committing mass murder is likely to be attracted to a gun free zone, such as schools and malls.”
Stossel, born 1947 in Chicago Heights, Illinois, noted that, “Government may promise to protect us from criminals, but it cannot deliver on that promise. This was neatly summed up in a book title a few years ago: ‘Dial 911 and Die.’ If you are the target of a crime, only one other person besides the criminal is sure to be on the scene: you. There is no good substitute for self-responsibility. How, then, does it make sense to create mandatory gun free zones, which in reality are free crime zones?
“The usual suspects keep calling for more gun control laws. But this idea that gun control is crime control is just a myth. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed dozens of studies and could not find a single gun regulation that clearly led to reduced violent crime or murder. When Washington, D.C. passed its tough handgun ban years ago, gun violence rose. The press ignores the fact that often guns save lives. It’s what happened in 2002 at the Appalachian School of Law. Hearing shots, two students went to their cars, got their guns and restrained the shooter until police arrested him.”
John began his journalism career as a researcher for KGW-TV and later became a consumer reporter at WCBS-TV in New York City before joining ABC News as consumer editor and reporter on Good Morning America. He lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.