BELLEVUE, WA – More than 115 dead or injured, and now a lame “apology” from Newsweek; maybe it is time for the press to accept waiting periods before exercising its First Amendment rights in the same way the press has backed waiting periods on law-abiding Americans before exercising their Second Amendment rights.
That’s the observation from the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) now that Newsweek has acknowledged its report about the desecration of the Koran by soldiers at Guantanamo Bay was bogus.
“I wonder if Newsweek, or its owner, the Washington Post, would submit all of their stories for FBI clearance before they publish,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “This irresponsible exercise of the First Amendment freedom of the press has killed and injured more people than Charles Whitman or the Beltway Snipers.
“How many times,” Gottlieb wondered, “have Newsweek and The Washington Post advocated waiting periods for law-abiding citizens, who have hurt nobody, before they can buy a firearm? A waiting period amounts to prior restraint by the government. How loud would reporters scream if they faced prior restraint before printing their version of the news? Their double standard is hypocritical.
“The Second Amendment is the only civil right in this country that Americans can’t exercise unless they get government permission,” he noted. “A Newsweek story just killed or injured more than 115 people, but they don’t have to face government scrutiny before turning on the press.
“Newsweek reporters and editors should be subject to the same kind of ‘cooling-off’ period they advocate for gun buyers,” Gottlieb observed. “In their heated rush to print a sensational story to discredit American soldiers and the Bush Administration, they started a chain reaction that ended in worldwide acts of violence.
“The blood is on Newsweek’s hands,” Gottlieb stated. “Their report killed and injured scores of people, yet it is the American gun owner who must endure waiting periods because of an irrational fear that they might commit a crime. Crimes were committed because of Newsweek’s story. People have died.”