Dudes, Bass Pro Shops is part of the solution, not the problem! The Connecticut Post has taken a lot of heat the last few days for demonizing Bass Pro Shops, a leading outdoor retailer slated as the anchoring tenant for the Steel Point redevelopment area, in light of the wave of gun violence in the city. Columnist Keila Torres Ocasio and scribe Brian Lockhart have led the bewildering fishing expedition. The paper’s Editorial Board that includes publisher John DeAugustine has published an editorial that lands on the side of sanity: “Oh, it’s a tempting, symbolic target to ask the store to refrain from selling guns. Given the sadness and frustration of the last few weeks, it’s understandable. But beyond the symbolism, it doesn’t really make much sense.”
The editorial added, “The legal sale of hunting weapons, including handguns, is not the problem. Their migration into the hands of homicidal thugs is the problem.”
It’s not uncommon for editorial boards to create distance from the positions of reporters. Keila and Lockhart are generally dependable journalists who do solid work. Bias comes out in journalistic work. Nothing wrong with that. The larger picture is fairness. Are Keila and Lockhart being fair? No. Part of the problem is how the news desk played up the stories. They’re way overplayed. Writing about the sick gun violence in the city is legit and deserve high-profile coverage. Connecting Bass Pro to the violence with persistent screaming headlines is not legit.
The Editorial Board was compelled to write this response because of the overzealous actions of its scribes and the editors that overplayed the stories. This is a classic case of a misplaced issue manufactured by scribes. Can you imagine someone going to the Post and saying look, we want you to publish in our city but you can no longer use ink because scientific evidence shows it’s killing people. And oh, we believe you also shouldn’t have a webpage because we believe looking at a computer screen is the leading cause of American blindness.
Bass Pro Shops sells fishing, boating, camping, hunting equipment, as well as electronics and clothing. To see what else, www.basspro.com.
The Post editorial is here.