"Why Gun Culture Is So Strong in Rural America" is remarkable on several fronts. First of all, it's a a fair examination of the subject. Second, it's published in a newspaper considered by many to be strongly anti-gun. Third, it is written by a real member of the media.
I spent many years as a mainstream media reporter and can assure you that I was never instructed what to write or even received a hint of an anti-gun agenda. Yes, reporters may have a personal feeling on a subject. But they should never display that bias in their work.
In many cases, the tone of an article is captured by a headline that usually is written by somebody else whose job is to attract readers. In other cases, the reporter may be ignorant of the facts and must rely on what his sources say. And if that source happens to have a bias, then that may be reflected in the story. A good reporter should realize the bias and seek opposing comment..
Finally, as much as I appreciate the work the NRA does in protecting the Second Amendment, the association's inflammatory rhetoric too often polarizes people with little room to consider that there may actually truth in The New York Times.
- Dr. Gatling