Q: I watched the piece your station aired last night during the 10p newscast regarding the surge in firearms sales in McKinney. In my opinion, this was a blatant attempt to vilify and ostracize law-abiding firearms owners and supporters of the Second Amendment. I don't recall the reporter stating that such purchases are perfectly legal under state and federal law (I'm guessing the reporter didn't know that, or bother to research it), while I recall quotes containing emotionally charged words such as "upsetting" and "irresponsible" by an interviewee "fearing for her safety" were repeatedly provided to describe these purchases. In my estimation, this piece was presented not to impart news, but to smear law-abiding armed citizens and falsely paint them all as dangerous fringe extremists. As a supporter of the 2nd Amendment I will never watch your news programs again, and I will freely share my perceptions with others at every opportunity.
A: Thank you for taking the time to write. The story by WFAA reporter Jobin Panicker (www.wfaa.com/news/business/Possibility-of-executive-order-on-gun-control-feeds-gun-frenzy-in-McKinney-186417201.html) was just that – a news story, which in and alone does not constitute an endorsement or represent a specific position. The reporter interviewed an appropriate variety of people for the segment including a gun-store owner, consumers and the woman you mentioned. The Second Amendment was never mentioned, and the woman interviewed said she did not want to be identified for “safety reasons,” not because she “feared for her safety.” He did not suggest anything about unlawful activity, nor did the story attempt to “vilify and ostracize” anyone.