The Canadian Shooting Sports Association did a superb point-by-point takedown of a CBC video on gun laws packed with errors, misleading suggestions and possibly a wrongful confiscation by law-enforcement officers.
The “Guns in Canada 101” video in a CBC series on Keeping Canada Safe shows conservation officers saying falsehoods about several parts of the law as they inspect shooters and seize gear. In addition, the state broadcaster’s graphics and captions are either incorrect or paint a picture of gun owners and recreational shooters that many of us wouldn’t recognize. That’s a lot to get wrong in a 4-minute video. (The series was produced by Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment in association with CBC.)
I don’t know if the officers should be reprimanded for their ignorance, or punished if they acted illegally. The CBC accidentally did an excellent job of showing how our laws are so complex, convoluted and confusing that shooters, lawyers, law enforcers, judges and journalists easily get them wrong.
CBC Spreads ‘Disinformation’
But the number of mistakes in what claims to be an educational video and the broadcaster’s failure to show input from legal or technical specialists are feeding distrust in the CBC’s intentions and ability to accurately and fairly report facts.
“The CBC, that government mouthpiece funded by 1.5 billion taxpayer dollars, continues to spread disinformation about Canada’s gun laws,” the CSSA said today in its newsletter.
“The next time the CBC wants to shoot a segment to educate people about firearms and firearm law, we strongly suggest the CBC consult with someone knowledgeable about firearms and firearm law,” the CSSA said. “It stops them from looking stupid and presenting misinformation to the public. All the CBC proved with their segment ‘Guns in Canada 101,’ is neither they nor the people empowered to enforce Canada’s firearm laws know what they are talking about.”
‘CBC Fake News’
“Classic CBC fake news,” a user named Rod Taylor said in a comment on the video. “They truly are the masters of half and non-truth. There are so many inaccuracies from so called ‘experts’ that [it] boggles the mind. Hey CBC, how about actually interviewing real experts from organizations like the CSSA.”
“The CBC, police and conservation officers should study the gun laws before seizing legal property,” Chris Vernon, a newspaper editor in Ontario, said on Twitter. “What a joke.”
(Update 13 April: Even though the video was pulled, you can read the comments here. All the feedback is critical of the conservation officers, the CBC, or both. The comments relate to Guns in Canada 101, not the Project Lifesaver clip that is there now.)
If you consider the CBC failed to respect its Journalistic Standards and Practices (which include the values of accuracy, fairness, balance, integrity and impartiality), you can contact the company’s ombudsman. The ombudsman investigates complaints and is independent of the editorial department and management.
(Christopher di Armani, who works with the CSSA, likes this idea.)
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