FAKE NEWS AND FIREARMS
The basic tenets of reporting, Journalism 101, were memorialized in 1902 by Rudyard Kipling in the first portion of his poem, “The Elephant's Child”from “Just So Stories.”
KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Everyone knows, or should know, what the “5 W's” are. The Five W's, or Six W's are considered basic in reporting, journalism, research, and information gathering. It is part of “Key Stage Two” learning in England, for pupils between seven and eleven years of age. This goes back to (at least) Hermagoras of Temnos and Cicero. If the questions of “Who, What, Where, When, Why?” are not answered, you have no complete report.
An avalanche of words completely fail immediately, for the “Who” is not answered, including just who is doing the reporting. If you cannot sign your name to a paper, you won't make it out of second grade: nor should you. Anonymity is the enemy of the truth. You cannot have an anonymous driver's license, an anonymous passport, or an anonymous credit card. Lacking the basic W's, it is junk-level information. Small wonder anonymous information is immediately discredited throughout our legal system. Inadmissible materials are deemed inadmissible simply because they have no credibility, no reliability, and therefore are of no value.
No matter how loudly, or publicly anonymous information is shown to be worthless, it continues. It wasn't that long ago when Michael Cohen, a lawyer for the Trump Organization and frequent spokesperson for Donald Trump, summed up the campaign’s take on the candidate’s flailing poll numbers—especially in key battleground states—with two words: “Says who?” During a CNN appearance, host Brianna Keilar asked Cohen to comment on the what was described as a “shake-up”in the Trump campaign, noting, “You guys are down.” Cohen quickly asked, “Says who?” When Keilar replied, “Polls,” he repeated his question, followed by, “Which polls?” Keilar said, “All of them.” As of Wednesday evening, FiveThirtyEight.com’s polls-only forecast gives Hillary Clinton an 88.3-percent chance of winning the presidency while The New York Times measure has her at 87 percent. All the time, all the money. And all the energy spent on polls as well are the tiresome so-called “reporting” of them has been shown to be as wrong as just plain wrong could possibly be.
Firearms are hardly immune from the effects of gossip, hearsay, and anonymous so-called information. Just how often have you read “Browning says,” “Benelli says,” “Savage says,” or “Remington says?” Here we go again, says who, exactly, and when did they say it? It wasn't always this tragically bad. Back in 1943, some seventy-four years ago, Jack O'Connor wrote about the .270 Winchester.
“Well, in 1938 I sighted in a tailor-made .270 on a Mauser action with the 130-grain Winchester factory ammunition. In the spring of 1943, when I took the rifle to Bill Sukalle for a new barrel, I still hadn't touched either windage or elevation. It was checked repeatedly at the target, and I shot hundreds of rounds at small marks like hawks, crows, jackrabbits, and coyotes . . .”
my .270 Mauser began to develop a case of throat erosion, I walked
into a sporting goods store and wrote a check for the first Model 70
.270 the clerk pulled out. I had Al Linden stock it and M.L. Stith
fit it with a 330 Weaver. It shoots just like the first one.”
“Jake Schoeller, former member of the Dewar Cup team, fine shot and an accuracy nut, has a standard .270 with a Zeiss scope. With his handloads, it is good for minute-of-angle groups. Al Ronstadt, now of Washington, D.C., wanted a .270 with a medium-heavy barrel and had one put on a Model 70 standard stock and action. I saw him shoot a 10-shot group well under one inch with the powerful combination of 53 grains of No. 4350 and the 160-grain Barnes Bullet …”
“As nearly as I can remember, I have shot at and hit 39 head of big game with .270s. The longest shot (an antelope) was around 500 yards; the shortest (a whitetail), about 50 feet. The average was about 300 yards. One deer was hit and lost, but it was no more than scratched. Three took more than one shot; and 35 were killed with one shot. Most of those 35 didn't move out of their tracks. In 18 years I believe I have also shot about 100 coyotes with a .270, several of them being killed at 400 yards or more. Of all of them, only one wasn't killed instantly, and he, strangely enough, was less than 75 yards away...”
“For anything from a big mule deer on down, the 130-grain Winchester Spitzer or the similar Peters job looks like the best medicine. In spite of the fact that men like Russell Annabel of Alaska and Jim Osman of Canada have used it on elk and moose and have found it satisfactory, I'll make a guess that the controlled expansion bullets like the Winchester-Western Silvertip and the Remington Core-Lokt would be a good deal better.”
The difference in content couldn't be more clear. If Jack O'Connor did something himself, he testified to it in writing. If other people did something, Jack O'Connor identified who it was that did what. There is no such thing as an anonymous fact. For a fact to be fact, there has to be verifiable information that makes it a truth and makes it a reality, as opposed to an interpretation. A theory, an impression, or a belief is not at all a matter of fact.
Do you want to make decisions about what you use and what you might buy based on facts? If you do, you'll be a lot happier, far more satisfied, and a lot more successful than betting on myth, rumor, and innuendo. There isn't much future in it.
Consider the “Firearms Industry Choice Awards.” They claim that “their feedback was anonymous to ensure they could be completely frank and honest.” Few things encourage dishonesty more than anonymity. They go in to say, “evaluators weren’t able to shoot groups to test firearms for accuracy, run box tests on scopes, perform product durability testing, or examine the terminal performance of ammunition in gel blocks . . .” How it is possible to evaluate a rifle without considering accuracy, or ammo, or rank self-defense ammunition without considering terminal performance? You can't ask any of the “evaluators” about this, of course, for they are anonymous. A red dot sight was compared to 5-25 x 56mm scope, $700 autoloading shotguns to $3000 O/U, revolvers to pistols, and holsters were pitted against replacement buttstocks and ammunition.
Small wonder consumers are so often confused. Daylight is the best disinfectant, yet far too much remains deep in the anonymous abyss of darkness.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.