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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Media Miss: Maine Dem switches stance on assault weapons ban after mass shooting

Oct 27, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Media Landscape

MediaMiss™This story is a Media Miss by the right as only 11% of the coverage is from right leaning media.

Learn more about this data

Left 59%

Center 30%

Right 11%

Bias Distribution Powered by Ground News

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, who represents Lewiston, announced that he now supports a nationwide assault weapons ban after previously opposing such a measure. The change comes in the wake of a mass shooting in his hometown that left at least 18 people dead and 13 injured.

“I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime. The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by this sick perpetrator of this mass killing,” Golden said at a press conference Thursday, Oct. 16.

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Golden was one of five Democrats who voted against a bill to ban assault weapons that passed the House in 2022 but failed in the Senate.

According to the Straight Arrow News Media Miss™ tool, this story is a Media Miss for the right. The Media Landscape indicates that while left-leaning and center-oriented outlets are covering this story, fewer right-leaning outlets are reporting on the topic.

MSNBC, which is considered left, wrote that Golden’s opposition to the assault weapons ban “was not entirely surprising, given that Golden represents a rural district where new gun safeguards are not altogether popular, and Democratic leaders didn’t push him too hard, especially since his vote wasn’t necessary to pass the bill.”

The right-leaning Washington Examiner pointed out that “Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also spoke, agreeing with the need for some regulations but pushing back on a total ban.”

Reaction in Congress fell along familiar lines.

The second highest ranking House Democrat, Rep. Katherine Clark, Mass., called for action on gun reform and praised Golden’s call for an assault weapons ban.

Newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., did not endorse any changes to gun laws but he did call for prayer.

“Prayer is appropriate in a time like this, that the evil can end and this senseless violence can stop,” Johnson told reporters Thursday.

There are questions as to whether stricter laws could have prevented this, but it appears laws that were already on the books were not properly enforced.

The Portland Press Herald reported, “According to the State Bureau of Investigation, Card [the shooter] is categorized as ‘Federal Firearms Disqualified Status,’ though it remains unclear what law barred him from possessing a firearm. A list of Mainers who have had their weapons confiscated through the state’s ‘yellow flag law’ does not appear to include anyone matching Card.”

Straight Arrow News strives to provide unbiased, fact-based news in addition to offering a comprehensive look at how the media is covering stories that matter most. Learn more about the Media Miss™ tool and decide for yourself.

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Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, who represents Lewiston, announced he now supports a nationwide assault weapons ban after previously opposing such a measure. This change comes in the wake of a mass shooting in his home town that left at least 18 people dead and 13 injured. 

 

“I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime. The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by this sick perpetrator of this mass killing,” Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, said at a press conference Thursday. 

 

Golden was one of five Democrats who voted against a bill to ban assault weapons that passed the House in 2022 but failed in the Senate. 

 

This story is a media miss by the right. According to the media miss tool on SAN.com, 59% of the outlets covering this story lean left, 35% are center and just 6% lean right. 

 

MSNBC, which is considered left, wrote that Golden’s opposition to the assault weapons band, “was not entirely surprising, given that Golden represents a rural district where new gun safeguards are not altogether popular, and Democratic leaders didn’t push him too hard, especially since his vote wasn’t necessary to pass the bill.”

 

The right leaning Washington Examiner pointed out, “Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also spoke, agreeing with the need for some regulations but pushing back on a total ban.”

 

Reaction in Congress fell along familiar lines. The second highest ranking House Democrat called for action on gun reform and praised Golden’s call for an assault weapons ban.

 

While newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.,  did not endorse any changes to gun laws but did call for prayer. 

 

“Prayer is appropriate in a time like this, that the evil can end and this senseless violence can stop,” Speaker Johnson told reporters Thursday. 

 

There are also questions as to whether stricter laws could have prevented this, but it appears laws already on the books were not properly enforced. 

The Portland Press Herald reported, “According to the State Bureau of Investigation, Card [the shooter] is categorized as “Federal Firearms Disqualified Status,” though it remains unclear what law barred him from possessing a firearm. A list of Mainers who have had their weapons confiscated through the state’s “yellow flag law” does not appear to include anyone matching Card.”