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Pro-Gun Women Allege Set-up by 'John Walsh Show' ^ | 4/30/03 | Jeff Johnson

Posted on 04/30/2003 3:13:43 AM PDT by kattracks

Capitol Hill ( - Two women who are victims of prior criminal assaults and a representative of a pro-gun women's organization claim they were set up by the John Walsh Show on Tuesday's episode, which was supposed to focus on women arming themselves for self-defense but instead became a debate on gun ownership. A representative of the program denied that claim.

"I was told that it was not going to be a debate, that it was going to be four women who owned guns, and I was told that one would be an 'ex-gangbanger' who doesn't exactly agree with us, but she owns a gun," Maria Heil, national spokesperson for the Second Amendment Sisters told Tuesday after the show aired.

Heil said she was led to believe that the focus of the show would be on "Women Who Own Guns" and their reasons for deciding to arm themselves. The episode was instead entitled "Women and Guns: The Best Defense?" and featured numerous anti-gun speakers who continuously interrupted and berated the three pro-gun guests.

The executive producer of Walsh's show denied that her team does business that way.

"The producer of that episode is a veteran producer and, I am quite certain, did not mislead any of the guests on our show," Alexandra Jewett said.

"Every single person on the staff of the John Walsh Show is very aware and very respectful of John's reputation and his credibility," she continued. "It's very important for somebody who does the work he does that his credibility be at the top of our priorities, and it is.

"We would never do anything that would jeopardize his name," Jewett added.

Pro-Gun Guests Not Told of 'Million Mom March' Representative

Heil appeared with two other pro-Second Amendment guests - identified on the show only as Tiffany, the victim of a violent assault by multiple attackers, and Lisa, who armed herself for protection from an allegedly abusive ex-husband. The three women claim they did not know about Sylvia's rabidly anti-gun position or that there would be a surprise fifth guest in the audience.

click to enlarge"I was not told that someone from the Million Mom March would be there," Heil explained. "They brought her in, literally, at the last minute, and I didn't know of her presence until we were in the hallway before the show and we were all being introduced to John Walsh."

Jewett again denied that her staff uses such techniques to create controversies on the show.

"We never bring a guest into New York without telling them exactly who's going to share the stage with them," Jewett said. "We would not do that. We do not surprise people that way."

Walsh's executive producer initially indicated to that one of the anti-gun speakers, "Diane," was merely a member of the audience who happened to also work with the so-called "Million Mom March."

"She was sitting in the audience. She wasn't an invited guest. She wasn't there on 'home base' with an open mic[rophone] on," Jewett explained. "John had to walk over to her to get a comment. She had an opinion. She was entitled to give her opinion in the show."

But two minutes into the broadcast, Diane was featured on camera, with her name and the caption "Works with teens to educate them about gun violence" displayed on the screen while she listened to Tiffany speak. Walsh later acknowledged Diane's affiliation with the "Million Mom March" verbally, only once.

Jewett did acknowledge that the anti-gun spokeswoman was placed in the audience by the show's staff.

"I think that was a last-minute booking because one of the women was affiliated with the Sisters of the Second Amendment [sic], who go head-to-head with Million Mom March all the time," she admitted. "We have done shows with Million Mom March, and if they want to come and sit in a particular show, they're welcome."

Walsh Believes in Second Amendment, 'If They Can...'

Walsh presented himself both at the beginning and end of the program as a supporter of the Second Amendment.

"I believe that everybody has the right to own a gun," Walsh said, but then added a number of caveats: "if they can pass the background check, if they get the education and they're responsible."

Heil pointed out, however, that, throughout the program, Walsh repeated false anti-gun statistics as if they were fact.

"Nine kids a day die in gun accidents in the home," Walsh claimed.

"That is not right," Heil told "Number one, it is not in the home, and number two, they are not accidents."

According to data in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, achieving the "nine kids a day" number would require including "children" as old as 24 years of age, depending on the year chosen for analysis. More than 50 percent of that nine per day are young adults who successfully attempt suicide.

Of the remaining shooting victims 17 to 24 years of age, 70 percent were actively involved in criminal activity at the time of their deaths. When those groups are removed, deaths of children due to firearms accidents drop to their lowest rate in recorded history, lower than automobile accidents, parental abuse and even bathtub drowning.

Heil believes Walsh is intentionally trying to mislead his audience to believe that a large number of small children are accidentally shot to death in the U.S. each year.

"We have a violence problem in this society," she charged. "John doesn't want to hear that it's more complicated than just taking care of the guns."

Walsh also identified the United States as "the most violent nation in the world," a claim that is also inaccurate. According to a 2000 report by the Dutch Ministry of Justice entitled Criminal Victimization in 17 Industrialized Countries, 12 of the 16 other countries have higher per-capita violent crime rates than the United States.

The two countries with the strictest gun control laws - Australia and England - have the highest per-capita violent crime occurrence of any of the countries on the list.

Ex-Gangbanger Contradicts Magazine Interview

Sylvia, who was identified as an 'ex-gangbanger from Compton, Calif., who now lives in Las Vegas," was presented to the pro-gun guests as a gun owner who "doesn't exactly agree with" them.

Heil asked Sylvia directly whether or not she owned or carried a gun for personal protection.

"No, I don't," Sylvia responded. "I take a stun gun."

But that statement directly contradicts claims Sylvia made in an interview published in the May 2003 issue of Marie Claire magazine.

"When I go back to Compton, Calif., I stay strapped 24/7," Sylvia told writer Louise Jarvis - using "strapped," the street slang for carrying a concealed firearm - "because there might still be some people out there who remember me."

click to enlargeSylvia's brother is in prison for murdering his wife, a crime Sylvia blames completely on the presence of a firearm.

"He's doing like 26 to life," she explained. "If we hadn't been raised with guns, and we hadn't ever been taught how to use guns, and we never had access to guns...he wouldn't have had the gun to go do it with."

She rejects the suggestion that her brother actually committed the murder or that, if he did, the crime was the result of an evil intention in his heart, not the presence of a particular weapon.

'Possibly a Picture of a Felony in Progress'

In the magazine interview, Sylvia admits that she has "done things with guns I regret.

"I spent three years in prison for attempted murder, you name it," she confessed.

Heil said that admission set off alarm bells when she saw the photograph of Sylvia that accompanied the interview.

"If her statement in the magazine is true, then - quite possibly - the picture in the magazine is a picture of a felony in progress," Heil declared. "When you have a felony conviction, you have lost your right to own a gun.

"Therefore, Sylvia, having done three years in prison," Heil continued, "she's not supposed to even hold a gun."

Stacy Morrison with Marie Claire told that no one on her staff made the connection between the gun possession and Sylvia's claimed felony conviction. All of the subjects of the article were asked to pose with a firearm they owned, and all did so voluntarily.

Heil also noted that, in the photograph, Sylvia has the snub-nosed revolver pointed at her dog and has her finger on the trigger, both signs of what Heil called "a very irresponsible gun owner."

'My First Reaction Is to Shoot You'

That alleged irresponsibility carried over into the exchanges between the women on the Walsh program, according to Heil. At one point during the interview, Sylvia tried to make the point that the mere presence of a gun during an altercation would lead to violence.

"If I got a gun, and me and you get into it, and I got a gun, my first reaction is to shoot you," Sylvia said.

Heil, Tiffany and Lisa sat stunned at Sylvia's assertion.

"What kind of a person is this, and who brought her up?" Heil asked. "Why would a person's first reaction when getting mad at someone be to shoot them?

"That's a foreign concept to me," Heil continued. "It's incredible."

Sylvia also attacked the other guests' motives for carrying a gun.

"If it takes a gun to make you feel like a woman, you ain't got no self-esteem," Sylvia alleged.

"We were all just in shock," Heil said. "A gun has nothing to do with how you feel about your womanhood. It just blew me away that she would equate the two.

"She said she was 'secure enough in her womanhood to not carry a gun,'" Heil quoted. "I'm secure enough in my self-esteem that I know I cannot handle a 150-pound guy coming at me, but I can handle a firearm to keep that man away from me."

Heil noted that guns are used for self-defense against criminals more than 2.5 million times per year, saving more than 400,000 lives, according to researchers at Harvard University and the University of Florida. In nine out of 10 of those cases, the intended victim merely shows the gun to the criminal, ending the assault with no one being harmed.

E-mail a news tip to Jeff Johnson.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; johnwalsh; mariaheil; mediaincompetence; sas; stats
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1 posted on 04/30/2003 3:13:43 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
If it looks like a setup, and smells like a setup, it is a setup! Shame on Fox and the John Walsh Show for leading pro-gun women into a political shooting pigeon gallery.
2 posted on 04/30/2003 3:31:30 AM PDT by goldstategop ( In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: kattracks

3 posted on 04/30/2003 3:37:06 AM PDT by Jaxter (Proud Republican voter since 1972.)
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To: goldstategop
Anyone who is asked to represent the pro-rights side of any gun related issue in the media should instantly smell ambush. The media isn't interested in the truth, It's only interested in selling statism and making good serfs.

Example from several years ago: Our group, CSG demonstrated outside the MLK center here in Atlanta when the mare had Sara Brady in to speak in favor of waiting periods. Our signs said "A right delayed is a right denied" right from King himself. The news media only showed us from the knees down to avoid showing our very effective signs. Nah no biased reporting there

4 posted on 04/30/2003 3:39:52 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: kattracks
"I'm secure enough in my self-esteem that I know I cannot handle a 150-pound guy coming at me, but I can handle a firearm to keep that man away from me."

In a nutshell, that is the best argument for women to carry guns. If the streets and parks are not safe enough for a woman to walk alone, then an equalizer is necessary for a woman to move independently.
5 posted on 04/30/2003 3:40:33 AM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
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To: kattracks
I gotta tell ya -
I think John Walsh started out with a good cause. but, the last couple of years he has been a real putz. Ask his (ex)wife what he is like since his fame.
Just because he does good by getting some bad guys off the street doesn't give him a free pass.
Al Capone was one of the biggest contributors to charity.
6 posted on 04/30/2003 4:10:00 AM PDT by slate
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To: goldstategop
If it looks like a setup, and smells like a setup, it is a setup!

These anti-gunners know the “setup” is an effective tool on TV. When Rosy “setup” Tom Selleck effectively, everyone knew it would be repeated.

7 posted on 04/30/2003 4:13:51 AM PDT by bimbo
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To: kattracks
Operative word "Show" says it all. What a circus act for ringleader Walsh.
8 posted on 04/30/2003 4:22:00 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: Jaxter
You forgot Fidel!
9 posted on 04/30/2003 4:40:40 AM PDT by magslinger (Go NAVAIR!)
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To: slate
I kind of agree with you. I like AMERICA'S MOST WANTED but there have been times when Walsh - specifically talking about violence to women - does not mention the equalizing force of a firearm. I also sense that he seems to fawn over people like the Clintons and I also sense that he would have no problem if we lived in a police state. Just my general impressions from watching him on the tube.
10 posted on 04/30/2003 4:54:43 AM PDT by 7thson
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To: Jaxter
Where's Castro, Pol Pot, Chavas, Hokechker (sp?)...etc.
11 posted on 04/30/2003 5:05:35 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Just because your paranoid,doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. :)
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To: from occupied ga


The First 10 Amendments to the
Constitution as Ratified by the States

December 15, 1791


Congress OF THE United States
begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday
the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

12 posted on 04/30/2003 5:19:55 AM PDT by vannrox (The Preamble to the Bill of Rights - without it, our Bill of Rights is meaningless!)
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To: kattracks
Yesterday's show on gun control was a repeat, not a new episode. I wonder what took the critics so long to report this story.
13 posted on 04/30/2003 5:22:34 AM PDT by tuna_battle_slight_return
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To: kattracks; Travis McGee; Squantos; PistolPaknMama; Mercuria; AnnaZ
Sounds like we needed the original 2nd Amendment Sisters on this show to chew up and spit out these anti's. LOL!

Having siad that, let me also say that I don't watch John Walsh anymore.

Irrespective of what he says about being for the 2nd Amendment but (and he always has a bunch of caviates) ... I have seen him advocate anti-fire arms and anti-second amendment positions enough to classify him as a big-time gun grabber and an anti-gun cheerleader IMHO.

In addition, it is obvious to me that his fame has gone to his head. He's way too full of himself for my tastes. So, I don't watch ... but principally out of the first reason, his gun grabbing stance.

Best Fregards.


14 posted on 04/30/2003 5:27:54 AM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: vannrox
Why did you post this to me? I've seen it before and actually believe it means what it says (unlike most politicians, lawyers, police, media types, and bureaucrats)
15 posted on 04/30/2003 5:29:52 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: kattracks; *bang_list
Posted to *bang_list
16 posted on 04/30/2003 5:39:14 AM PDT by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: technochick99
17 posted on 04/30/2003 5:56:27 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: tuna_battle_slight_return
It was a new episode, not a reapeat.
18 posted on 04/30/2003 5:56:45 AM PDT by technochick99 (Self defense is a basic human right.
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To: dd5339
Oh well, guess we'll have to give up on AMW...
19 posted on 04/30/2003 7:00:31 AM PDT by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: kattracks
The producers of these shows are out for extracting as much entertainment value as they can for these type of shows, which aren't exactly paradigms of journalism.

The more the ambush succeeds, the more the producers congratulate themselves.
20 posted on 04/30/2003 8:21:13 AM PDT by FirstTomato (Always remember you are unique. Just like everyone else.)
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