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Mick Pytlik, Published June 25 2009

Reporters’ biases tainted the story

The Forum’s coverage of the tragic shooting in a Moorhead apartment has been mostly even-handed, letting the facts express themselves. However, statements in two articles in the June 21 Forum made me wonder if the reporters were reporting or editorializing.

In the article titled “Minn., ND laws protect defense,” Brittany Lawonn references deadly force laws, and says, “Such laws, sometimes referred to as ‘Make My Day Laws’ ...” I’m wondering exactly where those laws are referred to as “Make My Day Laws” and by whom. Is it in the legal code of the states that have them? I doubt it. The only place I’ve seen these types of laws referred to this way, instead of as deadly force or “castle doctrine” laws, is by editorial writers or politicians who oppose such laws. Is Lawonn hinting that she opposes these laws? Or is she trying to sensationalize the article?

In the lead article, “It Was Either Him or Me,” one of the reporters writes “The National Rifle Association member ...” Please explain how this is relevant to the article.

As I noted above, the shooting is tragic, and neither the intruder’s family nor Vernon Allen will ever be the same. But, please, in reporting the story, stick to relevant information and leave editorial comments on the Opinion page.