The mainstream media doesn’t like gun culture. I know, I know, this is not a new revelation, but I thought I’d point out some recent examples of how they mischaracterize us and malign us as if we’re all knuckle-dragging, tinfoil-hat-wearing, mouth breathers.
Let me start with the most obvious example, the call too ban modern sporting rifles by The New York Times. Although they don’t outright say it, the editorial board suggests that those of us who keep an AR-15 on hand are fundamentally indecent. In other words, we are obscene, dirty, filthy, rude, coarse, naughty, vulgar, gross, crude, lewd because we keep and bear black rifles.
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
What better time than during a presidential election to show, at long last, that our nation has retained its sense of decency?
It’s in that last line, “sense of decency.” Again we are indecent (or pick whichever synonym you’d like) because we possess a widely popular and commonly owned tool for self-defense or hunting or sports shooting or for no other reason than it’s our Constitutional right. We are the problem, don’t you see!
But for many in the media, it doesn’t stop at indecent. For many, it goes much further. Perhaps one of the most egregious examples is Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker who blamed NRA supporters, in part, for those killed at the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children. They have made a clear moral choice: that the comfort and emotional reassurance they take from the possession of guns, placed in the balance even against the routine murder of innocent children, is of supreme value. Whatever satisfaction gun owners take from their guns—we know for certain that there is no prudential value in them—is more important than children’s lives. Give them credit: life is making moral choices, and that’s a moral choice, clearly made.
In other words, we killed those children because we exercise our Second Amendment right. There is blood on our hands, simply because we own firearms. It’s guilt by mere possession of private property. Nevermind the fact that we’re law-abiding and responsible. We’re child killers all the same. On a side note, statistically speaking, folks with firearms kill fewer children than folks with swimming pools. So, if gun owners are child killers, what does that say about those with swimming pools? Even more concerning (sarcasm), what does that say about gun owners who also have swimming pools? Take about moral depravity!
Gun owner = bad guy. Yes, that’s how the media sees us. Alan Korwin, a GunsAmerica contributor, talks about this a lot. It’s present in the language they use. “Active shooter” for example. On a Saturday or Sunday, I’m — technically speaking — an active shooter. I’m at the range, shooting. I’m sure you’re an active shooter from time to time. But when those words are placed in a headline, they take on a whole new meaning, i.e. sociopath with a gun. Yet, why doesn’t the media call it what it is, crazy person with a gun? Why is it “active shooter”? Or “gunman” (another term perverted by the media)?
It’s all part of an agenda to demonize gun owners. I know, I’m starting to sound like the pundits on conservative talk radio. But there is an institutional hostility toward gun owners in the media. Some more examples? How about the Zimmerman audio tape that was edited by NBC to make him sound racist? Remember that?
Here is the actual transcript:
- Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department.
- Zimmerman: Hey we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh, it’s Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
- Dispatcher: OK, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?
- Zimmerman: He looks black.
Now compare that to how NBC News actually reported it. “He looks like he’s up to no good, he looks black.” Couple this with the early misreports that George Zimmerman was a “white guy” and one can see how the media hews to the narrative that gun owners are all racist white guys.
Again, I’m not making this up. This is how the media views us. Need more evidence? Mark Morford, a columnist for SFGate, defined gun owners in an article last year, thusly:
You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.
You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop…
So, let’s recap, gun owners are scared, racist, white vulgarians who are complicit in the murder of children. I want to highlight a few more examples before I conclude. Like, how often do you see a defensive gun use story make the nightly news? You know, a story of a good guy with a gun protecting himself from an armed robber, home invader, carjacker, murderer? Almost never. Yet that happens at least as often as the opposite, a bad guy with a gun perpetrates a crime. See, the media only paints one picture: gun owners are bad guys. It’s the default setting. It’s the pre-set narrative.
Recently, a 46-year-old IRS customer service worker in Massachusetts was arrested by police for illegally possessing several firearms. The guy was allegedly wearing a tinfoil hat, according to the report. And he was “agitated” when police came to confiscate his firearms, arguing that it was “his natural right to have guns to protect him home.”
Police removed a “large amount of ammunition and supplies to manufacture ammunition” but based on the photo in the article, it simply showed a few boxes of .22LR, a bag of brass, and bare projectiles which were not even completed ammo. Perhaps the guy is simply a reloader — and not the flag-waving psycho the report implies he is. The story is still developing, but my point is that the media’s portrayal of this guy is unfair. Not all the facts are known, and he has yet to have his day in court. But because it’s a guy with guns, the small-town rag can’t resist making him out to be a weirdo.
Lastly, and I only touched on this a bit so far, but the way in which the media lambasts the National Rifle Association is impossible to ignore. I mean, can you imagine journalists writing about PETA or Planned Parenthood or Black Lives Matter they way in which they write about the NRA and its members?
In an article titled, “NRA TV: A Day in the Life of an American Gun Nut,” Olivia Nuzzi for The Daily Beast described a video featuring NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre in the following manner:
Wayne LaPierre stood in front of an artificial backdrop the color of a cartoon midnight sky. He was dressed like a funeral conductor, in a black suit, white shirt and dark purple tie, but he looked like the corpse. Beneath his rimless glasses and permanently furrowed brow, his face was hollow and his skin was gray, perhaps an effect of the grim topic he was preparing to broach.
Admittedly, Wayne is not the most camera-friendly personality. But I find the imagery in that paragraph to be appalling. Come on? Comparing LaPierre to a corpse? Suggesting he has a look of indelible consternation? A hollow face and gray skin? You get what she’s doing here, right? She saying that LaPierre is the Grim Reaper. He is death personified.
Yes, that is how the mainstream media views Wayne LaPierre. He is the Grim Reaper. Is it unfair? Heck yes. The NRA’s main mission is to secure a constitutional right. It wants to protect a fundamental freedom. It wants to safeguard the one failsafe we have against tyranny, our right to keep and bear arms. An organization more concerned with protecting the civil liberties of Americans, I can’t think of one. Yet, the media’s response is to wholeheartedly demonize the NRA.
In truth, I can go on and on with examples. But what’s the point? You know it and I know it, and any moderately aware individual knows it too. The media doesn’t like guns, gun owners or gun culture. I suppose the next question is why? Why doesn’t the mainstream media like us? Why are they so hellbent on portraying us in a negative light? Why do they want to perpetuate the tinfoil hat, racist, crude, backwoods stereotype? What do they get by contributing to the destruction of the Second Amendment?
All questions for another day.