ABC News has been doing me a big favor. They’ve been providing me with tons of content over the last few weeks. After all, their series on rethinking gun violence in America has really been little more than gun violence propaganda masquerading as reporting.
Of course, a biased media is nothing new. Supporters of the Second Amendment are long accustomed to having an adversarial relationship with the media. It’s just the natural order of things.
But I would prefer ABC News to try and hide their anti-Second Amendment bias a bit more than this.
Paul Kemp, a founding board member and the president of Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership, has been a gun owner for most of his life.
He grew up in Michigan and owns a hunting rifle, a couple of handguns and a .22-caliber rifle.
He also said he was taught about gun safety growing up and thought he had a good understanding of the gun laws in the country.
But when his brother-in-law, Steve Forsyth, a youth sports coach and father of two, was shot and killed by a man armed with an AR-15 style rifle in 2012, “I realized how misinformed I was,” he said.
Kemp said he had “no idea that we had such a patchwork of gun laws around the country.” While he noted the National Firearms Act, first enacted in 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Brady Law, which amended the GCA in 1993, there is a “a lot of latitude for very weak gun laws in states,” he said.
Shannon Flores said her family currently owns somewhere around 37 guns at last count. Flores owns a Springfield XD-S handgun. Her wife, Scarlett, is a gun collector and hunter and has multiple kinds of firearms. Plus they have some .22 caliber rifles that their 9-year-old twins use for “plinking” — or practicing shooting clay pigeons, cans and hay bales.
Like Kemp, Flores emphasizes the importance of safe storage.
But Flores, a Texas-based organizer for Giffords’ Gun Owners for Safety, also pointed to universal background checks — a system that would require all gun buyers to go through the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) before purchasing a firearm — as a potential solution to curb gun trafficking and help prevent people who are prohibited from owning firearms from obtaining them.
In other words, two out of the three “gun owners” they spoke with are expressly involved in gun control organizations. Only one–John Harris, the executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association–wasn’t, and his comments are buried two-thirds of the way down in the story.
What ABC News is trying to do is paint a picture for people. They want them to think that Kemp and Flores are the typical gun owner, that the rest of us really agree with them, and that we actually want gun control. Flores is pushing for universal background checks–something that polls well but doesn’t necessarily do nearly as well when the voters get to decide–and Kemp took issue with the lack of a mandatory storage law.
In particular, Kemp wanted to punish a guy who had his gun stolen because that stolen gun was used to kill his brother.
Yeah, these aren’t your typical gun owners by any stretch of the imagination.
But ABC News wants you to believe that they are. They want you to think that you’re in the minority, even among gun owners. They want you to believe that you’re an outlier because humans are generally social animals and we don’t like to feel like the outlier. They want to make it so we’ll start shifting our beliefs so we won’t be on the fringes anymore.
So, they find a couple of gun owners who also happen to be anti-Second Amendment activists–it’s OK for them to have the guns they like, but you can’t have what you want–and present it as uncritically as they can.
Did they reach out to someone like Cam or myself? They could have reached out to Dana Loesch or Colion Noir or Maj Toure or any of a thousand other people to get an idea of what the average gun owner thinks. Instead, they present the anti-gun agenda as if it’s the only real option out there.
Oh, sure, they let Harris speak, and he brought up the need for education, which is an excellent point. I don’t think education is going to stop criminals, but it will reduce accidents at a minimum.
It’s also the only point ABC News took the time to try and debunk.
So really, it’s unsurprising that this is where they went. This series has never been about “Rethinking Gun Violence in America.” It’s always been about pushing a gun control agenda and dressing it up as news reporting.