This is a dire situation: I have three anti-gun media hit pieces left to read, and I’m down to my last antacid. I normally ration them, but that last story was a real doozy. Why endure such torture? If you can grasp the mindset of someone who fears gun ownership—who doesn’t even trust himself with the right, let alone you—you’ll be better equipped to articulate your point of view. The more we’re familiar with the other side’s argument, misguided as it may be, the better equipped we are to defeat it.
I’ve learned something through this approach: Big Media does not understand gun owners. Their anti-gun stories range widely in subtlety, and could be categorized as lazy, intentionally anti-gun or unknowingly biased. The latest antacid-popper comes to us courtesy of The New Yorker and falls into the “unknowingly biased” category. Jill Lepore thinks she is a liberal crusader out there just trying to make a difference, which she has attempted to achieve through an unfair and condescending portrayal of gun ownership in America (She actually compares the ambience of a gun range to visiting a porn shop—what the hell?). Lepore’s story, while better written than some mindless anti-gun hit pieces, is undermined by a lack of empathy. There is a cavernous disconnect between liberal journalists (who don’t even recognize their own biases) and the plight of gun owners. Here are the top eight things anti-gun journalists don’t seem to understand about us.
Then one day their son steals his uncle’s gun, takes it to school and commits an atrocity. It’s a sad story. It would perhaps bring some resolution if a preventative measure could be found. Lepore tries to find a tenable link between gun owners and mass shootings, but her reasoning is dubious at best.
Journalists always want to point the finger at gun owners after such tragedies, as if there’s some way to legislate away the actions of a madman intent on mayhem without expunging the freedoms of law-abiding Americans. They ignore the failures of liberal social programs and instead want to create “gun free zones,” forgetting that this is in fact where most mass shootings occur (even in highly firearm-restrictive European countries). And, perhaps most frustrating of all, they deny that an average armed citizen can halt a mass shooting. It’s happened, notably at a church in Colorado, a high school in Mississippi, at the Appalachian State law school and elsewhere.
Personally, I believe we almost began apologizing for guns during the Clinton Administration. However, at some point we decided to get back to being honest: Shooting guns is an important freedom, we aren’t sorry about it and shooting them is good wholesome entertainment. That’s a message that resonates with the public, if not anti-gun journalists. The media establishment seems baffled by the Brady Campaign’s financial woes. And poll after poll that indicates growing support for gun ownership.
Namely we win because shooting is fun. If you take a rookie shooter to the range, their smile upon that first shot is practically blinding. Despite what they may have read about guns in the media, they just learned how much fun it is to send a round downrange. And there’s nothing a New York City journalist can do to convince them otherwise.
Lepore makes this argument, citing a survey by National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago. However, numbers don't lie: Gun ownership is up and, perhaps not coincidentally, the violent crime rate is down.
Lazy journalists love to drag out the old saying, “You’re more likely to shoot a family member than an intruder.” Find some new facts—that one’s been discredited. It counted illegally possessed guns and gang members right along with the legitimate homes. And it only took into account incidents in which shots were fired.
According to a study by Florida State criminologist Gary Kleck, guns are used in lawful self-defense 2.5 million times per year. However, most times the mere presence of a firearm is enough to frighten away the miscreant without shots being fired. Bad guy kicks the door down. Little old lady points a .22 at him. Bad guy runs away. The incident may not even be reported to police. You see, journalists, unlike the way you insist on portraying us, we don’t really want to shoot anybody. But, if we have to, we’d rather be prepared to protect ourselves than wait for the police and hope for the best.