Lockstep Lexicon

The Media has taken sides

We’re in a war and instead of being neutral, impartial observers, the establishment media has definitely taken sides — and just to remove any doubt, you are the enemy.

You see it in the headlines and news columns every day, with terms such as “gun violence,” “gun crime,” “gun reform,” “gun safety groups,” “assault weapons” and the ever-popular “common-sense gun laws.” Each of these terms, and others spawned over the years by the gun control lobby, has been carefully crafted to demonize firearms and the law-abiding citizens who own them.

That’s not just me talking. A while back, I was having this conversation with old friend Tom Gresham, founder and host of the widely syndicated and hugely popular Gun Talk radio program. “I’m sure they focus group these things,” he observed about terminology that has become so familiar, so institutionalized even FOX News reporters and commentators use the phrases.

“You and I understand what’s going on,” Gresham continued. “It is a very calculated conditioning. That’s what these terms are all about. You condition people to believe something.”

Soon enough, as we have witnessed as a nation, the vocabulary of gun grabbers is now the accepted norm; the language of the left overwhelms facts and truths.

A Bold-Faced Lie

Earlier this year, when newly-installed Seattle, Washington Mayor Bruce Harrell held a presser to explain how he would attack the “gun violence epidemic” in his city, he said this: “We have too many guns pouring into the cities, and into our country. And you will hear, this year, me lead efforts on trying to get relief from the exemption RCW 9.41.290 (Washington state’s model preemption law). You’ll hear me talking about that. I don’t know how many lives have to be lost before we realize we’re one of the few states that has that kind of restriction allowing the state to govern the laws we need for our city of Seattle.”

It was simply not true. Washington is not “one of the few states” with a firearms preemption law and don’t allow anyone to get away with saying something similar about your state. At last count 42 states have adopted such statutes and Washington’s was the model used by many of those states to craft their own. Washington adopted preemption to create uniformity in gun laws from border-to-border in 1983 and revised and strengthened the law in 1985, the year the National Rifle Association held its annual convention in Seattle.

It is part of the calculated lie, which Gresham defined in the simplest terms: “When you can throw out a lie with a 10-second soundbite and it takes us 60 seconds to come back with a response, with data and facts, we lose.”

Perhaps the best example of this was a line from the John Ford-John Wayne-James Stewart classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It was a western about good versus evil, but the real message of the story was about revealing the truth while destroying a myth long perpetuated by — you guessed it — the media.

“When legend becomes fact,” said the local newspaper editor at the end of the film, “print the legend.”

This is why people like Herrell, and even Joe Biden with his oft-repeated canard about how the Second Amendment did not allow everyone to own a gun at the time it was adopted, get away with it. Or at least think they do.

The public is habitually too gullible to question such claims as Harrell’s and the press is too lazy and far too aligned with the prevaricators to challenge them.

Pay Attention, Strike Back Swiftly

As Wyatt Earp is said to have declared to Ike Clanton at the gunfight in the empty lot near the O.K. Corral, “The fight’s commenced. Get to fighting or get away!”

Pay attention to the news, whether televised, in print or online. When you see or hear such prevarications, immediately send an email message or make a telephone call to the news agency and correct the fib with the facts on your side. Every TV station has a website and somewhere there will be a link to send messages/complaints to the management. Newspapers have “Letters to the Editor” sections and many of them accept Op-Eds from people with opposing views.

And lastly, be willing to confront these prevaricators in public forums. Put them on the spot where there may be reporters present. Be mannerly about it, don’t call them names, don’t make threats and be prepared to respond to any insults with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. What did you just say?” Even if the reply is further insulting, you mustn’t react with belligerence. Instead, responding with, “Well, I’ll take that under advisement.” Always be intelligent and diplomatic. Let the other person look the fool.

And always remember the “hot mic” rule, occasionally violated by politicians including the president, as was demonstrated by Biden some months back when he referred to Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy as “a stupid son of a …”

Of course, this requires you to watch the news, instead of 10-year-old sitcom reruns.

Read The Newspaper

This isn’t about knowing what’s in the news, but how it is reported. See how many times in crime-related stories you find the terms “gun violence” or “gun safety groups,” or something similar to determine just how far into the political weeds your local news journal has drifted.

Pay attention to whether a story is balanced — that is, if the gun control crowd is quoted, did the reporter reach out for an opposite viewpoint from a Second Amendment group or individual gun owner(s)?

Learn to tell the difference between what is considered “advocacy journalism” — which is perfectly fine and considered protected speech — and what is supposed to be straight news.

This is, after all, an election year. You’re going to be bombarded with news and opinion whether it is agreeable or deplorable from now until November. Grow a thick skin and remember what this column has explained in the past: “Politics is a contact sport.”

And remember something else Gresham noted in our telephone chat. Be careful of your remarks and consciously avoid using the anti-gun vocabulary. It’s not “gun safety” or “gun reform,” it’s “gun control” and say it like you mean it. It’s not “gun violence” but “violent crime.”

Gresham reminds his listeners: “There is no example, not one, of a gun control law in the United States that has ever reduced crime.”
It’s your turn to control the narrative. Get with it.

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