By David Codrea
Effective advocacy for the right of the people to keep and bear arms requires consistently keeping informed on what’s happening in a timely manner. That means we need to be active on the internet. While there’s no shortage of websites, blogs and aggregators, resources I’ve found surprisingly few gun owners consult are the search engine news feeds.
First and foremost, they give us a glimpse into what mainstream news providers think is relevant, because they exclude much of what bloggers uncover and limit their return results to “qualified” sources. Those of us who produce alternative content see firsthand how many important stories are excluded from the news feeds. We also see how such media exclusivity results in lies of omission, especially when considering how many of the stories qualifying for inclusion are rife with inaccuracies, spin and outright falsehoods.
Being able to see through that and explain it to others is essential. There are three major search engine resources that have “News” feeds, Bing, Google and Yahoo, and to see for yourself, just go to one and enter the word “gun.”
Doing so at this writing, the top story on Google is about a woman who pulled a gun on a rival shopper at Walmart following a dispute that turned physical over who would get to buy the last notebook in stock. Refining the search there are over 2,000 return results, that is, over 2,000 “reporters” rewriting what not that long ago would have been a local story, and all emphasizing that the woman had a concealed carry permit.
You see where that’s going, and the resulting comments disparaging to gun owners under all those reworded pieces have to please those whose agenda is to discourage armed defense. That it may turn out to have been a legitimate act that ended up stopping violence is not considered. Nor is a lesson that all who carry defensive use firearms ought to know and practice as a matter of ingrained habit—take special care to stay out of altercations. Walk away when you can.
Next is a manufactured controversy over the “hunk” du jour, who is evidently rich and famous because his parents are. Brooklyn Beckham (yeah, I never heard of him either) is “facing backlash” for posing with a gun and looking all “gangsta” in a photo shoot. This is apparently a vital public interest story deemed worthy of going “viral.” The underlying amplified message from horrified fans chastising him on social media, is “Guns aren’t cool.”
Another meme pushed by the gun-grabbers and amplified by a cheerleader media is that gun sales are down under President Donald Trump. That’s a natural reaction because gun owners finally don’t feel like the White House has them in their sights. But that’s not a priority to emphasize. The goal here is to create the impression that most Americans want more citizen disarmament edicts and that those opposing them are weakening.
Gun sales were up in the Obama administration because he made his hostility to the Second Amendment known by word, by deed and by executive order. Imagine what the sales and wailing headlines would be had Hillary Clinton won.
Making “all politics is local” a self-fulfilling prophecy we next learn about a “gun take back event” in Jonesboro, Arkansas, as a response to an altercation at a party involving young worthies already breaking multiple gun laws before any shots were fired. Reporters took the “no questions asked” promise quite literally, as no one saw fit to ask police organizers why they’re wasting resources on such nonsense, especially when no less an authority than the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice concluded:
“Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.”
Other promoted stories focused on “gun violence” (and there’s an invented term) are equally deficient. They never seem to mention that felonious perps are violating a plethora of “common-sense gun safety laws” against possessing guns, carrying guns and using guns. So when we see headlines featured in the News feeds like “Chicago Shootings Are Surging Again. But a Bill to Inspect Illinois Gun Stores Sits on the Shelf,” offered by The Trace, a natural reaction would be to assume 2017’s “staggering homicide total” is due to under-regulated “legal” gun store purchases. It doesn’t seem to occur to the media that those kind all go through “background checks,” something the antis wail are needed for all private transfers.
Someone who wasn’t informed about the gun-grabber lobby wouldn’t realize that The Trace was established with “seed money” provided by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. But they assure anyone reading the buried fine print on their website they’re editorially independent of donor influence. Honest.
As long as they brought up Chi-Town, another story in the current News feed belies the narrative that FFLs are at the root of the problem. A Chicago Public Schools special education teacher has been arrested for “allegedly supplying ammunition and gun accessories to a convicted felon,” CBS2 notes. Per a federal affidavit, “he was suspected of dealing firearms to felons and juvenile gang members.”
Yep, it definitely sounds like it’s time again for anti-gun Chicago priest Michael Pfleger to lead another mob to a store miles away so that he can exhort them to “Snuff out” the proprietor. After all, “independent journalists” have pretty much succeeded in convincing everyone the problem is we need more restrictions. Everywhere. In Everytown.
Then there’s a story about a University of Minnesota professor (an accomplished guy from looking up his CV elsewhere) who “is accused of going on a gun-buying spree, despite being charged with a felony.”
“Charged” is not the same as “convicted,” and it turns out his “crime” is based on an accusation from the attorney for his wife in a divorce proceeding that he forged some documents. Nowhere in any reports is there any mention of the denial of fundamental rights without due process, or how all kinds of charges fly from contesting spouses jockeying for advantage in bitter divorces, especially with settlements at stake. It is curious though, that only one side is represented in the press, and the impression being conveyed is a potential bloodbath has been averted.
What else is there? A cop pulled a gun on a motorcyclist without provocation and the video has gone viral. The thing is, that’s pretty much confined to niche sites and is being ignored by the majors. Mustn’t undermine the “police are the only ones who should carry guns” narrative…
And there’s a Kansas professor who wants to register his protest with campus carry by wearing a “bulletproof vest” to class. He’s found no shortage of crusading flacks willing to reward his ludicrous exhibitionism with supportive publicity in order to gin up public fear, anger and opposition. That too was a top story on the Google News feed.
If there’s a silver lining to this, take heart that GUNS Magazine’s “Rights Watch” columns routinely make the feed. At least they have so far.