Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not Seeing Clearly – 20/20’s Gun Hit Piece

By Mark Moran

The previews for ABC’s 20/20 gun hit piece, “If I Only Had a Gun”, had been running all week long. I had a general idea on what to expect, especially coming from ABC, but in preparation for my rebuttal, I set my TiVo to record the show for an in-depth analysis.

At the show’s outset, ABC’s Diane Sawyer stated “This is not a debate about the right to own a gun in America.” She was partly right. Instead, it was a debate to convince Americans not to own a gun by using the same tired examples that the MSM uses to advocate more gun control.

The premise of this show was to conduct a series of “experiments” to show how an average college student would react if a gunman entered their lecture hall and started firing at people. The “shooter” was a police firearms training officer, and the students were chosen from a group of people that were promised gun safety classes by the college. The gun used was a semiautomatic Glock pistol that used paint pellets instead of live rounds. As expected, ABC demonstrated that none of the students were able to neutralize the threat before being shot themselves. In a classic case of yellow journalism, they showed the “victims” fumbling for their guns, missing the target completely, freezing in fear, or almost shooting their fellow classmates.

Unfortunately, any objectivity to this experiment was probably left on the cutting room floor. In each case, you could see the police training officer singling out the student that was chosen to wear the gun for that segment and directing his fire towards them. In a real life situation the shooter would have no idea who was armed. The fact is that no one knows how they would react in a situation like this no matter how much training they have. A person with a gun would at least have a fighting chance of neutralizing the threat and saving lives. Unfortunately, because of the statist’s obsession with gun free schools and workplaces, we have only few real life examples where this has worked. The examples we do have are quickly covered up or ignored by the MSM.

The other segments aired by 20/20 showed high school students demonstrating unsafe gun handling skills which included looking down the barrel of a gun and pointing it in an unsafe manner. Clearly, these kids missed out on the safe gun handling skills that I was taught at a very young age by my father. In addition, even with a lack of safe gun handling training, these kids exhibited very poor levels of common sense. That is the fault of their parents, not the guns.

I fired my first shotgun by the time I was 10 years old. I had safe gun handling skills taught to me by my father and grandfather, and I was raised by my parents to think clearly, even under pressure. I remember one example of this in particular.

During one deer hunting season, I was standing with my grandfather and cousin, getting ready to leave the woods for lunch. My grandfather noticed a buck trotting towards us and all three of us took aim. Now, anyone with hunting experience knows the level of adrenaline that starts flowing when you see game. We all fired repeatedly; a sound that my dad, over in the next valley, compared to firefights he had experienced in Vietnam.

In the midst of the shooting, I had to move my gun, pointing the muzzle in a safe direction, around my grandfather and back to the deer. Under pressure, with loud noise and adrenaline flowing, with high powered weapons, and no formal “police training”, we took the deer without any accidents. I am far from an extraordinary person, and I am guessing that even under pressure most Americans could think clearly and respond effectively and safely. Of course the deer wasn’t shooting back at us, but I have to believe that the adrenaline surge and noise would be somewhat similar to those experienced in a mass shooting incident.

The MSM, working in cohesion with the statists in Government, have again missed the point completely. Time and again, they try to blame a tool for societal ills instead of the actual cause. Where is the blame for the news outlets that give these shootings uninterrupted coverage, possibly spawning copycats? Where is the blame for the parents and their failure to teach their children basic common sense? How about Hollywood, whom continually glorifies violence and death? What about Damon Weaver, the 10 year old boy from Pahokee, Florida that 20/20 exploited for their anti-gun agenda? Where is Damon’s father? Who taught Damon that it was Obama’s job to “do something” for his town like he asked for on 20/20?

As rational people, we must realize that these attempts to demonize guns and gun owners only serve one purpose; disarmament of America. At the root of all these debates and experiments is government’s realization that with an armed citizenry, they cannot grab complete power and control. Alan Eppers once said “Dangerous laws created by well intentioned people today can be used by dangerous people with evil intentions tomorrow.” Our current place in history is already tomorrow. We must remain well informed and vigilant, and teach others the truth if we are to preserve our American way of life.

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