John Lott always has something relevant to say and this week is certainly no different. For those who aren’t aware of his unparalleled research on firearms, violence and the 2nd Amendment, now is the perfect chance to familiarize yourselves with his impressive body of work. And, even though this one is “entertainment” related, it’s nonetheless quite noteworthy.
His recent article for Townhall.com details how TV shows have become prime vehicles for determined anti-gun marketing. These days, it’s rampant – seemingly innocuous comments are slipped into an equally innocuous TV show by a sympathetic character. Lott knows full well (as do we), that this is not some harmless endeavor, because an unsuspecting viewer (or voter, which the liberals call “low information”) will absorb the propaganda like a thirsty sponge. Subliminal? Hardly. It’s an obvious means to an end, but cleverly orchestrated to pummel emotional nerve centers rather than any part of the brain reserved for critical thinking.
Lott writes “…the push to sway public opinion really seems to have picked up. This spring on ABC’s “The Crossing,” the sheriff’s young son says, ‘I don’t like guns’ when a deputy suggests he may someday replace his father. The deputy appears discomforted by the exchange…
…In NBC’s “Reverie,” main character Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi) is traumatized by the shooting deaths of her sister and niece. The deaths are played repeatedly throughout the show. In the second episode, which aired last month, Kint throws a gun into the ocean and explains that she has had training with guns. When asked why she threw the gun away she says that she “hates guns.” This scene touches on multiple gun control points in just 15 seconds.”
It doesn’t take someone with a stack of college degrees to know that Hollywood will do whatever they can to immortalize their political sentiments. Nauseating? Yes, but it’s almost more painful to digest that our culture is enamored with – and thus pays attention to – pop idols who are all volume but zero content.
For example, Lott points out that the NBC show “Chicago Fire” portrays a bunch of stored ammo catching fire, writing that “Bullets fly everywhere, causing firemen to think that a sniper is targeting them. One of them is seriously wounded.”
Of course, the intent here is to dissuade any sane individual from having ammo or guns in their home – the problem is, it’s pure fiction: “A gun barrel is needed to propel a bullet forward. Outside of a gun, the gunpowder in a bullet would simply explode in all directions, which wouldn’t generate much speed in any particular direction.”
It’s funny how facts get in the way of a message sometimes. Or not.
Generally speaking, there are few celebrities who never met a microphone or camera they weren’t willing to exploit for professional or political gain. What’s more, the media is joyfully complicit – especially these days. They aren’t exactly eager to point out most of these outspoken luminaries don’t know what they are talking about and have the relative IQ of a deck chair. Good looks is simply no substitute for a good brain – or facts.
John Lott underscores how a concerned comment here and a thoughtful comment there can casually pop from the screen and make its way deep into our psyche. What’s an unsuspecting viewer to think when the title character in the TV show “Taken” says that gun-free zones are A-OK because, ahem, “bad guys won’t have them either.” Never mind that mass public shootings actually are much more likely to happen in gun-free zones – so believing such TV rot can have grave consequences.
As much as we want to turn off the brain after an exhaustingly long day, we can’t afford to abdicate some good common sense – even if it is in short supply once the sun sets. We must be on guard for what we – and our children take in, whether on the big movie screen or the tiny one on our phones. Just because pretend FBI agents malign the gun industry, and try to make the case that they “drive up homicide rates,” and are eager for more product “blood money,” just doesn’t make it so – and we have to remember that.
Read the complete article How Entertainment Shows Have Become Vehicles for Gun Control Propaganda at Townhall.com.
* Lott is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author most recently of “The War on Guns.”