Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Activist Journalism and the Gun Lobby

It used to be that years ago, pride was taken in objective journalism. There was no higher honor in journalism than being known for objectively and accurately reporting news. When an anchor said "and that's the way it is," they meant it. Sure, throughout history news stations and individuals have been bought for political gain, but they were typically outed and discredited. This brings us to recent history, where the objectivity of a simpler time began to fade away. Post Watergate, young and eager journalists no longer got into the business for the burning desire of bringing the accurate news - they got into it because it was a prominent form of activism. They viewed the platform of the newsroom as the ultimate tool to let their voice and opinions  be heard. These young journalists moved up in the chain and eventually became the kingpins of today's media market, and the next generation of activists have taken the reigns in front of the camera and the keyboard.

It's no secret that I firmly believe that many mainstream news organizations are in the back pocket of the administration and DNC. Democrats laugh at our use of the term "liberal news media" but have yet to discredit it. They've actually gone the other way - unashamedly diving further into the cesspool and hardly denying it. They used to at least act like they weren't one sided. They would cover a small-time story that gloried a conservative every now and then, mixed into their daily bashfest of all things right-winged. But gone are those days - we haven't been thrown a bone in a while. Talking heads have replaced opinionated, yet slightly restricted, anchors, throwing wild accusations and being held no more accountable than the administration that they so eagerly wanted to get in bed with.

In no way has this been more evident than in the recent week's realization that the reporting on the Sandy Hook shooting was not only incorrect, but intentionally and unashamedly so!  Initial reports from local news came in within hours, claiming the shooting happened with handguns. Helicopters circling overhead showed footage of police pulling an AR-15 rifle out of the shooter's trunk - a gun that luckily was not used. We originally heard the truth, but that "truth" soon changed. Within a day, according to MSNBC and CNN, the massacre was supposedly accomplished with an AR-15 using "ultra-high-capacity clips (sic)". This "fully-automatic" "weapon of war" was supposedly able to gun down countless bodies in seconds. More news outlets (including Fox news to be fair) picked up on these "details" (are you sick of my "quotes yet"?) are reported them as fact. There was one problem though - none of them were true. Weeks later the Connecticut police finally outed the news media and came forward with the truth = 4 handguns with standard capacity magazines were used to accomplish the killing. The AR-15 never left the trunk. NBC finally broke the news, saying "the information was overwhelming and hard to confirm in the heat of the moment." Now I will give them some slack, as they're forced to report facts instantly, because that's what the public wants. I give no slack however, for a 4 week delay on truth. The fact is, this agenda against the AR-15 and its counterparts has been brewing for years; since the 2004 ban ended, in fact. Mislabeling and spreading lies about the weapon was square one. The liberals (media, politicians  etc) have never ended their crusade to abolish firearms, they merely put it on the back burner until  a more opportune time. Unfortunately for legal gun owners, this recent shooting gave them that perfect opportunity. The red carpet was there. Never before have we had such an anti-gun president, not even Clinton. Hell, the day after Obama's second election win he cast his lot in for the UN gun treaty. One of his running platforms was to stop the spread of "military weapons of war on our streets." We've all known where he stood, but this was the perfect time for them to act, and acted they have. I'm convinced that within 2 months the firearm freedoms that law abiding citizens have enjoyed for over 200 years will be vastly different. 

"Who cares what the shooter used? He killed people with a gun!".... that's the argument I've heard many times these last few weeks. So why do I focus on the AR-15? Easy - because its a symbol . You see, the AR-15 is not a weapon of war. Its no more dangerous than a handgun, and less dangerous than a hunting rifle. But its been demonized by ill-informed media correspondents and the anti-gun lobby for its similar appearance to the military M4. I will say this now: IF THE MILITARY USED AR-15 RIFLES IN COMBAT, THEY WOULD BE SLAUGHTERED BY THE MILLIONS. There is no functionality relationship between the two. The shape is the same - the weapon is vastly different. So why do I call it a symbol? Because it is a symbol of modern firearms the same way the musket was a symbol during the revolutionary war. This symbol is what the 2nd Amendment was written for. I refuse to argue about whether I NEED an AR-15, or whether I can HUNT with an AR-15, or whether I can TARGET SHOOT with an AR-15. All of the above is true, but it vastly misses the point. The 2nd Amendment was not written with hunters or target shooters in mind. The colonies did not win independence from England so that they could hunt whitetail deer. The didn't sacrifice their lives and the lives of their family so they could punch holes in paper at a 50 yard range. They won victory over tyranny because they understood that a man is not free until he can defend himself against someone who wishes to forcibly rule over him. The 2nd Amendment was included in the bill of rights as a security clause, and insurance policy. It didn't guarantee Americans the right to own a gun for fun, it guaranteed them the right to own it to prevent the EXACT thing that happened in England that drove them to America. We have the 2A to defend ourselves from the government. Not to hunt, not to target shoot. But this, my friends, is where the media activists come back into the picture. The same ones who believe that the government, who is over-extended in every way, has the power to come to your aid and protect you when a bad guy breaks into your house at 3am. They want to vilify guns because they honestly believe that they are what causes violence. Not personal responsibility, sick people, bad circumstances or society. They blame it on guns, and the fact that the liberals in office believe the same thing is enough of a reason for these "activists" to align themselves with them - with objectivity of course. BS!

The gun lobby is content with the lies they have worked hard to spread. The activists in the liberal news media grabbed onto these lies and catapulted them to the top. But the fact is, every one of these lies can be debunked. Google some facts, it's all there. The cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest violent crime rates. The states with permitted concealed carry have the lowest. The "Assault Weapons Ban" of the 1990's did absolutely nothing to stem violence, it actually created more, which is why it was allowed to expire. But unfortunately these facts are sent out over the air waves. They're tucked away and never brought up, because they prove the anti-gun lobby wrong.

The only weapon we have against the gun lobby, activist media and this administration are facts. They are on our side, but its up to us to be vocal about them. We have to go out of our way to be vocal about it. We need to be closely following what is going on, be informed, and be on the defensive and the offensive. The only way we can assure that our freedoms - the freedoms for us to defend ourselves and keep our government in check - is be be a vocal faction in this debate and this battle. Educate yourself, and speak up. Our 2nd Amendment rights live and die with us.

Refocusing: Trying to Find Balance

We'll, I've had this blog for almost 3 years. I spent a little time this morning going back over some of my first posts, laughing a bit at how I've changed and smiling at some memories I'd forgotten. If nothing else, its therapeutic. 
Now on to the meat, and the purpose of this refocused blog. The recent political climate, "gun control" laws, immigration reform offerings, etc. have more than infuriated me, but I've also realized recently that my primary outlet for these infuriations has been Facebook. Now, I'll be the first to admit, there's probably very few people on my facebook that disagree with me entirely. Not because I don’t befriend people of differing views, but because I'm a blunt, outspoken person, and chances are anyone who's opinion differs greatly from mine has probably already de-friended me. If you've stuck it through, I commend you :)
That being said, I'm shifting my political and semi-political rants to blog and twitter format, and hopefully leaving facebook a slightly more friendly environment. I'll still have this blog auto post to facebook, but this allows anyone interested the chance to click on it or ignore it based on their preference. After scrolling through my profile feed I've realized that it’s been a bit too serious of a tone for far too many months. Hopefully this changes that.
More blog posts to come, and here I won't have to censor as much (and oh yes, I've been censoring!)