As much as we beat up on the media for getting it wrong, or outright bias, there is a certain amount of buzz that’s necessary for a political gun writer to have something to talk about. Lately that buzz on gun news has been simple and positive. The media is writing stories left and right about the spike in guns sales, but there’s only so much to say about that, and the story formula is pretty much the same — reporter speaks generally of the election, of the FBI reporting the spike in gun sales, then goes an interviews a local gun shop which says something like, “Yep, seeing a lot of sales. Women especially.”
When I started this blog, I never would have believed this could even be a worry. Even though the election went badly for us, this is a positive development, because it’s getting an important meme out there: normal people buy guns. I’ve seen precious few stories that paint these buyers as paranoid militia nuts getting more guns to stow away in their bunkers, thought here have been a few of those, but it’s increasingly coming from outfits that matter little, in naturally hostile media markets. Most articles do speak of anxiety about what the President will do on guns, or speak of unease about the world situation, but it’s rarely painted as delusional paranoia in the majority of stories I’ve run across.
While the media environment is far from perfect, as I can still find the classic bias that’s long been there, it is vastly improved, and keeps improving. The media is starting to get it right on guns. We have been schooling them, and I think our letters, blog posts, and e-mails are making a difference in how journalists approach the issue. This is good, but it does make it more difficult to write on the subject, since the media has long been a foil for political gun bloggers.
I am probably not the only one who is quietly worried by the development. The NRA has long benefitted from a media environment hostile to gun ownership, and while the media is still quite hostile to the NRA, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in a media environment more fair to gun ownership but still hostile to the organization which defends it.
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