Op-Ed Placement

Quite often when you read op-eds in the main stream media, they were actually placed by groups that advocate on behalf of that organization. It’s a dirty little secret in the world of issue advocacy. I would not be shocked to discover that this op-ed was written by Violence Policy Center themselves, or some other issue oriented group. It’s about the decline of the American gun culture:

According to Sugarmann, those keeping the culture alive and those most vocal in resisting tighter regulations are white, middle-aged men whose enthusiasm for firearms, hunting and shooting is not shared by younger Americans.

I’m a white guy, last I checked, but I hope not middle aged; I don’t plan to die in my 60s. I’ve been advocating for this issue since I was a teenager in some form or another. In fact, most of my fellow bloggers are my age, or close to my age, and I can name more than a few who are younger than me.  Oh yeah, and half the bloggers I linked to there are women.

Politicians tend to pander to the NRA, some more shamelessly than others. One of the Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential race, Mitt Romney, went so far as to falsely claim that he was a lifelong hunter and had received an official NRA endorsement in 2002.

Now we get to the heart of this article, the National Rifle Association. Op-eds like this serve one purpose, to forward rhetoric designed to weaken and trivialize the power of the organization. Maybe Bernd Debusmann is a coy political operative, but something about this op-ed just seems too well crafted. If it is Mr. Debusmann, my hats off to him; it’s shrewdly political, but I’d put my money on this being an op-ed placement by an issue group out to damage the NRA.

26 thoughts on “Op-Ed Placement”

  1. Uh, hello? Last time I checked I am not male, not middle-aged – but yes, I admit I am white and very vocal about my 2A rights.

  2. I’m a mere youngster myself. Of course, if you ask me my race, I’ll say “I’m Greek. My ancestors invented philosophy while yours were swinging from the trees”. So, yeah, white. Guilty as charged. Regardless, I have friends of all different ethnicities who like guns and shooting sports. I have more requests from women to go to the range than men. When I took my CWP class, it was about half women, and over a third of the class was not white.

    I love how folks like this accuse _US_ of bigotry and stereotyping. Such bitter irony.

  3. Ooops… I actually meant to refute the maleness part in there, but forgot to add that sentence. I have rectified it.

  4. Heh.

    In my last jon, working for the oh so large business group, we would routinly draft op-eds and then fnd a concerned citizen (inevitably, a member of our group and usually someone in a leadership position at the local level to give them “credibility”) to send it in under their name . . . . except we would place it too.

    In fact, I’d argue it goes even further than just opinion pieces, but also impacts what editorials run, what stories are covered, and where they are placed in the paper.

    One reason I have no faith in the media is because I’ve seen how easily it can be manipulated and controlled by a dedicated individual/organization.

  5. um….35 isn’t middle-aged, is it?

    And I’m not white. Do you have to be white to own a gun? I hope not. I was planning to add to my collection.

    Wonder if being non-white and owning a gun will land me on one of them Terror Watchlist thingies.

    Unless my purchases from Paladin Press already put me there. (smirk)

  6. Probably not, but I’d hate to be a minority gun owner, particularly a black one. You think if the cops pull over a black man on the way to the range and he has a gun in the car he’s going to get the benefit of doubt that he’s a lawful gun owner? Or is he going to get put through the ringer?

    Or those lost and stolen gun reporting requirements. If you’re of a racial minority living in a poor neighborhood, and you had a gun stolen, and didn’t know you had to report it, and didnt’ bother because the police don’t give a shit about “your kind”, do you think:

    a) they are going to think you’re a fine upstanding citizen who was merely the victim of a crime


    b) a straw purchaser trying to get away with something?

    I’m betting b. Now repeat for a white, middle class suburban gun owner in the same situation. Same outcome? Now you know why I think a lot of these laws, if not outwardly racist these days, will be in their implementation.

  7. Shssshh…countertop!

    Next you’ll be telling them that organizations write draft letters to the editor and have members send those out, too. :P

  8. My wife is in her 30’s, has beautiful brown skin, is (obviously) a woman, and absolutely has no problems with guns. In fact, each time she reads one of the gun-grabbers idiotic statements she stops and says, “Uh…no, that’s just plain stupid!”

    Damn, I love that woman!

  9. FOLKS….we knew that this kind of media coverage would start coming fast and furious, in the months leading up to the Heller decision. It’s an all-out war for public opinion. I think and hope that people will go numb to it.

    But that article posted was sure singing a familiar tune…

    Can any of us imagine the rhetoric POST-Heller??!!

    Remember….the VPC, John’s Hopkins, NORC, and the New England Journal of Medicine are ALL funded by the JOYCE FOUNDATION…

    The truth is out there…


    It’s time that we really dig into the myriad web of anti-gun advocady that is the Joyce Foundation. Nearly all of them are tied to this one, single, funding source. We need press releases like the diatribe linked here….but exposing the juggernaut of anti-gun advocate’s literature in law and public health. If there ever was “research with an agenda”, that is it.

    “But in fact, gun ownership in the United States has been declining steadily over more than three decades, relegating gun owners to minority status.”

    Huh? I think the gun-stock is at an all-time high, particularly in the US. The gun banners want to say gun ownership is decreasing, and we want to think that it is increasing. That said, I think the tally was something like 258 million in 1999, according to National Academy of Science. Who knows who to believe. I suppose they might be talking about the number of individual gun owners.

    “So, by the rules of democratic play, one might assume that the majority would have major influence on legislation. But that’s not how it works, thanks to the enormous influence of the gun lobby.

    What a snow-job! By the rules of our constitutional republic, one doesn’t have to assume anything. People have the right to own firearms.

  10. “Probably not, but I’d hate to be a minority gun owner, particularly a black one.”

    Not black. Brown-skinned island boy.

    The island where Adm. Dewey “visited” and Gen. MacArthur said “I shall return.”

  11. Sadly, no. The wife and I will be on our honeymoon in May.

    But we were thinking of the Rendezvous in October…

  12. “white, middle-aged men whose enthusiasm for firearms, hunting and shooting is not shared by younger Americans.”

    Hm….. I’m not white. I’m curious as to how I am middle-aged since I’m not old enough to buy alcohol, apply for a C&R FFL, purchase a handgun, or register an NFA weapon. I’ll admit I’m not big on shooting and more of the collector type. Only hunting I’m the slightest bit interested in involves bears, big cats, and anything crocodilian.

  13. I am supportive of you all. I think the gun rights movement needs more folks like you…representatives from the GLT community. We need to be more progressive, in that rights are for everyone.


  14. FYI, the NORC GSS results are based on two components.

    The core questions remain relatively constant over time, cover a broad range of topics, and are not funded by organizations like the Joyce Foundation. There are only a few questions related to gun ownership, and the wording appears to be fairly neutral. The household gun ownership data in this component appears to be accurate as far as it goes, but there are not really enough questions to properly flesh out the results. For example, the GSS does not ask how many gun owners per household.

    In addition to the core questions, the GSS also includes various add-on, topical modules that are funded by outside groups, including Joyce. The gun-related questions in this component have been so biased (or poorly worded) that any conclusions are meaningless.

    The Joyce Foundation/VPC generally seeks to use the credibility of the neutral GSS core questions to strengthen the credibility of the biased results in the topical module. It’s a method to disguise advocacy as objective research.

  15. Interesting. Assertions of non-fact are never questioned when a left-wing cause makes them.

    I like to think I was born with the Spirit of ’76.

    But even if a lot of gun owners are middle-aged, let’s remember that the grass roots of their cause is DEAD PEOPLE (i.e. Joyce & other foundations).

Comments are closed.