New NSSF Video

Over at SayUncle, he’s highlighting a new video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation on AR-15s.


Caleb has also highlighted it as good work. I think how good it is depends on the intended audience. Is this something aimed at general media, or outdoor media who mostly write about hunting?  Because which audience this is targeted to depends on whether or not I think it’s a good video.

If this is a video aimed at educating general media, I’m not a big fan. It’s certainly not a bad video, but I think it underestimates how unfamiliar many journalists are when it comes to hunting and shooting issues. We all know that no one would hunt with a machine gun, but how many journalists know that? I think the video’s big problem is failing to address the fact that an AR-15 is not a machine gun. Any time you present this issue to laymen, this needs to be stressed. You don’t even really need to say it in this context — just showing an animal being taken by a single shot from an AR-15 would be sufficient to get the point across. I would also question why the hunting context would be used? I fully recognize that the public views hunting as a legitimate use of firearms, but NSSF’s own research has shown public perception of the shooting sports is better than hunting, and AR-15s are ubiquitous in several types of popular competitive shooting sports. But that’s assuming the target audience is general media, which it might not be.

If the target audience is outdoor media, basically the Jim Zumbos of the world, in an effort to help them understand the issue, I think it’s a pretty good video. Those folks will know the difference between a semi-auto and a machine gun, and will know no one hunts with the latter. In that instance they really just need to understand how technology and the culture is changing, and I think this video accomplishes that goal.

I guess another question is, what kind of outreach we need to be doing more of? Reaching the outdoor community or reaching the general public? I’m generally of the opinion that the latter is more important, and I hope to see more good work from NSSF targeted at that audience, particularly in relation to the shooting sports.

8 thoughts on “New NSSF Video”

  1. I would say the media’s lack of education on what the laws are and what an AR-15 actually is, is nothing short of willful ignorance.

    These are people highly trained in research, if they are writing articles about “Hunting with Machine Guns” (let alone writing articles implying that hunting has anything to do with the 2nd Amendment) they are doing it intentionally.

  2. These are people highly trained in research

    No, they really aren’t. The primary sin of journalists is being lazy. When journalists are lazy, they often let the information they do have get filtered through their own biases. Most journalists are not evil, or out to get us. Some are, but the vast majority are not.

    Gun owners really need to give up this “they are all out to screw us” mentality. There are certainly people out there who fit this bill, but if it were really true we might as well just give up now. Journalists should be taken just as any other person approaching the issue. The only difference is they have access to a printing press or broadcast tower.

  3. I started out to be a journalist at a highly ranked school of journalism where the majority of my fellow students did go into the industry. They were almost all liberal by nature and nurture, but at least at my school there was a desire to be “fair.” The trouble is when doing reporting it’s real easy to fall into the trap of not researching items you consider a given, such as the liberal “guns are bad” theology, which is as much as given in some circles as the phrase “racism is bad.”

    I love this video, though. In Colorado I know a lot of hunters who talk about “normal” hunting rifles vs. my AR (if you’re going to hunt deer with a .223, why not a really light and easy to maintain gun like an AR?) and when I tell them about high power rifle matches with AR’s wonder how you can be “so accurate with a machine gun.”

    I’m going to try posting this video and see if it gets any traction with those types of people.

  4. My experience with journalists is as practitioners of the Dramatic Arts, enhanced by the bottle and the bong. As dramatist of course it simply must be much more exciting to go hunting with a machine gun.
    They have their stock characters, cartoon figures, and strawmen – and the NRA is usually a dark bogyman responsible-for or characteristic-of all sorts of social ills, and generally anything negative associated with guns and bullets – an all purpose demon.

  5. I would have to say that reporters aren’t so much lazy or ill-informed as much as they just don’t care.

    A recent shooting in the area was accomplished with a ‘high-powered rifle’. When queried (by me) as to what make and model, they simply replied ‘Well that’s what the police told us’

  6. It simply is the truth that journalists – and generally humanities graduates – are, like all of us, prejudiced people. And mostly they’re leftists, because that’s how the academia roll (I’m a grad student in History of the Early Modern Era).

  7. Sebastian…as a lifelong journalist and card-carrying member of the Mainstream Media, I’d have to disagree with you on the issue of whether journalists can research. The research tools I learned as a daily, and eventually a top magazine, journalist have made me a frighteningly good researcher, as are most of the other working journalists I know.

    The problem is that at the management level, the MSM are, indeed, “all out to screw us,” which has manifested itself in giving the line reporters a pass on the level of factual scrutiny that would normally be required for a story. Because you always get what you choose to measure (or in this case, not measure), you get insipid, factually incorrect coverage of the firearms issue.

    I do totally agree with you that it’s important for us to work with individual reporters, even those who are clearly on the opposite side (as we did with the NSSF Media Education Program for years)…I have heard back from a surprising number of reporters we’ve worked with over the years that they’ve lectured their editors on the subject, which has helped us all.

    I think the NSSF video is excellent, if a year or so late. I believe we’re going through a fundamental paradigm change on “what is a rifle,” as I’ve written and talked about before. That change is a toughie for a lot of people in our culture, and I think Doug Painter weighing in on the subject is a good thing.

    Yes, we end up endlessly addressing the “it’s not a machinegun issue,” and I would have loved to see NSSF & Doug address that in another video…as a video producer myself, I can think of any number of striking ways to get the message across.

    I think we still have years of fighting this issue ahead of us!

    Michael B

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