As National Geographic TV Takes Aim at Your Guns...
It’s time for gun owners to demand “equal time”
by Erich Pratt
National Geographic Channel ran a
show recently entitled Guns In America.
According to the program, there are
millions of misguided gun owners
across the nation. Why? Because their
guns are supposedly more likely to do
harm than to help them in an emergency.
“As a society, we’re totally out of
control with weapons,” said one
Philadelphia cop who was interviewed
during the show. “You need to limit
access that people have to these type of
That was the basic thrust of the program
which first aired in December.
National Geographic recited the usual
worn-out factoids that are peddled by
the Brady Campaign. It only cited antigun
cops. And for every person who
was filmed stating he or she believed in
a right to own firearms for self-defense,
the program would cite “facts” to prove
that such a hope was misplaced.
Many gun owners who saw the show
were left wondering when NatGeo
became so political. Wasn’t this the
organization that loved showing pictures
of kangaroos and foliage —
images that we normally attribute to
The National Geographic Channel
presents itself as an educational, unbiased
alternative. But Guns in America
was hardly unbiased, as can be seen by
the following agenda items that were
pushed during the program:
1. Guns in America falsely claimed
that guns in the home are 22 times more
likely to kill a family member than to
serve as protection. That is simply not
true. The author of this study, Arthur
Kellerman, has been discredited many
times by other studies and by groups
such as the National Academy of Sciences.(
2. Guns in America overstated the
number of children who die by unintentional
gunfire. In fact, when you look
at the statistics involving younger children
(ages 0-14), one sees that kids
have a greater chance of dying from
choking on things like the peanut butter
and jelly sandwiches that you feed
them.(2) Hmm, why doesn’t National
Geographic want to report on those
3. Guns in America portrayed twelve
times as many negative uses of guns as
positive uses -- even though in the real
world, the truth is quite the opposite.
According to statistics from the Clinton
Justice Department in 1997, guns are
used at least 50 times more often to
save life than take life.(3) But none of
this was presented, so the lesson for the
NatGeo show viewer was: Guns are
4. Guns in America only quoted antigun
“authorities,” thus leaving the
impression that all law-enforcement
support gun control. Never mind the
fact that when one looks at polls of the
police community — which can be
found on the website for the National
Association of Chiefs of Police — they
overwhelmingly hold pro-gun attitudes.(
4) But none of these authorities
were ever cited.
How to fight back
So what can we do? Short of buying
out the National Geographic channel —
a very expensive option! — there is
plenty that concerned gun owners can
First, many activists like making the
advertisers “feel the pain.” And to that
end, GOA has posted a list of the
show’s advertisers in our December 17,
2008 alert that is on the GOA website.
Second, and most important, we can
demand “equal time” — but not in the
way you’re probably thinking. It would
be a mistake to support legislation that
would force media outlets like NatGeo
to give “equal time.” As tempting as
that might be to some, we don’t want to
do anything that smacks of bringing
back the UnFairness Doctrine.
The so-called Fairness Doctrine was
used to keep conservative voices off theair for many years. In fact, were it still
in place, we would not have seen the
rise of conservative talk radio which cut
into the liberal stranglehold on how
America receives the news. (But that’s
another whole discussion.)
So how can we demand “equal
time”? Well, look in the mirror; you’ll
find the answer.
You are “equal time”
Gun owners can make use of pro-gun
media to impact the world around them.
But we have to be willing to think “outside
of the box,” and not just wait for
someone else to take over a media
channel to get the pro-gun view out.
Every gun owner has a sphere of
influence. Have you been using yours?
What if gun owners were to take
entertaining, hard-hitting DVDs and
show them to their own teenagers? Or
to their youth group at church? Or to
their kid’s Boy Scout troop?
What about getting the local high
school government teacher to show one
to his class to generate discussion? Or
even getting a club at the local university
to sponsor such a viewing for a similar
Pro-gun DVDs that
will turn the tide
GOA offers several DVDs on its website
at www.gunowners.com/bookst.htm to
give people the effective tools to
counter the type of drivel that National
Geographic offered up. For example:
• Michael & Me is a great answer to
the tripe that Michael Moore frequently
peddles. Hosted by Larry
Elder, Michael & Me shows how
the media distorts the positive role
of guns in society and provides
viewers many vivid examples of
how guns save lives.
• Innocents Betrayed is an excellent
DVD produced by Jews for the
Preservation of Firearms Ownership
— a DVD which demonstrates
how gun control has been a first
step to genocide in many nations
around the globe.
• Shooting Back explains the story of
Charl van Wyk, an ordinary Christian
man who became a hero on
July 25, 1993 — the day that
would become known as the St.
James Massacre. It was on this
date that van Wyk shot back at the
terrorists who were attacking an
innocent congregation gathered in
prayer, and saved many lives in the
• And, finally, In Search of the Second
Amendment is a documentary
that explains what the Second
Amendment is all about. In interviewing
professors, historians and
other authorities, a legal expert presents
original historical documents,
many of which have never before
been filmed. This is the documentary
to equip the Second Amendment
activist and convince many of
those who don't like guns.
Change the world
Here’s how you can use these progun
DVDs. Look for important
anniversaries or current events.
For example, the
anniversary of the start
of the War for Independence
falls on Sunday,
April 19 this year. So
why not get your
church youth group to
discuss how gun control
was the issue that
led to the hostilities at
Lexington and Concord?
War for Independence
began on April 19,
1775 — the very day
that British soldiers
tried to steal weapons
and gunpowder from
the colonists in Massachusetts.
If you present this to a youth group,
you can discuss how this was the very
type of campaign was waged in I
Samuel 13, where the nation of Philistia
imposed a ban on blacksmiths in Israel
to keep them from making weapons!
This was done in preparation for a campaign
of terrorism that the Philistines
were inflicting upon the Israelites (see
After laying this groundwork, have
your youth group watch the Innocents
Betrayed video which shows how this
same pattern of gun control (leading to
genocide) has played out all over the
globe, time and time again.
You will be amazed to see the scales
falling from your kids’ eyes!
Or, the next time there is a nationally-
televised shooting, use the Shooting
Back DVD to show your teenagers —
or your Boy Scouts troop — how
courageous gun owners have used guns
to stop massacres and protect defenseless
Or, use these DVDs on campus. Any
of them would generate excellent
debate in a school or university setting.
The point is, you can be an effective
messenger in countering the drivel that
the media is peddling.
It’s bad enough that a liberal
teacher’s union controls the education
of our kids in the public schools, and
that many of them are being brainwashed
with politically correct thinking.
But even though supposedly neutral
programs like National Geographic are
peddling the Brady Campaign’s favorite
factoids to an unsuspecting public, we
can help change the thinking of the next
(1) See http://www.gunowners.org/sk0701.htm .
Also, see Charles F. Wellford, John Pepper,
Carol Petrie, Firearms and Violence: A Critical
Review (National Research Council of the
National Academies, 2004), p. 118.
(2) See GOA’s Gun Control Fact Sheet at
(3) See GOA’s Gun Save Lives Fact Sheet at
(4) See the yearly surveys of police chiefs
and sheriffs conducted by the National
Association of Chiefs of Police at
For more informarion, visit www.gunowners.org