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article imageOp-Ed: Sensational stories give gun owners a bad name

By Alex Allen     Sep 17, 2014 in Politics
Sensational news stories involving crazy and irresponsible people with firearms give real, responsible gun owners a bad reputation.
A woman in Colorado was recently in the news for pointing a rifle at a group of young children because she was annoyed by their clarinet playing. Reading about this horrific story got me thinking about something that, as a gun owner, I often think about; the bad light in which guns and gun owners are portrayed in the news media.
Now, there's no questioning the fact that this woman in Colorado who pointed guns at seven-year-old kids is irresponsible and downright insane. People like her should be shunned by society for their stupidity. That being said, however, the mainstream media's sensationalist reporting on stories like this and their refusal to report on the positive aspects of gun ownership gives gun owners a bad reputation among people who aren't familiar with the firearms community.
For example, just a few weeks ago, the nine-year-old girl who shot and killed her shooting instructor was making headline news on almost all of the major networks and publications. Not to mention, every time there's a shooting of any sort the media blows it out of proportion and talks about it for weeks like it's the apocalypse. (That is, of course, unless it's one of the violent gang shootings that happen every day in all of the major crime-ridden anti-gun cities like Chicago. The media seems to conveniently forget about those shootings.) And, in addition to all of the shooting and killing and firearms-related death and destruction the media seems to love, we also get to see politicians using guns as a political game-piece, like what Allison Grimes and Mitch McConnell have been doing recently in Kentucky.
Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't be reporting on things like the mass shootings at Sandy Hook and Aurora and on the tragic gun-related stories like what happened with the girl and her instructor. These are all newsworthy stories and they're all things that we, as a society, should be looking at and trying to prevent. Also newsworthy, however, are the positive aspects of firearms, which far outweigh the negative.
There are countless cases of crimes being prevented by firearms and of firearms being used by good people for good purposes. Of course, those stories rarely make it into the headlines. In fact, just last week, a homeowner used his firearm to defend himself against two home invaders who had been harrassing his family and assaulting him. Not to mention, after the homeowner shot the attackers, he dressed their wounds and drove them to the hospital.
Stories like this show that guns can be used in a responsible manor to fend off crime and danger, and no one has to die in the process. After all, the goal of someone who owns and carries a firearm for self defense is not to kill people but rather to stop a threat.
So here we have a positive story where a seemingly responsible gun owner was able to defend himself and his family with his firearm; a story that was not even touched by national mainstream media. But let's not forget about the business side of firearms, which is also overlooked by mainstream media. Almost every news publication or program has a section for business news. We get to hear about various industries, new products and new business trends. But while we're always made aware of all the new smartphones, tablets and electronic gadgets that are coming out, we never hear about new firearms and innovative, breakthrough technology in the firearms industry. We never hear about how gun and ammo sales have been going up and how the firearms industry is more thriving than it has ever been.The Huffington Post recently ran a fluff piece about improvements that could be made to the McDonald's menus but there wasn't a single article about what ammo manufacturers and retailers could be doing to deal with the ongoing ammunition shortage.
So, until we can get some news media that doesn't have an anti-gun agenda and isn't afraid to report on the positive aspects of gun ownership, we will continue to see the gun community shunned by members of society who are simply too naive and mind-controlled to look past the propaganda the current mainstream news outlets spew out on a regular basis.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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