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As I said on Twitter last week,
We don’t listen to sportscasters who talk about the 4th period of a hockey game, yet we listen to “journalists” who know nothing about guns.
— Kevin Creighton (@ExurbanKevin) June 13, 2016
That gun writers crow when the media makes mistakes like this indicates how little regard there is for the media from the pro-gun community. There are several ways the media can remedy this situation. For starters, treat guns like any other beat (as the Guardian has done with Lois Beckett). Media outlets tend not to send sports writers to cover the Supreme Court or style writers to cover a murder. Ignorance undermines authority. If you want to report on guns, you need to understand the differences between various weapons and how they are used. Spend time at a shooting range and learn how to fire a gun. Be able to interview an NRA member without scorn or derision.
Words matter. You’d think journalists would understand that simple fact. Most journalists have no experience with guns and don’t know anyone who does have experience. They go on (almost literal) fishing expeditions, hoping that they’ll find someone who’s erudite, knowledgeable and, most importantly, agrees with their preconceived notions of what guns are for and who should own one. I’ve had good luck talking with reporters about guns, but I will admit that my experience is just one of many.
If you want a “conversation” about guns, first learn our language, then we can talk.Published in