Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Another member of the media for whom I have no respect

Rachel has a great rant about the ambushing of responsible gun owners on National Television.

The John Walsh Show invited some women who are legal gun owners on the show to discuss the topic of "Women and Guns".

The gun owning women invited to participate were assured that the show would be about the women’s stories and what led them to choose to exercise their second amendment rights. Both women who are responsible gun owners were repeatedly assured that the show would not be a debate. In reading their stories I can see how that could make for a compelling hour of television. One woman had escaped an extremely abusive marriage and a second woman had been raped by an off duty police officer (so much for depending on the police to see to your safety).

Unfortunately the producers of the John Walsh show evidently did not think that this would be enough for a sweeps program. They choose to bring more guests to the show. One was an anti-gun activist from the Million Mom March and the second was a stereotypically bad gun owner (former gang member, convicted felon).

I have to admit that I saw portions of this show (a side effect of being “between jobs”). It was a completely disturbing experience. I never like to watch attacks on TV and from what I saw the former gang member was dominating the show – attacking the responsible gun owners. The moment that I turned off the TV was when the law breaking gun owner turned on one of the legal gun owners saying something to the effect of “If you have a gun in your house any time you get into a fight you will of course get that gun out and shoot someone”. No opportunity was given for the responsible gun owner to respond without being shouted down.

Let me say right here that I was raised in a house where there were many guns. However, no matter how angry we would get at each other (and believe me we can get angry) it would never cross anyone’s mind to get a gun to solve a dispute. A gun is a tool - it would no more cross my mind to use a gun to solve an argument with my brother than it would for me to use a power drill to solve a fight. It really bothers me that once more gun owners were shown to be out of control lawbreakers.

I have to admit that I rather liked the John Walsh show before this. The show tends to tackle real issues and treat guests with respect. What happened on this episode was the exact opposite. In a cheap ploy for ratings John Walsh and his show have lost my respect.


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