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A couple days ago we put up a post asking for volunteers for a segment to air on NBC about “Gun Culture 2.0.” The idea was that we’d all meet up at the range, NBC’s Ronan Farrow would ask us some questions about young people and guns, then we’d all shoot some stuff. A number of our readers showed some understandable trepidation about volunteering for an NBC piece, especially given the mainstream media’s history of making gun owners look like crazed, bloodthirsty lunatics. But we were willing to take the chance, and I think things turned out better than we could have hoped . . .

The biggest unknown factor was who would show up. If your experience is anything like ours, you know that the vast majority of gun owners — young and old alike — are really cool, intelligent people. But just like any group, there are a few bad apples that can ruin it for the whole bunch. I asked Tyler Kee to come with me as backup, just to make sure that we stack the deck a little, but it wasn’t really needed. I don’t think we could have asked for a more intelligent, well-spoken group of shooters.

The interviews lasted a couple hours. As a group, we all talked about the Gun Culture 2.0 concept, that young people are a new breed of gun owners who don’t conform to the “old fat white guy” stereotype. The answers given were thoughtful, intelligent, and to my mind, painted gun owners in a very good light. Tyler and I discussed it afterwards, and we couldn’t see any way that the answers could be twisted and misinterpreted without some extremely heavy editing. And given the nature of the segment (new gun owners being different from the old FUDDs) I don’t see that as likely.

After the chat, we did some shooting. I did my best to keep everything safe, but some of the usual newbie mistakes were made. Kirsten Joy Weiss showed up for the segment as well, and there was a moment where she was showing off her riced-out 10/22 to Ronan and he absent mindedly swung the muzzle and pointed it directly at my midsection. I politely leaned over and said, “Sorry to interrupt, but could you please not point that gun at me again?” I think Kirsten got the hint, and kept everything downrange from then on. Safety is more important than showing off for the cameras.

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Once we had a little play time, Ronan asked me to teach him how to shoot some of the guns. Apparently he shot skeet and trap back in college, but handguns and rifles are a little different. I started him out on my Ruger 10/22 Takedown with an AAC Prodigy silencer, and he was nailing a little pepper popper we had set up with no problems.

We then moved up to a Ruger 22/45 Lite with the same rimfire silencer, and while he was having some problems getting on target, he had the stance and fundamentals down just fine with a little instruction. I’m sure with more than a single magazine’s worth of practice he’d be A-OK.

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Then we moved on to the bigger stuff. Ronan wanted to try something with a scope, so I handed him my .300 AAC Blackout rifle, with attached Liberty Suppressors Mystic-X can. He absolutely loved it, from the recoil of the larger rounds to the reticle in the scope. What can I say…I build nice things.

The best part was that throughout the whole “let’s teach the city boy to shoot” portion of the day, we didn’t wear any hearing protection. All the guns were suppressed, and all the ammo was subsonic. Everyone was able to chat normally and in a relaxed tone. I think they finally understood the benefit of a silencer.

At Robert’s request, I took a moment today to look over what we did on Saturday in the context of New York’s gun laws. Ronan lives in New York City and the question was how many laws would he have broken had this event taken place in New York. As best as I can tell, the following is a laundry list of the felonies that would have been incurred:

  • Possession of an unregistered “assault weapon” (4 counts)
  • Possession of a firearm without an NYC permit (5 counts)
  • Possession of an illegal “sawed-off” rifle (2 counts)
  • Possession of an illegal silencer (3 counts)
  • Possession of a “high capacity” magazine thanks to the SAFE Act (4 counts)
  • Unlicensed possession of a handgun by an adult (1 count)

Except they weren’t. Against the law, that is. Everyone had an absolute blast, and it was all 100% legal. No crimes were committed, all gun owners present were excellent ambassadors for our sport, and the NBC team were very happy with the results. It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Then I went and saw the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie advanced screening. 10/10, would nearly pee myself again.

82 Responses to An Afternoon Shooting with NBC’s Ronan Farrow

    • Agree, but there is a lot of chicken-counting-before-hatching going on here, and the number of even moderately fair/even-handed/true gun/owner-related made-for-TV clips can be counted on the thumbs of my hands.

      Not holding my breath for a decent outcome, despite the group’s heroic efforts.

      Thanks for trying.

    • Yeah, and like a good European subject, you’ll just sit there and take it.

      What’s that? You’re not a European subject? You might as well be.

  1. “Tyler and I discussed it afterwards, and we couldn’t see any way that the answers could be twisted and misinterpreted without some extremely heavy editing.”

    We shall see.

    • “Doing stories about gun owners fitting the stereotype has been ‘done’ a thousand times. We want to do something different with this piece.”

      -Ronan Farrow

      • Good and I hope that is how it will air.

        Still I hope you guys did have someone record a video just so we can see what an unedited version looks like. Just in case ya know. 😉

      • I hate to say it, but his lips were moving, so you know he was lying.

        We shall see and I would love to be wrong, but these guys are too predictable to make me think otherwise.

      • Even if the entire body of the story is ‘positive’, some executive will want it edited down and a segment tacked on to the end where the opposition will get in some quotes and misleading statistics (all to the tune of tragically sad music).

        They can’t help themselves.

        • Yep. My guess is that they’ll frame it all as “Rare-responsible-gun-owners/hobbyists-using-guns, but is it really worth it when so many people die every year due to ‘gun violence’?”

          Others: please post your best guess at the spin they will use, below.

        • This is, sadly, the most likely outcome. The piece will be more or less even-handed (or even outright positive) for the first 90%, then they’ll tack on some (possiibly misleading or downright false) anti-gun shit right at the end, so the final impression left on the viewer is negative.

        • Along the lines of “Even younger Americans – including women – now seem to be infected by the lust for guns and violence.”

        • Exactly. How many people will die for this hobby?

          I’ll bet money on it

        • You’re right, Larry; thanks for reminding me that “illegal” is the primary type of gun, according to most media reports/sources.

      • I’ll believe it when I see it. If the piece is as fair as he promises, it will not be aired.

      • It sounds like Mr. Farrow enjoyed shooting Nick’s sweet cans! Let’s all hope they try some unbiased journalism.

    • LOVE how 1A’er’s cr_p all over 2A’ers DAILY without consideration as to whom the first Amendment is protection FROM, and by whom (then necessarily) it is protected BY. Then they ask to be treated like royalty and ‘for a free day at the range.’ While attempting to “butch-up” in pictures with illegal firearms. [Sh_t head/heart politicians do this as well]

      “Poop to that” – Marvin Boggs

  2. Awe man, I knew I should’ve picked up some of those advanced passes to mad max when I had the chance!

  3. Sounds promising, but I’ll wait for the edited segment to pass judgement on the final story. We all know what a progressive in an editing suite can do…

  4. Good work and good luck guys. I can’t think of anybody I’d have rather seen in that representative position.

  5. You never can tell what those guys can come up with once they get back to the studio. I will await the final report (from you guys, I don’t even have a TV) with my optimism heavily salted with caution. I am glad KJW made it, even the wizards at NBC would be hard-pressed to make her look anything but positive.

    • Agreed.

      I can’t believe nobody thought to shoot some video of Kirsten???

      Is she no longer doing her videos?

      • Her most recent one just came out. “Gardening with a gun”. My 9 year old daughter loves her. She’s the reason I subscribe to KJW’s YouTube channel.

  6. Well, Mr. Farrow can’t be all bad, after all he can’t stand Woody Allen. That shows some character considering Allen is his father. (Also his brother-in-law.)

    • I went to college with Ronan’s brother (who was one of several kids Mia Farrow adopted). Pretty cool guy. They all hate Allen due to his marrying their sister, plus many other things. Not many people have a sister who is also a mother-in-law.

      • Oh cmon you guys ….don’t you know marriage now days is just about being able to marry whoever you love and if that person happens to be you daughter, or your sister, or your father, or maybe a threeway with your two brothers then that should be okey-dokey. Woody was just on the progressive vangaurd “leaning-forward” edge of the flexi-marriage movement.

        And if you don’t agree with that thought process then you’re just a big ugly evil hetero-normative bigot…and probably a racist and puppy-killer to boot.

        • You’re right. The loveless social/political/financial contract and women-as-property good ol’ days of marriage were so much better.

  7. Tyler and I discussed it afterwards, and we couldn’t see any way that the answers could be twisted and misinterpreted without some extremely heavy editing. And given the nature of the segment (new gun owners being different from the old FUDDs) I don’t see that as likely.

    You did remember this was NBC you were dealing with right? The posted children for deceptive editing? The fabricators of most of the Trayvon Martin myth?

    • “Having personally used one of these full-auto murder machines, and the one I used was equipped with a silencer for ambushing innocent victims and a super high-power high-capacity clipazine, I can tell you the sense of power it imparts makes you want to solve every problem with a hail of M855 armor-piercing cop-killer death rounds.”

  8. NBC writing a gun segment that doesn’t show gun owners as whacked out whack jobs with whacked out guns? Hope springs eternal.

    But hey, there is a first for everything, this could the one.

  9. If its even remotely positive, its probably a ploy to show how gun-neutral the ProgMedia is in advance of the 2016 election.

    • Knowing the power of video, both edited and candid, I’m fairly sure the network would not allow any of their talent to be recorded by anyone not firmly under the network’s control.

      I’d like to be wrong, but I’d be shocked if that was the case, here.

        • That’s not my experience. An interview or other semi-controlled interaction, okay. An unscripted show-and-tell live-action demo, where the talent might say or do something that could come back to haunt them? Different story.

        • Oh well… I’ve experienced differently. 🙂 In my experience it was stipulated / conditional to the interaction.

          I suppose some will and some won’t.

  10. NBC with silencers and SBRs? Uh oh. Regardless of whether Ronan Farrow personally enjoyed himself and had a blast, he will get thrown under the bus before any positive article would ever get published out of this.

  11. We’ll see. I have no doubt in how far the libturds will go to paint gun owners as they always have.

  12. I am very happy that all went well, and that the reporter had some fun and quality instruction with the various weapons provided. I hope it comes out as hoped and not with a sinister Keith Morrison narration slapped on it about the lethality and and deadly uses of suppressed firearms and how could ANYONE possibly own them?

  13. I hope they don’t try to twist things. It sounds like it went well. Keep us posted about when it is scheduled to air.

  14. THIS will turn out badly. Bet on it. Like “Americas Gun” the Ar 15 was fair and balanced.on CNN(or was it MSNBC). Nothing good comes from any NBC umbrella network. Thanks for trying…

    • Neither…. It was on CNBC (big difference).

      I thought that one WAS about as “fair and balanced” as we could have wished for. Both sides were represented… not equally… but represented.

      That special is STILL in re-runs, 2 years later.

        • Yes, yes… it’s all a conspiracy, and they’re all against us. They’re all biased. I get that. But, CNBC is not CNN. CNBC is not MSNBC. They are different networks, and they actually do have differences in their levels of bias and attitude. CNBC is more business-like, IMO. That’s not to suggest I am defending them (or their biases).

          But, given the opportunity to speak up and speak out for “our side,” I think it’s a mistake to don our tin-foil hats and refuse to appear or speak. It’s a fight in which we MUST engage. Yes, if you speak 20 minutes of brilliance and slip up with a real boner for 15 seconds, they may very well edit your whole interview down to that one stupid thing you said.

          So, here’s what you do: Don’t slip up. Stay on point. Know your shit COLD. Be MEASURED in your replies to questions. Stay on point (worth saying twice). Don’t get emotional.

          Consider that for every one minute that makes the final video production, SIXTY minutes will end up on the cutting room floor (so to speak).

          If it’s not your thing… then, yeah, don’t do it. But, there are many of us who are well-spoken (evident here on TTAG) that can handle it and handle it well. And, “we” SHOULD do it, no matter which super-duper-biased network it’s on.

          It CAN be done.

  15. “At Robert’s request, I took a moment today to look over what we did on Saturday in the context of New York’s gun laws. Ronan lives in New York City and the question was how many laws would he have broken had this event taken place in New York.”

    The fact that he’s asking this question is either very, very good (wow, NYC laws are pretty crazy! we “broke” dozens, but nobody got hurt and we just had fun) or very, very bad (OMG unregulated death machines out in the hinterlands!). Hope springs eternal.

    Fingers crossed.

    • Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t read anywhere in there that Ronan Farrow was asking the question. Robert asked that the potential NY laws broken be tallied. This could’ve happened after the filming was done and the NBC people all departed.

      • (I got called away during the edit window timer duration. 🙁 )

        Yeah, the figuring didn’t happen until more than 24 hours after the segment was recorded.

        I took a moment today to look over what we did on Saturday

      • I read it the same as you. I suggest that someone with Farrow’s contact info passes on, politely of course, some details on just how many (non) crimes he committed if the filming had taken place at a NYC/NYS range.

  16. “… we couldn’t see any way that the answers could be twisted and misinterpreted without some extremely heavy editing.”

    Sort of like the heavy editing the media did to George Zimmerman’s 911 call, trying to make him look like a racist murderer. I will be VERY surprised if NBC doesn’t manage to edit your footage to make you all look like crazed “gun nuts”, because that’s what they are: Liars. Gotta push the narrative, man.

    • EXACTLY Idaho Pete-“edited” by NBC. At least the boy got to shoot cool guns LOL…

  17. I’m going to be the odd man out here and suggest you have done a great thing (by agreeing to appear on an NBC special report). Yes, they have their agenda. Yes, they can edit, twist, and spin. But, if you were smart (and I bet you were), there is little they can edit to suit their agenda.

    In the end, they will have their (anti-gun) say. But, if you were able to interject even a relatively small amount of good PR for our side, then it is a victory. It beats doing nothing. It beats remaining silent.

    I’ll say this…. “Been there. Done that.” (on national TV)

    Keep us posted on when we can see it.

    • One more thing… if it isn’t already clear…. I disagree with those that suggest that editing can make you look like a crazed “gun nut.” If you don’t give them any “ammunition,” they can’t portray you as crazy. And, again… I bet you didn’t.

      It CAN be done well.

  18. Sounds like a resounding success. I look forward to the actual article. Please post a heads-up when that comes down the pike.

  19. Bet ya that he will make you look like a knuckle dragger and package it to show how evil and super dangerous guns are today.

  20. This is my shocked face.

    This time I’m not kidding.

    The media I ingest regularly has not been overly kind to Ronan. I may have to pay a little closer attention to this guy.

  21. Mr. Leghorn writes, ” that young people are a new breed of gun owners who don’t conform to the “old fat white guy” stereotype. The answers given were thoughtful, intelligent, and to my mind, painted gun owners in a very good light. Tyler and I discussed it afterwards, and we couldn’t see any way that the answers could be twisted and misinterpreted without some extremely heavy editing. And given the nature of the segment (new gun owners being different from the old FUDDs) I don’t see that as likely.”

    Thanks for creating yet another divide among shooters. I’m sure the media will appreciate the help. You skillfully declared every non-millennial shooter a thoughtless idiot and feel assured that in your weeks of accrued wisdom that nothing you did or said could ever be spun by a professional media. At a time when all shooters need to commit to the serious struggle for the protection of our collective civil right you’ve chosen the path of the patrician class.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ll take a handful of old farts like myself who have wisdom and experience over an army of public school-educated millenials with their PC brainwashing.

  22. Until today, I always thought “old fat white guys” and FUDDS were pejorative terms. Evidently, since we’re all in this together, I was wrong.

    Nick, check your ego, wipe your mom’s milk off your lips, move out of her basement and grow a pair.

  23. I hope I’m wrong, but I reserve the right to a told you so after the MSNBC hit piece GUN CULTURE 2.0 airs in the not too distant future. I suspect the sentiment “I think things turned out better than we could have hoped” might prove to be presumptuous, naive, and will likely evolve to something like “Damn, what the hell was I thinking, walked right into that one, can’t believe I actually trusted that lying little bastard”.

  24. It took me a moment to realize that the guy in that picture is actually Nick! Super slim and trim.

    Good job.

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