Yesterday, CBS News interviewed me about bump fire and full auto rifles. Click here or make the jump to see their finished report. TTAG commentators have raised concerns about our decision to work with CBS on their report. Before I address those “don’t talk to the enemy” complaints, here’s the raw footage of CBS’ interview, shot by Dan on his iPhone . . .

First, let me say I had no illusions going in. As a former CNN editor and producer, I know how the sausage is made. While I never did a story about guns, CNN paid me to create this kind of work.

As a pro-gun rights blogger, I also knew full well that CBS’ finsihed “package” would be sensationalistic. That it would fuel the antis’ desire to ban AR-15 bump stocks and, more globally, private firearms ownership.

So why give CBS grist for their mill?

If you give the average TV news viewer a comprehension test after the 2:00 news report above, you’d be lucky to get a general statement. “Bump stocks are dangerous.” That’d be about it.

That’s because they’re not actively listening to the words spoken or the specific information provided. They’re captivated, you might even say entranced, by the images.

Look at the report’s opening: blurred-out faces of people shooting the bump fire stock-equipped rifles, presumably scraped from YouTube. They must be doing something illegal! Look at the last of the opening examples. The shooter almost loses control of the firearm.

CBS had plenty of high-quality footage of responsible people shooting bump fire-equipped guns safely (including our own Jeremy S). They chose those amateur clips to cast aspersions on both the stock and those who use it.

Again, this comes no surprise. The more imporant point: TV news is all about tone, not content.

As media scholar Marshall McLuhan taught us, TV is a cool medium. My job during the interview: present the image of a “cool” (i.e. sane) representative of the firearms community. Someone who isn’t a “gun nut.” Someone who speaks calmly and rationally about guns. And . . . that’s about it.

So I dressed well, spoke softly but emphatically, and carried a big stick. I appeared twice in the report, without appearing crazy either time. Mission accomplished.

And yes, I wanted to get TTAG’s name in front of a national audience.

While a comprehension test probably wouldn’t yield a single non-reader who remembered “the truth about guns,” it’s not entirely impossible. As you know, fence-sitters are more than welcome here. And the interview opens the door to other opportunities to spread the message of firearms freedom.

You may still think I should have given CBS a hard pass. If so, please understand that we’re in a culture war. Pro-gun spokesfolk are a target every time they stick their heads above the metaphorical parapet. But bunkering doesn’t accomplish anything.

39 Responses to Raw Video of CBS News Interview with TTAG and Underground Tactical

  1. Why the apology RF?!? You done good. I’m not going ANYWHERE. I’m in TTAG’s corner especially with the coverage of the gun company traitors in ILLINOIS! Or hey telling the truth about Remington’s R51…

    • “the truth about Remington’s R51…”
      …is that they screwed up it’s debut really badly but it works now and is still a beautiful gun.
      That wasn’t what you meant though, was it?

  2. Great jop representing! The only thing that I would have added is that it is possible to Bump Fire a semi auto rifle without the bump stock, it’s just a little harder.

    • They get no credit from me – it was as unbalanced as they felt they could get away with knowing RF had his own recording to put the lie to any blatant deception.

  3. As a former member of the same sausage-making industry, I understood the rationale for TTAG’s participating, and was glad to see “us” in the report. We need responsible portrayals in the media, and you guys did your part.

  4. T H A N K Y O U ! ! !

    Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Francis Scott Key, Rocky, got nothin on ya ! : )

    Thank you for standing up for all of us.

    Sincerely.

  5. Not giving the interview would have been the mistake. You did the right thing, and presented the facts as they are.

    Pivoting briefly to the MSM – the greatest mistake we make collectively is allowing the left to frame, dismiss, and even excuse horrific criminal violence, as so called ‘gun violence’.

  6. Should it be said RF has brass balls the size of TEXAS! LOL
    To walk into a known slanted environment and point thousands to the truth about guns in a round about way makes huge sense. Many won’t bother but those that do will start down that road towards truth.

  7. You did well. In these circumstances, it was much better to have someone knowledgeable illustrate the device. Your statement “It’s not practical” was also appropriate.

    I do have one small criticism. Media is about generating revenue, first and foremost. I’ve loathed Carter Evans, ever since he covered the loss of a hotshot crew. He asked the freshly widowed wife “So, what do you think was going through your husband’s mind, as he burned alive?”

  8. It’s nice to see the unedited video. Always a smart idea to do that and protect yourself in case they try and portray you differently. Great job, and keep up the good work!

  9. It’s a blog that needs ad revenue. You’re going to capitalize on tragedy, and won’t say “no” to a TV interview. It is what it is, even if it sucks.

  10. Smart enough to record everything on your side. Good.

    I’m sure in your previous occupation you knew some interviewers who had a cheshire grin on their face when they realized the people they were interviewing weren’t recording. Makes it easier to spin and twist things that way.

  11. Former CNN producer, huh? That explains why you were so… precise in your choice of words. I was impressed.

    My Dad used to be the CEO of a media conglomerate (including TV), and I worked with him some there, so I know how dangerous it is to play around in TV land.

    You played a dangerous game, one I normally would adjure people not to play, but you did it well. Bravo.

  12. Respect, you did the right thing in sounding respectable and professional versus their sensationalism. Thats the best thing for our community now (or any time) and sends a great underlying message about the community at large

    Keep up the good work

  13. Should have had a live fire demonstration with them shooting it. First the full auto, then with the slide fire with the heaviest, grittiest, longest reset possible trigger on a needlessly heavy 12+lb mall ninja tacticooled out evil looking ar15 with low powered ammo then have them film themselves fail miserably at getting it to function right.

    That way they could go from all giddy to show their viewers how easy it would be to convert your standard ar15 to a semi-full-auto-emulating-black-weapon-of-death-thingy only to be deflated and have to edit all that out, and we could giggle and your unedited version. Not like they’d be able to tell the difference, probably the first time those reporters saw an ar15 in person.

  14. Perspective and context is what is needed. Ben Shapiro is already providing a lot of that on the news regarding bans and existing laws.

    The key message is defending the positive and life saving utility of firearms that we know but the news doesn’t report. The NRA needs to stand by DGU stats.

    For example, a simple reality check on what is considered an acceptable death toll no one is talking about: the automobile fatality stats vs. Las Vegas mass shooting….

    In 2016, US traffic deaths topped 40,000. That’s 109 deaths every day. Double the deaths in the Vegas shooting. Every. Day.

    That’s a 6% rise since 2015 and a 14% rise since 2014.

    There are many factors contributing to fatalities and the two factors most commonly cited are impairment and speeding (i.e. Mental health and rate of fire).

    Impairment, for the most part, is strictly based on user decision making (ie. choosing to drive when sleepy or drunk) and speeding is a factor of the automobile through mechanical assistance (i.e. press the pedal and the max speed depends on your engine).

    Being able to drive over 30mph is not a necessity for most people with reasonable commutes. Thousands of lives would be saved if cars couldn’t go above 30mph.

    Where is the common sense legislation limiting speed? Posted speed limits are the equivalent to gun free zones signs— they have no power over anyone that wants to speed. So why not limit the engine output? The equivalent to restricting access to fully automatic firearms in 1986.

    Meanwhile despite the order of magnitude greater death tolls of vehicle accidents in the US the there are millions of cars capable of 100+ mph speeds on roads today. These speeds have no practical application when the purpose of a car is to get you from point A to point B.

    As the Left logic suggests, fast cars should be only driven by professionals because ordinary citizens are not to be trusted.

    What’s this? You don’t agree? But what of public safety? What about emergencies where you need to drive fast? Surely that is justified.

    Sound familiar? The difference being I don’t recall how many muggings, home invasions, rapes, and crimes cars have stopped. The utility for public and personal safety isn’t there for automobiles. Not even close to that of firearms.

    But 50 dead and 500 people injured is apparently too much. Who cares about 40,000 every year. I can tell you who cares. Tyrants. Guns, not cars are what is stopping the tyrants from truly taking power.

    We know it, they know it.

    • “Being able to drive over 30mph is not a necessity for most people people (b)people(/b) [b]people[/b] [B]people[/B] with reasonable commutes. Thousands of lives would be saved if cars couldn’t go above 30mph.”

      In your opinion a reasonable commute doesn’t include any rural or highway driving? Wow, don’t you ever get out of the city? You should try it sometime – but if you do, please drive faster than 30 mph!

      On second thought, maybe you should just stay there…and stop making sweeping suggestions that only work for a subset of the population. (We have enough Democrats doing that already.)

  15. Congrats! I just saw video, no audio (see how easy that was for them), from the demo 3 times here in Hell Paso. All were tied to stories about how dangerous pieces of plastic are and that the weapons they are used on should be banned.
    Good job providing new “stock” video to the enemy!

  16. ” I appeared twice in the report, without appearing crazy either time.”

    I could *really* have some fun with that…

    But I won’t.

    😉

  17. Nice work, RF. As we’ve seen countless times, you can’t please everyone. I appreciate what you tried to do with the interview, despite CBS showing bumpfire douchebaggery. You guys are on the right track.

  18. My only issue was the inclusion of suppressors. Why the hell would you even bring those? To give them more ammo against us?

  19. First off I understand what you were trying to attempt by doing a pro-gun interview with CBs. However you have to lay down ground rules and I didn’t see anything of them showing the difference between the rate of fire between a bump fire stock and a full auto. That would have showed the difference without all that lip-flapping. I guess I do understand what you were trying to attempt, however you should have just passed. Nothing good will ever come from the liberal media even when talking with pro gun owners and enthusiasts. Words to live by.

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