After the Midnight Movie Massacre in Aurora, Groupon announced they would no longer accept advertisers providing firearms training. (Much to the chagrin of Armed Response). As you may already know, Google AdWords and Google Shopping have a no-firearms policy. As does Bing’s shopping search engine. You never see a firearms-related products advertised in the main TV networks or a general interest magazine. Some companies providing public wireless service block firearms websites (e.g. the hospital tending Dan’s mother in St. Louis). Make no mistake: the gun rights fight is a multi-front, multi-national culture war.
We’ve reported on the effort by UK Animal Aid to put age-restrictions on the hunting magazines such as Shooting Times and The Field. Earlier this week, in a piece entitled Gun porn: Put shooting magazines on the top shelf where they belong, Dr Victoria Martindale added her voice to the protest and let loose the politically correct dogs of war:
Do we really want to encourage more children to develop traits lacking in empathy, absence of compassion and acts of remorseless cruelty?
The whole idea is just about as macabre as blood sports get. Where is our sense of responsibility to protect against the unhealthy and damaging effects these graphic violent depictions have on vulnerable and impressionable young minds? Why are we endorsing acts of brutality and bloodshed to children? Desensitising them to such aggressive deeds and teaching them that this kind of behaviour is a valid and acceptable response in life?
Two of the UK’s biggest mobile network providers have already taken a stand and block access to shooting websites for under 18s stating their content as “inappropriate”. Why then are we still selling this same “inappropriate” content to children in magazines?
Whoa. UK cell phone companies block access to shooting websites for under 18’s? First, how do they do that? Do mobile phones have a hidden under18detectinator? Second, why do they do that? What idiot decided that it’s OK for kids to shoot bad guys but not Bambi (i.e. pheasants, grouse and such)?
Speaking of hidden devices that recognize the user—and grousing—did anyone notice that James Bond’s new Walther PPK is “coded to his palm print” (1:09)? Hello? What if Bond’s hand was covered in blood? (What are the odds, right?) Or the gun got wet. Or the battery failed?
Or what it 007 wanted to toss his [now thankfully German-made again] Walther to Séverine? Not the most beautiful Bond girl by any stretch of the imagination, a woman who clearly and mistakenly believes that if a little trigger finger is good the whole damn digit is better, a panda-eyed protagonist who could well be right-handed and left-eye dominant, but still.
Censorship and political correctness. Yes, even in a Bond movie. Once again, we’re looking at the poison fruits of utopianism. The anti-gun “Nanny Knows Best” Powers That Be believe they can create a perfect world by . . . Hang on. Do the techniques of gun control really matter?
Every time elitists call the shots (so to speak) gun rights get kicked to the curb. Why wouldn’t they? A citizen with a gun is in control of his own destiny. Not absolutely; no man is an island. But symbolically—and then some. Anyone who thinks that individual gun rights don’t protect against genocide simply isn’t paying attention.
Fortunately, the media gatekeepers who offer aid and comfort to the anti-gun elitists are fighting an increasingly desperate rearguard action. As Marshall McLuhan theorized, as witnessed by the fact that I can immediate locate and share this clip from Annie Hall, the medium is the message. The ‘net destroys the elite’s ability to control the idea of gun control.
And yet gun rights haven’t gone mainstream.
The gun rights idea—that citizens owning and carrying guns is normal, natural, desirable and acceptable—is easily available through pro-gun websites, blogs and forums. It’s propagated by cable TV channels and specialist magazines (still banned in gun-averse locales and losing circulation to the ‘net). But it remains at the margins of the mainstream media.
Gun rights’ popularity remains largely geographic, based on a pre-existing gun culture. (Eroded in those areas where gun grabbers rolled back rights.) The media gatekeepers still exist and still actively exclude gun makers from access to their audience.
Working from the principle that culture eats strategy for lunch, this the battleground for the hearts and minds of Americans that will secure our gun rights. The courts are key to upending the unconstitutional laws that deprive Americans of the right to keep and bear arms. Realistically, practically, politically, the court of public opinion trumps all.
While I’d love to take on the mainstream media by attempting to place an ad for TTAG on say, CBS primetime, or within the pages of the Chicago Tribune, I don’t have the money to buy the time/space or fight the inevitable First Amendment legal battle. But I know someone who does . . .
Ruger is on a roll. They’re selling guns like Adeline Mocke sells the idea of procreation. My point exactly: Ruger needs to sell the idea of guns. To people who don’t own them. Not only will an ad aimed at gun virgins bring in more business (should Ruger find a way to build firearms faster) it would also bond the newbies to the brand. For life.
A single Ruger ad campaign placed in the mainstream media would do more for defending and extending our gun rights than TTAG’s 9,489 posts. The creative possibilities are endless (and don’t include the ad above, which reminds me of nothing so much as 70 porn movies’ pre-action acting). How about “Your rights. Your Ruger.”?
Lest we forget, Ruger has a karmic debt to pay. Bill Ruger’s gun control efforts—pro-waiting period and magazine capacity limitations—are a significant stain on the company’s history. Pro-gun national ads would go a long way to right that wrong. Right?
At the end of the proverbial day, to quote Andrew Wilkow (of all people) the pro-gun rights argument can not be broken. The fight for our gun rights is the fight to be heard. TTAG is doing its part. I implore Ruger to continue doing theirs by taking the gun rights movement into the mainstream media, where it belongs.