The Rid-All Green Partnership hosted a toy gun “buyback” in Cleveland at the end of June. People who surrendered a toy gun received a $25 supermarket gift card for the parents and a “Brink City: Kids Lives Matter” comic book for the child . . .
We can sidetrack ourselves and talk about the utter futility of such gestures at preventing real violence. We can point out that you can’t buy something back if you never owned it in the first place. We can reminisce about how we played with Mattel’s Tommy Burst Detective Set or Topper’s Johnny Seven OMA without incident as kids. We can even speculate on how many parents went out and bought a cheap toy gun just to turn a tidy profit and demonstrate such efforts to be the farces they are.
But the real story is all the media attention given to what was pretty much a nothing event. Naturally, the major local TV stations all covered it.
“Police hold toy gun buyback for parents in Cleveland,” Fox 8 Cleveland reported. NBC affiliate WKYC and 19 Action News also provided reports, alerting their viewers and encouraging awareness and participation.
Curiously, in spite of what was essentially free advertising blanketing the city, people were not persuaded to attend. One after-event photo featured five applauding adults and one child. Another included perhaps a dozen adults and a couple of carried toddlers. That hardly screams “Success,” although it is reminiscent of attendance for Bloomberg’s Magical Misery Tour.
This is but one small example of how the media shapes a narrative much of the public ends up believing. Taken as a whole, it’s hardly any wonder that polls can then be produced to show “popular” sentiment reflecting the sum of what people who don’t know any better have been fed. And the media will then use that to make the case that everyone wants more “gun control.”
When citizens rely on such media to form their political opinions, that, in turn, allows for stunts like Obama’s Organizing for Action urging supporters to “Add your name to fight to make progress on gun violence prevention.” Without specifying how they intend to go about it, those who sign up are essentially giving carte blanche for whatever Intolerable Acts the administration has in mind. It allows The Washington Post to tell readers “Hillary Clinton’s push on gun control marks a shift in presidential politics,” when, in fact, making citizen disarmament noises to distract from unfolding evidence of corruption is a well-worn page from her playbook.
So an unsuccessful toy gun “buyback” was held in Cleveland. The media did everything in its power to make the event seem relevant and newsworthy — just as it will whenever an opportunity to advance a “Guns are bad” message presents itself.
Don’t look for them to bring that story to their viewers’ and readers’ attention, including why it is they do that.