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A few weeks ago, NBC’s Ronan Farrow called RF for some insight into Guns 2.0 (a term Ronan borrowed from RF). TTAG’s jefe and former CNN Producer quickly set Ronan in the right direction (so to speak). He told the NBC reporter to call me to arrange a Young Guns shoot at the Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill (home of the Texas Firearms Festival). And so Tyler and I appeared on a segment aiming to “uncover” the new face of gun ownership. We thought it went well. Do you think the segment played it down the middle, as it aired this morning at 7:45 AM, or was it more of the same anti-gun condescension?

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  1. I happened to catch this on TV this morning, purely by accident (was about to change the channel to Curious George on PBS for the kiddos).

    Overall, I thought it was a very good piece, and well done. The comments by the gun-enthusiast participants came across as intelligent and thoughtful.

    The only real room for improvement I saw was that it would have been nice to hear more about a renewed passion for the Constitutional issues of freedom associate with the hobby of shooting, and less about video games as a gateway to guns.

    And Matt Lauer’s follow-up questions to Ronin Farrow were a bit obnoxious, but perhaps that’s be be expected.

      • I don’t think it was “…more of the same anti-gun condescension…”; I think it was new-age, kinda-edgy-for-parents-of-the-new-generation condescension.

        I agree that the participants came across as intelligent and well-spoken, but Lauer and Farrow made sure to properly (for anti-gunners) “set the scene” before the piece, and also made sure the wrap-up included some parting shots as well. Examples:

        0:28 — Farrow: “…this past few weeks have just reminded us again and again of the devestating toll of gun violence…”
        (those darn guns, running around shooting people all on their own, again…)

        4:08 — Farrow: “As you saw, these young people acknowledge the dangers of gun violence, but Matt, they are passionate about their beliefs…”
        (more “gun violence” boogeyman talk)

        4:18 — Lauer: “…but are they looking at this from the constitutional side or the coolness side…”
        (because, you know, those are the only two reasons a person would want to own/shoot a gun, and we can easily redicule both of those…)

        4:30 — Farrow: “The thing is, with the amount of gun violence in this country, it is inevitibly political, they have these issues to contend with, even if they love their hobby for other reasons.”
        (gun ownership is dismissed as just a hobby, instead of a constitutional right)

        Sorry, if anyone thinks of this as a “win”, I would strongly disagree, and say we should pass-up any more efforts of this type and concentrate on getting the word out through the New Media, where many/most of this generation get their news and opinion.

        • Agreed. KJW did a great job with her sound bite. I bet Nick mentioned Constitututional freedom, and I bet that got edited out. We can’t have impressionable young minds being influenced by facts about police response times and legitimate self defense.

    • Matt Lauer. Oh how I wish he had just stayed on his little travel channel show with Willow Bay and leave the reporting to the grown ups.

  2. How convenient that they had this thing filmed, edited, and at the ready for people to scream “gun violence” after Charleston.

    Think that’s a little too tinfoil hat for you? Leave a comment to That Effect.

    • Dear Mr. Effect,

      Yes, I do think that’s a bit too tinfoil-hat. There’s always some potentially polarizing circumstance if you look close enough.

      That said, the media does go out of its way to make sure everything that could negatively charge a conversation about gun ownership is always front and center. It’s just what they do.



  3. “One study says that the majority of gun owner are older white men” Then they go on to disprove that study, without mentioning that the study was false. Typical yellow journalists.

    • How did they disprove it? They just interviewed a few people outside of that demographic.

      • I was at the NRA convention in Nashville Tennessee. You need to get out from in front of the computer terminal. Most of the exhibitors were under 45. There were thousands of people under 30 there. Non white people were there in the thousands as will.

        Perhaps it’s the south. I’ve been to gun shows in Tennessee and Virginia and blacks and Asians are very well represented. The white liberal media likes showing a white group of young gun owners. Too bad they will not show a gun range with more black young men and women than white people, enjoying their second amendment rights as I have seen in Virginia and Maryland.

        The soft bigotry of low expectations.

      • It is clear that Lauer and Ronan were trying to marginalize the actual diversity of gun owners by belittling the millenials, especially as if their “hobby” was blind to the problem of “gun violence”.

        Someone needs to nail that term to the wall for what it is… Gang violence and the deterioration of morality in the country.

    • Not that I don’t believe you… but do you have a source for future stuffing-in-people’s-faces-across-the-internet?

    • How did he disprove the survey?
      He simply showed that among younger gun owners, not all are white guys. OFWGs could still be the majority.

      • It’s always hard to get real numbers on gun ownership.

        *Phone rings*
        “Hi there homeowner at 123 Main street, we’re conducting a survey that in no way could be either an anti-gun group, the government intruding, or just some random criminal, inquiring if you have any guns in your home.”

        How would YOU answer that question?

        • “…inquiring if you have any guns in your home.”

          How would YOU answer that question?”


          More to the point, how many Progressives-Antis when asked that question conveniently forget about the gun they have stashed “Just in case…”.

          I’ll wager Antis own a lot more guns than they’ll *ever* admit…

  4. I’m willing to bet that before Charleston, Farrow was ready to put this out in a better light, but the lead in to the segment was very skewed, and the did nothing to edit the segment in a way that addressed the questions they created.

    While I don’t think this was some kind steamrolling, I don’t think it will make people think that the younger gun owners care about their firearms for the right reasons.

    Honestly it made it sound much more like owning guns is only worthy of being addressed as a hobby that could be mostly legislated away, not an uninfringable right.

    • They did show a modern gun range with a group of young, diverse people.

      That there is a plus.

    • You can’t finish a journey in a single step. People tend to stop listening if they figure out they’re being preached to.

      • I guess I wish the chain of explanation went one step further from them, it seemed like stopped around “hobby.” The only one who went a little further was KJW, calling it a marshal art. But everyone else ended their explanations right around “fun.” I wish that someone had been able to have a word in there about personal responsibility, self reliance or respect. Something, anything, that gave the notion that the “new generation,” even though they are a new, younger, more diverse crowd, still understand the part of owning a firearm and its link to certain inalienable rights that we all possess. It didn’t have to be something in their face, like the “from my cold dead hands” clip they used to play their narrative, but it has to be known that we don’t treat firearms solely as Call of Duty: IRL.

        • I may be wrong, but i’m fine with letting the NBC audience marinate in the image of gun owners as responsible and rational without further commentary for now. But again, I could be wrong.

  5. It could have been a lot worse.

    And thank goodness Kirsten got more camera time than Nick.

    Overall, they weren’t portrayed as yahoos.

    • You mean they didn’t come across as yahoos to US, people who already know about the various facets of gun ownership and see it regularly.

      Ask some of your “guns are only good for hunting” Fudd friends/relatives what they thought of the safety aspect of that bent-over-backwards trick shot, or the fact that they were using “evil silencers” on “assault weapons”. Those things that were entertaining or simply no big deal to US because we know the culture and safety precautions that are used for that kind of stuff, comes across completely differently to many folks outside of the shooting world.

  6. Nobody yelled “Stalin took the guns! Mao took the guns!! If you try to take our guns 1776 will commence again!!!!!! wrahhharghhhahhhhhgggg”

    So I’ll have to call the segment a fail.

  7. Overall, better than expected. Obviously, the editors in New York had to work in their snark before and after, but the actual report came across pretty good.

    Best part is that almost all the weapons shown would have been utterly illegal to possess in NY. I imagine the comments in the editing suite when they were looking at the raw footage . . . . “OMG, they had SILENCERS! Aren’t those things ILLEGAL?”

    • ” “OMG, they had SILENCERS! Aren’t those things ILLEGAL?””

      I’m surprised they didn’t try to focus on the suppressors.

      Farrow’s exposure to actual suppressors may have shocked him that they don’t suppress like the Hollywood suppressors he was expecting…

  8. He mentioned the “gun violence problem in this country” several times. For that I give it a fail. Instead he should have mentioned the “perceived gun violence problem” and backed it up with a graph showing how gun violence has dramatically decreased.

    But I guess I expect too much from “professional journalists” to report just the facts.

    • I hate that euphemism “gun violence”. It was created to demonize the inanimate object so they can then work towards keeping them out of the hands of citizens.

      There is no such thing as “gun violence” (an inanimate object can’t be violent) and I think we should stop playing into their hands by using it ourselves.

  9. Bravo, Nick.

    For an NBC piece, you guys got the message out, relatively unfiltered.

    And Lauer knew it.

  10. My wife happened to be watching the Today show this morning (normally she is asleep), so I saw this as it aired in my time zone. After re-watching it now I realized I missed some of it; I was busy getting ready… and pulling myself out of the haze of sleep. Overall I think it went pretty well; Kirsten Weiss is a great spokesperson; charismatic and friendly. And, of course, since it is about entertainment, not logic, they had to layer on the controversy to make it exciting. I think, in the end, though, the gun-control commentary came off as a bit off kilter. They made it clear that people who were for gun control were only interested in the politics, while the young ‘uns with guns were mostly about enjoying life, and only tackling the politics because they’re forced to. I call that a win.

  11. Best line ever: “Karate might not save a school full of people”. Kristen came across really together and welcoming. Nick not so much.

    • That was a great response! Unfortunately it was immediately followed by the reporter saying “some may disagree”, as if a gun couldn’t stop an active shooter.

      • No…he was just implying that Jet Li could have saved a school full of people with Kung Fu.

    • Agreed that was a great response by KJW.
      Pretty darn good for on the spot but hopefully the TTAG crowd had a hotel pow-wow before the shoot for all possible Q&A.

  12. “Devastating toll of gun violence for so many” – right off the bat exaggerating to the EXTREME.

  13. It wasn’t good at all and was used to wave the bloody shirt of the Charleston shooting.

    NBC is a propaganda arm of the enemy that constantly tries to revoke your unalienable rights. They will NEVER change, so please stop acting like they will give you a fair shake!

  14. This was as good as we could have hoped for, and then some. Except for Baldy Locks trying to turn the segment into a condemnation of guns, it was played down the middle with no Demanding Moms rebuttal.

  15. Overall it was good, but the underlying theme felt like:
    “Guns are awful and we all agree that they should be banned, so why are there still people who own them?”

  16. I like that there was no segment from moms wanting illegal mayors or little mikey.
    I thought it went better than I thought it was going to.
    Great verbal judo skills on Ms. Weiss’ part. Well done young lady.
    (No pun intended)

  17. Lots of Hispanics own firearms, as do black people and white people. The study claiming that the majority is old white guys, 55 +, who own guns is patently false. The gun culture embraces all races, sexes and religions, which is why the left truly despises it. Didn’t like how they used the word “hobby” either. We, as a group, are the real majority in this country.

    • * Whites constitute over 60% of the population, and a much larger percentage of those with the wealth to buy firearms, and ability to pass a 4473.
      * The average age of an American is around 40. Additionally to legally own a gun, one must be at least 18, which skews the average gun owner’s age beyond that of the average American.

      Given all that, I’d believe that most gun owners are white men over 50.

      • Ah, but given the fact that (for most of us) guns accumulate, we did not all wait until we were >50 to buy our guns. 25-30 years from now, all the folks in the clip will be 50+, but they got into guns and shooting far earlier, just like we did. Of course, back then, it was just considered normal for most non-big-city teens/twenty-somethings.

        They kept making it sound like gun ownership was a Tea-Party old-folks-only club with just a few young upstarts testing the waters to be “cool”, instead of the multiple-phase (defense, hunting, competition, general recreation, constitutional right), lifelong path that it really is, and has been, for most of us.

    • “lots” is not equal to “most”.

      Also, gun culture overall is very inviting to everyone, sure. But it really varies on the local level.

  18. I think that Ronan guy was hoggin’ the camera. Nick and Tyler should have got more lines and closeups.

  19. now we know why Nick lost so much weight! To be on TV!

    I chide, Nick. Even if that was the case, good on ya for sticking with it. And good work showing that guns and gun owners aren’t the caricature the media makes us out to be.

  20. When they say statistics show gun ownership is in decline, does that study adjust for the millions of new illegal immigrants we now have in the population who can’t walk into a gun store and buy a gun legally?

    If they only surveyed US citizens outside of major cities where strict regulations make gun ownership difficult, I wonder if the statistics would still show the decline in gun ownership they want everyone to believe is happening.

    Anyone know if those claims have been vetted by credible researchers on our side of the issue?

    • As far as I know, they haven’t been vetted by ANYONE credible. It’s just the line the anti-gunners trot-out to minimize the hard BATFE gun manufacturing/sales statistics that show several MILLION guns are being sold in the U.S.A. every year. To repeat:

      Millions of guns sold here. Every. Single. Year.

      The only way the anti-gun/anti-gun-rights forces can minimize that stat, is to redirect or “blame” it on the OFWG gun owners, because anything else would mean that ownership is actually increasing, and that would be…horrible (from their point of view).

      Although anyone who has a range membership, teaches gun-related classes, or has tried to buy .22 ammo in the last 2 years, already KNOWS that gun ownership is at an all-time high, and is still growing by leaps and bounds.

      • The only way the anti-gun/anti-gun-rights forces can minimize that stat, is to redirect or “blame” it on the OFWG gun owners, because anything else would mean that ownership is actually increasing, and that would be…horrible
        That is the spin. If you believe the Bolsheviks, all of the OFWG households would have to be overflowing with guns by now. Of course all socialist ills in the country is the fault of OFWGs with guns due to their White Privilege by now.

  21. I thought NBC did a decent job on the video. Could it have been better? Sure. Could it have been much worse? Oh Hell yeah.

  22. Great segment and Kirsten was the perfect ambassador. I appreciate NBC covering it. Yes, they have a particular view and that came through, but it was far from a hack job. Winning.

    • Yup.

      It must infuriate the antis to have an articulate, attractive, poised young woman speaking in favor of guns.

      Come to think of it, that’s probably why there seemed to be so many comments this morning on various news sites bashing Ted Nugent (“NRA board member Ted Nugent is a pedophile!” — over and over again). They hate him, but he’s such a convenient caricature that they would hate him more if he faded from view.

      More KJW in the spotlight, please. She’s a fantastic ambassador and the antis will have a very difficult time tearing her down.

  23. I’m extremely pleased with out it turned out. Thoughtful, balanced answers from smart people.
    It’s a passion, a hobby, whatever you want to see in it and – hear hear – not necessarily evil!

    Well done.

  24. Good video presentation until Matt Lauer ruined it. His body language and glances towards someone off camera seemed like he was being coached and primed to promote an anti message that he miserably failed to deliver….

  25. They need more people of color to represent the people of the gun. I was available. Maybe they should do a follow up piece and let shannon interview me

  26. More vital and unbiased Newspeak reporting from The Ministry Of Truth in Oceania.
    This liberal documentary just plain sucked as it was couched to portray the gun culture as a bunch of fun loving gun slinging wackos in the light of all these terrible gun tragedies which require badly needed legislation.
    Anybody who thinks we won this round is delusional.
    If you cannot control the narration and editing, do not play.

  27. Ronan played it down the middle. You could tell Matt Lauer was trying to skew it towards the anti side though.

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