“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
This quote from George Orwell’s dystopian science fiction novel 1984 is very telling, terrifying … and true. Just look around at the amount of deception, misleading terminology and manipulation of recorded history (all major concerns directly from the book, by the way) that’s happening all around us. And most often at the heart of all this Orwellian disruption is a group with a whole lot of power: the media (or, might I clarify, the anti-gun media).
Media Bias Against Gun Owners
If you don’t think that the media is biased against you, the gun owner, look at some statistics provided by the Media Research Center. Its two-year study concluded that television reporters are overwhelmingly opposed to the Second Amendment. For broadcasts from major news networks from July 1, 1995, to June 30, 1997, covering 244 gun-policy stories, the ratio of anti-gun to pro-gun bias was 16:1. Anti-gun spokespeople were also given three times the number of sound bites than pro-gun spokespeople. And that information was from the late ‘90s! I certainly don’t expect that it’s gotten any better in the last 20+ years.
The media clearly doesn’t want anyone to support guns … or even have guns. So they make sure to treat guns as negative things and share overwhelmingly negative stories. That’s how they are reshaping minds all around us.
Of course, this bias has contributed to the declining trust most Americans have in the mainstream media. A 2018 poll from Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that 69 percent of U.S. adults say their trust in the news media has decreased in the past decade. And when people were asked why they no longer trust the media, about 45 percent referred to things like bias, inaccuracy and “fake news.” A general lack of credibility and the concern that reports are “based on opinions or emotions” are two other reasons. And about 10 percent of those surveyed also mentioned sensationalism, “clickbait” and hype as negative factors.
Interestingly, twice as many young adults (ages 18 to 34) as older respondents said that politically focused coverage or partisan bias was a major factor in their lack of trust. It’s too bad that it’s not a major factor for their lack of media consumption too. After all, watching these stations continues to give them support, and continued support just gives them more power.
The frightening amount of power the media attempts to wield is one reason I have been on a “media fast” for more than two decades. I don’t watch the news — local or national. I haven’t caught a TV show on FOX or CNN since the early ‘90s. And even though I am technically a “communications professional,” I have barely touched a newspaper since, oddly enough, around 1984 (when it was extra credit to bring clippings of interesting events and happenings to class).
Why all the intentional avoidance? The media is corrupt. And, unfortunately, most people are rather naïve about the underhanded operations of mass media, the personal agendas of writers and producers, and the ultimate consequences to society of what these “powers that be” decide to portray. Just consider the media’s stance on responsible gun ownership. First of all, they wouldn’t even use the word “responsible.” And they would likely change “gun ownership” to “gun obsession” or just go straight to the overused (and completely misused) “gun violence.”
I don’t know about you, but if I want to find out about something nowadays, I do research. I avoid the mainstream. I try to seek out factual, reputable sources, and I look at a variety of different sides and options. And, honestly, I would suggest that you do the same. Don’t give the corrupt more power.
About Beth Alcazar
Author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals, associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and creator of the Pacifiers & Peacemakers column, Beth Alcazar has enjoyed nearly two decades of teaching and working in the firearms industry. She holds degrees in language arts, education and communication management and uses her experience and enthusiasm to share safe and responsible firearms ownership and usage with others. Beth is certified through the NRA as a Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer and Certified Instructor for multiple disciplines. She is also a Certified Instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.