Smallest Minority has a very good piece up about re-normalizing the gun culture. I highly suggest you read it.
Part of the article addresses the new Discovery Channel show Sons of Guns and the portrayal of guns and gun owners within that show. That spurred me to action and I sent this letter to the producers of the show:
I am very glad to see positive use of firearms on mainstream TV channels; thank you for making this show possible. The thing I wanted to address are the potential pitfalls of ‘minimizing’ the ATF regulations regarding Type II firearms (short barrel shotguns, suppressors, full auto, etc.) I realize the show is for general consumption and has to be palatable for every viewer. Furthermore, I know one episode does show a purchaser being turned away for not having the proper paperwork. I don’t mean to bog the show down with showing boring regulations but the simple change from the opening disclaimer of “Don’t try this at home” to “Certain guns shown in this program require specific federal paperwork to possess; owning them or making them without the appropriate license is a felony.” would help to protect the viewers of the show from running afoul of federal regulations. It may also serve as a liability buffer for the producers and disarm any anti-gun arguments that may use the show to distort the availability of such ‘exotic’ firearms. Thank you very much for your time; keep up the good work.
Maybe they will think about it. I like the show for what it is: entertainment. On one level it may even serve to demystify some of the more unusual firearms by showing that they are actually a lot of fun to shoot. It’s a darn sight better than a lot of ‘build shows’ (choppers, houses, junk re-purposing, etc.) and hasn’t any contrived interpersonal conflicts (so far). The folks on the show are people I actually wouldn’t mind meeting someday. [Note to producers: PLEASE don’t wreck the show.]
With regard to firearms, we are living in good times. Overall firearm quality and selection is better than ever. Great gains have been made with such landmark legal decisions as the Heller and McDonald cases. Anti-rights organizations such as the Brady Campaign and other similar groups [MSNBC?, CNN? :grin:] have lost members, funding and influence. Shall issue concealed carry has advanced so much in the last 20 years as to be commonplace in most of the United States. Multiple firearm oriented programs (not just hunting shows) are on television. On Sundays you can listen to the nationwide broadcast of Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio program (or podcast it free anytime). In Houston, talk radio stations play commercials for Cheaper Than Dirt, Crimson Trace lasers, gun shows and indoor shooting ranges. Even the city’s own traffic billboards inform drivers on how to get to the larger gun shows. (I meant to get a picture of that last weekend.)
All of this is to say that these are indeed good times. If we stay the path of vigilance and education with regard to our Second Amendment rights while promoting the safe enjoyment of the shooting sports and remain active in the legislative process, things will only get better.