In its latest study, the Media Research Center (MRC) confirmed
what the gun-rights community already knows -- when it comes to firearm-related
stores, the news coverage on the national networks, ABC, CBS, CNN and
NBC is decidedly anti-gun. Licensed to use the public airwaves, these
media giants are flagrantly promoting an anti-rights agenda.
The MRC study, which examined stores from July 1, l997, to June 30, 1999,
covered 653 morning and evening news stores, and found that:
Stories promoting control outnumbered those opposing gun control 357 to
36, with another 260 stories giving neutral coverage. The stories advocating
gun control outpaced those opposing by a ratio of ten to one. I had
one news producer for ABC tell me once (at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas,
2005) that counting stories is not an accurate gauge of bias. She teaches
journalism in California, so she should know. I asked for her card, but
she didnt have one with her, she said.
On the evening news, nearly 60% (184) of the stories favored one side.
Of those stories taking a side, 89% (164) promoted the anti-gun-rights
position, while only 11% (20) supported a pro-rights views, a ratio of
eight to one against. The worst in this category were ABCs World
News Tonight (43 anti to 3 pro), and CNNs The World Today (50 to
7 against). Media pundits continue to say there is no bias evident.
Anti-gun sound bites were used twice as often as pro-gun sound bites --
412 to 209. Media pundits continue to say there is no bias evident.
Morning programs with interview segments had more than twice as many anti-gun-rights
guests as pro-rights guests -- 82 to 37. Media pundits continue to say
there is no bias evident.
Pro-gun themes, like the decline in federal gun prosecutions under the
Clinton-Gore Administration, or the success of the Project Exile
prosecution model, received scant coverage, in the single digits, from
the 653 stores reviewed. Media pundits continue to say there is no bias
This is the second analysis of this subject conducted by the MRC. In 1994,
MRC released a study that examined evening news programs on ABC, CBS,
CNN, and NBC, that time focusing on the period of December 1, 1991, to
November 30, 1993. MRC researchers found that of 107 stories examined,
62% devoted substantially more time to anti-gun-rights arguments than
pro-rights, that news commentators who endorsed restrictive gun control
outnumbered those opposed by nearly 2 to 1, and the anti-gun-rights bias
was even more distinct when the story concerned the Brady bill, expanding
to 3 to 1 against the pro-rights view.
While media pundits continue to insist publicly that there is no bias
evident, MRC conducted the second study. Smart money says it wont
change the pundits view. But gun owners, and anyone who watches national
TV, knows the truth -- the media is overwhleming biased against your freedom
to keep and bear arms. They continually attack those freedoms, and any
ethical sense of balance, which they loudly and often proclaim, is nowhere
to be found. Stories on the good side of guns are virtually non-existent.
Self defense stories are virtually unheard of on national news.
The best book on this subject, with exhaustive research presented, is
The Bias Against Guns, by John Lott Jr., Ph.D.
For example, John Lott reports that in 2001, USA Today ran 5,660 words
on gun crimes and zero words on defensive gun uses (DGUs); The New York
Times ran 50,745 words about gun crime and a single 163-word story about
an off-duty police officer who used his gun to prevent a crime; The Washington
Post in that time period balanced its 46,884 words on gun crime with 2
percent, or 953 words, on defensive use. The three networks combined (ABC,
CBS, NBC) ran 190,000 words on gun crime and not a single word on self
How does that compare with overall firearms use? The scope of benign,
if not outright beneficial use of firearms can be gleaned to some degree
from the quantity of ammunition used by consumers.
According to Rick Patterson, Executive Director of SAAMI, the Sporting
Arms Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, exact breakouts are prohibited
by restraint-of-trade laws, thus concealing market share and other industry-sensitive
numbers. This is confirmed by researchers at the NRA.
Estimates of the gross totals of ammunition in the market, however, are
available from a number of sources and are huge. Between 4.73 billion
and 9 billion rounds of ammunition have entered the U.S. market annually
in recent years.
For 2002, the SAAMI statistics for consumer ammunition are:
1.112 billion shotshells
2.107 billion rimfire
0.659 billion centerfire pistol
0.248 billion centerfire rifle
0.600 billion primers (used for consumer-reloaded ammunition)
4.726 billion total
Imported ammunition is not included in the totals, and are estimated between
a half billion and one-and-a-half billion rounds per year.
In other words, conservatively, 99.988 percent of all ammunition available
annually in the U.S. goes to non-criminal purpose. Americans consume vast
quantities of ammunition, almost all of which is benign. You sure dont
get a sense of that from any mainstream news media. Media pundits continue
to say there is no bias evident.
From the official journalism code of ethics:
The duty of the journalist is ...
seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events
Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience
even when it is unpopular to do so.
Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.