ABC’s Diane Sawyer Presents “Young Guns”
Last night, ABC’s “20/20” ran a full-hour special (with Diane Sawyer) titled, “Young Guns.” The premise of the show was that kids, even when they are “educated” about guns, will not follow the safety rules about guns and end up hurting themselves or other kids. The implication is that accidental deaths of children due to negligent gun owners is an epidemic. Presumably, this is offered up as justification for more stringent gun laws.
Edited to add: Link to the entire show (I can’t embed it here): Young Guns – A Diane Sawyer Special
Here we go again!
Reluctantly, I watched the show. Given the utter ignorance and bald-faced lies that are so-often displayed on these shows, I have a tendency to yell at the TV. But, I believe I should be aware of what the “other side” is thinking. Of course, I wasn’t disappointed with this episode of “20/20.” (At this time I cannot find the full episode available online.)
The laws only apply to us.
Before getting into the “debate” about the show’s premise, I think two things MUST be pointed out. First… the producers and adult participants in the show BROKE THE LAW. They placed guns within reach of children without adult supervision. I’m fairly certain all 50 states have laws regarding “negligent storage” and “child access prevention.” Whether intentional or “accidental,” any adult gun owner that does not secure guns from children is breaking the law. So, why do the producers and cooperating police officers get a “pass” on this law? (Similarly, NBC’s David Gregory got a pass for being in possession of an illegal “high capacity” magazine in Washington DC, while a citizen was recently arrested for being in possession of a SPENT shotgun shell?)
For this episode, the producers worked with local police officers (and with the consent of the parents) to put REAL GUNS within reach of children (at a school, no less) that had been recently lectured about the dangers of guns. They were “taught”: 1. Stop! 2. Don’t touch. 3. Leave the area. 4. Get an adult. Certainly good advice. Whether a 4 year-old can really understand it is another matter. The older kids in the show did get it.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot!
The police reportedly “made sure” the real guns were not loaded. And, that brings me to my second objection (after the legal issue). It doesn’t fucking matter that the guns were “verified unloaded by the police!!!” HOLY SHIT! What they did is RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT of those kids. I can’t believe the parents were SO STUPID as to trust that the police had “made sure they were unloaded.” It doesn’t matter if they are “unloaded” or not! The FIRST RULE of gun safety is, “Treat all guns as if they are loaded.” Put another way, “ALL GUNS ARE LOADED.” Period. When I say it’s the “first rule,” I mean that quite literally. The Four (CARDINAL) Rules of Gun Safety (as famously described by the late Col. Jeff Cooper) are:
- All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
- Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
- Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.
What they did at the school is actually PIQUE the young kids’ interest. They unwittingly (or not) TEASED the kids with the “forbidden” fruit. Then they cut them loose with guns.
As a parent, I would NOT let my kid participate in the experiment with REAL GUNS… even though the “police” claim they are “unloaded.” That violates Rule #1!!! It’s just CRAZY. There’s NO WAY would I trust the police or the producers promise to use “unloaded” REAL guns.
As a long-time gun owner and a newly-minted NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, I literally physically cringed when I saw those kids pointing the guns at themselves and other kids with their fingers on the trigger. Again, what the producers, police, and parents did was utterly reckless. ALL GUNS ARE LOADED! How on Earth could you let those kids do that with REAL guns?? And, you did this to “prove” that WE (the people) are not to be trusted with guns? Are you fucking kidding me?? YOU (the police and TV producers) are the ones that can’t be trusted with guns. It made me SICK!
Pardon the coarse language. I was in the Navy. 🙂 And, I have strong opinions about this.
OMG! OMG! We’ve gotta do something!
Now, on to vetting the underlying message of the show. They imply that accidental gun deaths among children is epidemic. The truth is quite the contrary. The accidental gun death rate among children has been consistently dropping year after year… despite a HUGE increase in gun sales and ownership. The statistics often quoted to support their argument of “for the children” includes “children” up to the age of 18 and even into their 20s in some “studies.” And, the vast majority of “gun deaths among children” include gang-bangers killing each other and drug deals “gone wrong.” The true number of children accidentally hurt or killed with improperly stored guns is very low.
There was a brief segment of the show that featured a gun-owning family that practiced proper education and safety.
Really. We’ve got to do something! Even if it’s the wrong thing.
In the end, 20/20 was simply perpetuating the “gun control” agenda to frighten the “sheeple” and unconstitutionally disarm Americans. They broke the law and put the children they purport to protect at an INSANE risk for injury. Putting real guns in the hands of those unsupervised kids to make their point truly sickened me.
I’m obviously an advocate for the many benefits of gun ownership and our Constitutional Rights. I am also an advocate for practicing gun safety in an intelligent way, just as we should teach our children pool safety, fire safety, “stranger danger,” and running with scissors. It’s not rocket science. Keep your guns safely locked away from children and any other unauthorized person. LOCKED AWAY. You CAN lock them up AND have them ready to go for self-defense. There are a number of quick-access safes on the market.
The current administration, anti-liberty factions, and “gun grabbers” recently discarded “gun control” for another label, “gun safety.” They fully intend to pursue the same nefarious agenda to disarm Americans by changing the name (much the same as “global warming”). They are now the self-designated arbiters of “gun safety.” While that notion is a JOKE, it’s a clever change of names. Who, in their right mind, would be opposed to “GUN SAFETY?” What kind of knuckle-dragging low-life would argue against new laws for “GUN SAFETY?”
Nothing personal, but…
One of the more preposterous suggestions in the show was to “ask your neighbors if they have guns.” Sure… why don’t you ask them about their income, who they voted for, and where they keep their expensive jewelry while you’re at it? Knowing the demographics of my neighborhood, it is extremely unlikely any of them would knock on my door and ask such a question. But, I’ll just say that if any did, they would not likely feel welcome to “come-a-callin'” ever again.
Stupid is as stupid does.
The problem is that these folks know NOTHING about guns or gun safety. They repeatedly double-down on their stupidity when speaking publicly about guns and safety. To wit… a recent public appearance by California State Sen. Kevin de Leon, (not pictured) in which he babbled on and on with GIBBERISH about “ghost guns.” The dude has NO CLUE what he’s talking about. Even the police chief behind him can be seen rolling his eyes. But, hey… it’s folks like Kevin de Leon and Diane Feinstein writing “gun safety” legislation. If you have even a modicum of knowledge about guns, I promise you will find the senator’s comments amusing and shockingly stupid at the same time. Watch the video at the bottom of the linked article.
Go to the real experts.
If you want to learn about gun safety, go to the REAL EXPERTS. Find a firearms instructor (not necessarily a police officer). And, now “I is one!” Take a course. You can also use the vast resources of the NRA. THEY are the experts on ACTUAL Gun Safety. Stay safe and “keep your powder dry.”