“Tonight is not whether people should or should not own guns,” Sawyer insisted.
ABC’s Diane Sawyer and David Muir joined forces Friday night for their 20/20 special, Young Guns, traveling to neighborhoods in which guns are a presence in the home in their effort to characterize guns as threats to children, rather than tools of self-defense. As you’ll see, the producers’ anti-gun agenda was apparent from the start.
First, the journalists conducted a little experiment to discover the obvious: kids like playing with guns. ABC rounded up 44 children who had been taught not to touch guns in a classroom in St. Petersburg, FL. Then, producers hid real guns in the classroom along with play toys to see how the children would react to them. Unsurprisingly, the children followed their curiosity more than their elders’ cautions. Many of the students touched the guns, others pointed it up to their faces and peered down the barrels and some even aimed them at each other. Here's what one "expert" deduced:
“They can learn the knowledge, but you can’t stop curiosity.”
In one of the few instances in which the boys didn’t play with the gun, an older boy acted as the voice of reason and warned them not to touch the firearm. Perhaps not satisfied with the results, ABC producers decided to remove the 10-year-old from the classroom – clearly setting the younger boys up for failure. Sure enough, as soon as the older boy left, the two younger boys grabbed the gun and played with it. ABC used these instances to scare parents and try to prove firearms in the home are merely death wishes.
ABC may have insisted it was not trying to pick a side, but the network seemed to let their interviewees say what they desperately wanted to. Consider this exchange ABC’s cameras caught between one mother and her son:
“And we don’t be around people that have guns,” the mother said.
By choosing to include this dialogue in the 20/20 special, ABC seemed to be toying people’s emotions to further their anti-gun agenda.
But, the network wasn’t through. It then featured gun owners who believe putting guns in children’s hands is the best way to avoid tragedy. They showed footage of children younger than 10 at shooting practice as their parents watched.
“It takes away the mystery, it takes away the curiosity,” declared one father.
Yet, ABC still found a dad whose son was tragically shot and killed by a firearm, even after being around guns his whole, young life.
These stories are tragic. But, some statistics ABC left out are the instances in which guns actually saved lives. Here are some numbers Gun Owners of America provided in 2008, proving that a gun in the home can be the key to protecting one’s family:
Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his/her attacker.
Was ABC interested in sharing those facts? Hardly. But, my arguments pale in comparison to the bold Dana Loesch, who produced a rebuttal video for The Blaze TV explaining that accidental shootings in the home is not an “epidemic.”
In the video, which she posted on Twitter, the gun owning radio host provides some hard-to-argue-with statistics: Out of 90 million gun owners and 40 million children, the CDC reports that in 2003, for instance, 28 children were killed accidentally by a gun. Some of the real dangers? How about pools, which caused 602 child deaths in 2010? Or abuse and neglect, both which accounted for a staggering 1,500 child deaths in 2012. When, Loesch asks, is Diane Sawyer going to air a special on that?:
"If the purpose is to save children's lives, the most beneficial question, the most obvious one, would be to ask your neighbor if they own a pool."
Check out more of Loesch’s Young Guns rebuttal here:
Loesch’s gun knowledge didn't fit the story ABC wanted to tell, however, as they painted gun owning parents as irresponsible and firearms as unnecessary dangers.
But remember, ABC’s not trying to judge whether people should or should not own guns.