Former National Public Radio (NPR) CEO Ken Stern suggests the liberal media’s coverage of the Second Amendment proves they do not understand guns.
He said these things after taking a year away from the Democrat circles in which he once ran, and embedding himself with NASCAR fans, Tea Party members, collegiate evangelicals, and gun owners.
Writing in the New York Post, Stern said, “I found an America far different from the one depicted in the press and imagined by presidents (“cling to guns or religion”) and presidential candidates (“basket of deplorables”) alike.” He even undertook a hunting trip near Gonzalez, Texas, which was “[his] first time with a gun.” He joined with hunters who had traveled in from Georgia and others from Houston, Texas, all of whom were there to shoot wild pigs.
After a full day of hunting, Stern observed, “None of my new hunting partners fit the lazy caricature of the angry NRA member. Rather, they saw guns as both a shared sport and as a necessary means to protect their families during uncertain times. In truth, the only one who was even modestly angry was me, and that only had to do with my terrible ineptness as a hunter.”
Stern spent time in Pikeville, Kentucky—another gun-loving part of the country—and in Youngstown, Ohio. Both trips allowed him to see Americans struggling to make ends meet, Americans “who felt that their concerns had long fallen on deaf ears and were looking for every opportunity to protest a government and political and media establishment that had left them behind.”
He stressed that he not only spent time with these Americans but tried to see the world as they did as well. The divide between gun rights versus gun control was a vehicle for doing that, and he quickly noted that the “media is obsessed with the gun-control side and gives only scant, mostly negative, recognition to the gun-rights sides.”
Take for instance the issue of the legitimate defensive gun use (DGUs), which is often dismissed by the media as myth. But DGUs happen all the time—200 times a day, according to the Department of Justice, or 5,000 times a day according to an overly exuberant Florida State University study. But whichever study you choose to believe, DGUs happen frequently and give credence to my hunting friends who see their guns as the last line of defense for themselves and their families.
It should be noted that the Florida State University study was conducted by criminologist Gary Kleck, whose DGUs findings first entered the public discussion in the early 1990s. Through academic research he was able to estimate a minimum of 760,000 DGUs a year or roughly 2,082 a day. That is the low end, the bare minimum number of DGUs annually. On February 19, 2015, Breitbart News reported that Kleck reaffirmed these figures and made clear that his work has yet to be disproved by empirical research.
The defensive benefit provided by firearms is held sacrosanct by the common man, but it is completely overlooked by the liberal media. Stern noted this and suggested that liberals do not report DGUs because such stories “don’t reflect their interests and beliefs.”
Stern’s experiences with American gun owners and others are presented in depth in his upcoming book, Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.