Monday, April 13, 2009

"If I Only Had a Propaganda Machine"

On Friday, ABC aired "If I Only Had a Gun" which turned out to be a carefully contrived fiction posing as a documentary. At the outset, media personality Diane Sawyer looks through the camera into the eyes of America and says this program is not about gun control.

After the disavowal, she and her cohorts spend the rest of the hour building their case against guns. The first segment engages in an alleged experiment to demonstrate that the average person with a gun is too clutzy to use it to defend him/herself -- or even to draw it out of the holster.

With this objective, the police created a scenario in which a shooter would enter a firearm instruction classroom and begin peppering the classroom with paint-filled bullets. One student was armed with a gun also loaded with paint markers. The student, however was unaware of the planned scenario.

Now, granted that in an emergency, adrenaline can affect fine muscle control. Fine. But that's not what ABC was testing.

Instead, ABC (with the aid of the Bethlehem, PA police dept.) made sure that each subject wore protective gear, including heavy gloves to reduce tactile feedback as well as manual dexterity. As a result, every subject in the experiment experienced difficulty getting the weapon into action.

The network also used the segment to show that arenaline induced "tunnel vision" caused subjects to endanger fellow students and to ignore a second shooter. But rather than risk that some of the subjects might not experience tunnel vision, ABC and the police went for assured results by making sure everyone had on a "protective helmet" to block peripheral vision.

As if these drawbacks were not enough, they put each test subject in the center of the front row, and the shooter knew the exact location of this single armed student.

Thus, to prove a point, "the family network" contrived to guarantee failure for each participant in its first segment. The professionally crafted message comes across loud and clear: If you have a gun, you will never be able to access it in an emergency.

The second segment is an interesting counterpoint to the first. The message is that your gun needs to be locked up to protect your children. That will pretty much guarantees that you won't be able to access it in an emergency, doesn't it?

The real issue with youngsters and guns is that if your children don't obey you about anything else, why would they heed your instructions about firearms? The real need here is not to lock up firearms, but to properly train children to obey. (See my book, Rearing Faithful Children.)

I could go on, but I'll leave something for you to comment on, if you wish. Also, if you wish, you can watch the first part of ABC's propaganda piece, below.


Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Ha...I was going to blog this but haven't yet. I watched it too...disgusting. Do you read There's a funny thread on it going on right now....


Stephen Boyd said...

That's disgusting!

You can see Massad Ayoob's review here:

Gravelbelly said...

Thanks to both of you for your comments & support.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Gotta love Massad Ayoob....

Blogging this....