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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As gun owners, gun enthusiasts, hunters of game and shooters of ferocious paper targets, we have a public relations problem. You all know about it: It's been around for years - Certain liberal elements contend that guns (not people) are the root of all crime; that gun accidents kill too many people; that gun owners themselves are knuckle-dragging Neanderthals just looking for a chance to shoot someone or to migrate to Idaho and form a commune dedicated to the extinction of those with whom we disagree (which is everybody but us).

Many of us on this Forum and elsewhere have tried to counter this propaganda and mindset through education. First, we try to educate those closest to us: our families. Then we reach out to friends, trying to convey the fun of shooting sports whether competing against other or seeking self-improvement by competing against ourselves.

Most of us have, at one time or another, taken family members to shooting ranges. Some have invited friends and neighbors to the ranges, given them instructions in safety and then let them shoot up our ammunition. Sometimes we change minds, sometimes we only soften attitudes and I'm sure there are times we fail - but we keep trying to spread the word.

Many here and elsewhere have hailed the advent of "reality" TV shows dedicated to shooting sports but I think it's time we stepped back a bit and asked ourselves "Do these shows really advance a pro-gun agenda? Or is their agenda quite the opposite?"

Now, I know some facets of these shows are enjoyable (but, PLEASE, let's not get into another discussion about the babes). We can enjoy them because we know their content is out of the norm, much like the staged content of "Survivor", "Pawn Stars" pr a dozen other reality shows. It is like watching a Dirty Harry movie: we know it's an over-the-top portrayal of law enforcement but we willingly suspend our disbelief in favor of the entertainment value.

But suppose you are someone with an anti-gun mindset, coming upon these "gun reality" shows while clicking through channels. What do you see and what conclusions might you draw?

"Top Shot" shows you someone bound to a spinning wheel while shooting an automatic pistol at things that explode when hit. Or it shows you someone deliberately firing a revolver held upside down; or someone running a gauntlet of paintballs while shooting at targets. And, if you didn't know, much of what you see exists only because of clever editing.

"Sons Of Guns" is best summed up by a sound bite used to promote the show: the owner (and star) saying, "I wanna build something stupid." And each week they do build something stupid - something with no realistic use to law enforcement, the military or anyone else, then take it out to a range or a junkyard rigged with reactive exploding targets so they can blow things up.

"American Guns" offers valuable lessons in screwing over customers (who aren't really screwed over because they're shills hired by the shows producers) as well as illustrating the boob job you don't want your wife or girlfriend to get. Again, no matter what the scam-of-the-week, at the end of the show the dysfunctional family displays togetherness by going to a rigged range and blowing things sky-high.

To paraphase Dirty Harry, "You gotta ask yourself: are these shows pro-gun or do they really have an anti-gun agenda? Well, which is it, punk?"
 

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Very good question, especially when one has to consider how liberal Bollywood is and injecting their own brand of liberism into the mix.

Its all about entertainment and even more so when they can put it up the woozoos of the Conservatives and other " fringe elements".

But people eat it up like candy though.
 

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illustrating the boob job you don't want your wife or girlfriend to get.
Not to mention daughter.
Really thought other than Top Shot these shows do not show gun owners in a good light. But the liberals of the liberals will hate them because it shows people enjoying guns. I give Top Shot a pass because the contestants are smart, good sports, and unlike so much reality T.V. not drama hounds. I also think for the most part Top Shot is about doing cool things with cool guns by people who know how to safely and expertly.
 

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I agree those shows have an underlying message to the non gun owing public that says this is what people that own guns are like. Reality shows operate on the premise that outrageous actions, outrageous behavior, and outrageous appearance, is the norm and that is cool; be it cooking, fashion design, shooting sports, or jungle survival. The public not only can not get enough of these shows, they try and emulate the people and behavior they see on TV. In the long run that will not bode well for gun owners. We have the power to change that by simply not watching them. If the ratings go dawn, the shows go away. I quit watching them after an episode of Sons of Guns when he stepped outside his shop and discharged a rocket launcher. That may not in reality have been a big deal but to the uninformed it comes across as an act of complete irresponsibility. I'd much rather see people promoting gun safety and proper responsible gun handling than what currently passes for good reality TV and a disclaimer "Don't try this at home".
 

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Liberals will hate and fear guns because they have been taught to think that way. A TV show will do nothing either pro or con to change those beliefs. People neutral about guns may become more interested in shooting because of the familiarity engendered through the shows and seeing the enjoyment that people gain from the sport. Just my thoughts. The producers make them because they sell advertising time and make them a bundle of money and, in the case of Top Shot, they don't have to keep paying royalties on the reruns.
 
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You know, I've wondered the very same things myself. Top Shot, just for example, shows the world examples of both responsible, mature, ethical shooters (like all 3 winners and many of their competitors) and first class jerks bordering on mental instability (think Jake from this last season). Unfortunately, since sensationalism gets viewers, we see and hear a lot more of the "Jakes" than from the "Iains", "Chrises", and "Dustins". And while I've shot my way through my share of plinking HORSE games, I've never strapped myself to a spinning wheel of death or an office chair on a zipline to do it, nor have most shooters. Yet, here's this image on national TV of exactly that happening. I'd hate to see Top Shot go (honestly I don't care for Sons of Guns and can take or leave American Guns), your point, Lance, is well taken and deserves consideration. By and large Hollywood, like the liberal media and political left, feel certain that ordinary citizens are not to be trusted with firearms, and I can't help but wonder if such ridiculous antics are bolstering such opinions.

Maybe we are being duped. But at least we're being entertained along the way. What's that gas I see in the air? Oh, its just the soma.
 

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I can't stand any of those shows actually and the explosions are just infantile at best. Maybe its just to lure the younger generation to tune in.

But I consider them reality tv anyhow.
Just more airwave vomit.
 

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I like that they have "gun" shows on basic cable, not just the premium sports packages, but I think they could have come up with something better than these "guns and ding-a-lings" shows.

I feel these shows and other reality/soap opera shows portray the stereotypically expected types of people for the subject being covered.
A gun show with yahoo/redneck types who build near pointless guns and blow stuff up.
A gun competition show with the classic "survivor" setup, same setup on hell's kitchen and every other TV competition show that plays like a soap opera.
A gun show with a weird family that fights, shoots, blows stuff up, lives in the country but acts like they should be in Hollywood.

I realize these shows are for entertainment and not supposed to be for educational purposes.
I guess I am just tired of the whole reality TV/soap opera formula that all TV channels use.

I would like to see many different gun based shows covering education and entertainment from basic marksmanship to advanced shooting skills and drills, history of the weapons we like, test and review of weapons and equipment used in and around the shooting sports, reloading equipment reviews and instruction, the history of gun rights in America, CCW rights, equipment and reviews, ...........................

Maybe we should make a "What would you want to see in a firearms related TV show".
 
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Shock-value. Unfortunately, that is the standard of mendacity in today's culture. The "shockier" the better. That's why horror films no longer have any plot and amount to nothing but gore and violence.
 

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Does anyone here actually think that the viewing public would respond in the same numbers to a carefully thought out, factually realistic, and educational TV show about ANYTHING? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you, and some ocean-front property in Arizona to span with it.

Top Gun is bad? Then what about Impossible Shots? Sons of Guns is improbable? Any more so than Self-defense TV? (Or more boring to the initiated?)

Those who dis-like guns are going to hate them, no matter what. As for the content of shows, if our elected officials, and their knowledge of guns, is any indication, we'd have to go a LOOONG ways to equal the idiocy that they pride themselves on.

It would appear that we are our own worst enemies. WE know what isn't "safe", what isn't "true", and how to portray it. The simple fact that forums are so full of differing viewpoints shows everyone that we're all able to reach a consensus on how things should "be", right? Right? Oh, maybe not.

Ok, you don't like a show, fine. Say so, and move along. The antis have far more ammunition (they make their own) without having some denizen of the Internet waxing poetic over what THEY think is the wrong way to do something.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
JR, I don't know what you think you read but maybe you can explain how negative portrayals of shooting sports does anything to advance our cause or educate the public at larrge.
It isn't a matter of my not liking some shows. Hell, if I didn't watch them I couldn't very well comment on them, could I.
What is is about is the shows providing negative reinforcement for the gun-grabbers and I'm not at all sure that is a coincidence.
 

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Just more network vomit. Similar to the other 200 satellite channels I stopped watching. I finally told the satellite company to come pick up their stuff.

Now I do internet television and couldn't be happier. Not to mention saving $100 a month.
 

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I can agree that the reality shows on television are really infantile and most of the time an insult to most gun owners unless they have a "Dirty Harry or James Bond" fetish.

Sadly today many people cannot seem to seperate real life from fictional movies and TV shows. Growing up in the 40's and 50's I and most boys loved the western movies and TV shows, but we also were able to understand that there was a difference between them and real life!
 
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