On Saturday, Oct. 24, Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster, a strong supporter
of right to carry firearms' legislation, was reelected with 60 percent
of the vote, even though media pundits tried to make him look
vulnerable. And in less than a week, voters in the states of Virginia,
Kentucky, New Jersey, as well as countless towns and cities will go to
the polls to elect state legislators, mayors, school board members, and
other local officials. But you would hardly know it by reading the
major newspapers or watching the evening news. The nation's press is
already singularly focused on Election Day 2000.
The politics of next year's presidential election assaults us by way
of the evening news on television and the hourly news on the radio. It
can also be found almost daily on the front pages of every major
newspaper. The announced candidates, the would-be candidates, and the
fallen candidates are scrutinized, dissected, and demonized hourly.
They are hounded with the same line of questioning over and over again.
Advertisement - story continues below
That kind of relentless questioning backfired on NBC sports announcer
Jim Gray. In a Sunday evening interview with Pete Rose -- the
aggressive Cincinnati Reds player/coach who has been banned from
baseball for gambling on the sport -- Jim Gray repeatedly asked Rose in
a very aggressive manner about his gambling. The NBC switchboard, their
website, and even MasterCard, the sponsor of the event, was overwhelmed
by negative reactions to Gray's interview. At first Gray was quoted as
saying, "I'm not sorry for it, and I don't apologize for it." As a
result the entire Yankee team even went so far as to boycott any
interviews with Gray. Tuesday night's homerun hero, Chad Curtis, refused
to talk to Gray after he won the ball game. Bowing to tremendous
pressure from fans all over America, Gray was forced to apologize on
air. It seems NBC sports has discovered that American baseball fans do
not like "in your face" nasty interviews.
The same relentless bashing seems to be backfiring on the issue of
gun control as well. The major media keeps using every conceivable
angle to push for more and more gun control. A cursory examination of
newspapers across America shows that in the month of October the
Editorial commentary is slanted by a ratio of 9-1 in favor of expanding
gun laws. Yet, the Oct. 24 Greensboro News and Record published an
article by H. Sterling Burnett entitled, "Will gun control be a vital
issue in next year's presidential elections? Issue won't be a
Mr. Burnett's premise is that gun control may be an issue in
congressional contests, but will not really affect the presidential
race. He states that over the decade of the '90s those Americans
favoring more gun control have dropped from 78 percent to 62 percent. He
goes on to state, "Polls also show that gun control is not among the top
five issues for probable voters in the presidential elections and that
only 15 percent of Americans vote for candidates primarily based on
their views on guns. Indeed, after the tragic school shootings in
Colorado and Georgia, the number of people who said they would not
consider gun control a major issue when voting actually increased from
19 percent to 21 percent!"
Burnett gives further credibility to the argument that the gun
control issue favors those candidates that oppose further restrictions
on the individual right to own firearms, by citing the primary race in
the Democratic Party for the 42nd California congressional district. In
this race Marta Brown, the widow of the longest-serving member in
Congress, was defeated by California State Senator Joe Baca. Marta
Brown's defeat broke the string of 35 consecutive congressional
elections where widows succeeded their husbands. Although she had more
money, the backing of the White House, and the support of the California
Democratic party, Joe Baca won as a result of the strong support of gun
owners and NRA members in his district. Mrs. Brown's tactic of sending
out mailers and press releases attacking Baca as the "radical gun
lobby's favorite candidate" obviously backfired.
Advertisement - story continues below
In the days before the primary the national media referred to this
race as a referendum on gun control -- a tactic similar to their
characterization of the 1997 gun prohibition referendum in Washington
State. In both cases the gun prohibitionists lost and the national
media's silence was deafening. As Mr. Burnett so aptly puts it, "If, as
the national press claimed, Brown's race was a referendum on gun
control, then gun control lost."
The same can also be said for the September election in Australia, a
country in which almost all private ownership of firearms has been
banned. In the first election since the Australian gun ban, the Liberal
National Coalition, who strongly supported and promoted the "gun grab,"
lost its 20-seat majority in the state of Victoria. They primarily lost
support in rural and semi-rural areas where the majority of gun owners
reside. Yet the media ignored those facts.
When those candidates who have supported the rights of law-abiding
gun owners are re-elected on Nov. 3, the gun control issue will never be
cited as the reason for their election. The media only mentions gun
control when a candidate who supports their point of view is elected.
What they fail to understand is that most Americans believe in fairness
and are turned off by the establishment media who keep trying to make
the dead horse of more gun control an election issue.