Getting in the Fight for Cultural Engagement of the Second Amendment
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
U.S.A. –(AmmoLand.com)- When we discuss the social stigmatization of the Second Amendment, not to mention efforts at corporate gun control, one thing makes those things easier: The fact that those who seek to take away our Second Amendment rights have allies who have a lot of sway in our pop culture.
The NRA is largely off the pop culture battlefield, and that is a mistake. In some ways, it is a tough hill to climb. Hollywood is one place where support of very restrictive gun laws is well-entrenched. Indeed, virtually every A-list star seems to back Michael Bloomberg’s agenda – or something along those lines.
Give Bloomberg credit, Everytown has been working for a while to influence pop culture portrayals in their favor. In 2017, Bloomberg’s group established an Author’s Council. Here’s how that matters: The NRA has about six million members. But on November 15 of this year, Grey’s Anatomy, starring Ellen Pompeo, an ardent supporter of gun control, drew 7.3 million viewers. One of Pompeo’s anti-NRA posts on Instagram notched over 152,000 likes. On Twitter, Pompeo has 1.59 million followers. The NRA has 726,000.
It is not just the reach, although that is very impressive. Those opposed to our Second Amendment rights have also gained access to some very excellent storytellers. Shonda Rhimes, the person behind Grey’s Anatomy, has developed nine major TV series and got a big deal from Netflix. But she is not the only one pushing gun control.
Who did the NRA have in Hollywood? Well, until recently, Tom Selleck, best known for starring in Magnum, P.I., and currently starring in Blue Bloods, was on the NRA board of Directors, but he recently resigned from that post. There isn’t more – especially as the social stigmatization has taken hold. In Hollywood, the wrong political views can kill a career.
Face it, Second Amendment supporters have long damned Hollywood and pop culture for attacking our rights, but there has been precious little done to somehow get a counter-view on the field. The Outdoor Channel and NRA TV are nowhere near enough to get the message out to the general public – and to suburban women, particularly mothers.
Why suburban mothers? That’s where many of these anti-Second Amendment groups have been going. Whether it was the Million Mom March in 2000, or today’s Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action, the strategy has been to raise the specter of a mass shooting in their child’s school. They also like to claim that the AR-15 is only good as a weapon of war.
Well, we know it’s bunk. We also, thanks to Justice Department statistics, know that you are far more likely to die from a knife, bare hands and feet, or a club of some sort, than from any kind of rifle. We also know that there are any number of shooting sports that involve AR-15-type rifles. Ever been to a 3-gun match, for instance? The AR-15 has also been used for hunting – even Time magazine had an article on how this so-called “weapon of war” was being used as a hunting rifle for everything from rabbits to elk. But this is the side that doesn’t get seen in Hollywood productions.
As a result, we are closer than we should be to the day when Dianne Feinstein could say, “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them in.”
So, how do we fix this? Well, for starters, the NRA needs to open a cultural engagement office in Hollywood. It’s not likely to be busy at first, it will probably be the site of protests led by Ellen Pompeo and Alyssa Milano, and California’s gun laws are obscenely horrible. But it at least represents getting on the field.
Soon, some in Hollywood will go to that NRA office, just to be able to claim they did their due diligence. Then, when they get the facts, some minds might be changed. Eventually, they may show an AR-15 used by law-abiding responsible citizens for any number of lawful purposes. But that day will not happen unless the NRA starts getting on the “cultural engagement” field.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.