The SHOT Show Takes a Shot at Journalism

We got more than a bit angry on Twitter on Saturday. We think that it was pretty justified and, in case you missed it, we figured a quick refresher was a good idea.

A reporter from The Guardian, pretty unquestionably one of the five most respected English language newspapers around, went to the SHOT Show. The show, the largest gun and gun stuff trade show in the world, is “owned” and put on by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a massive and powerful gun lobby group. Here’s the issue: the reporter unaggressively asked a Smith & Wesson rep about gun violence (specifically the San Bernardino shooting) and promptly had his media credentials pulled and was escorted out of the show. A video of the incident is available here.

Look, we’re angry at the gun lobby a lot. In fact, we’re probably always angry at the gun lobby. But this one got us especially angry. There’s just something awful about silencing journalists who want to report on your activities, even critical ones. And it isn’t even like it was all that big of a deal for the gun lobby. Or at least it shouldn’t have been.

There are facts the gun lobby doesn’t want anyone to talk about, but that everyone knows because they are so obvious. Chief among these is the simple fact that the tools used in shootings are guns. It isn’t all that hard to understand why the gun lobby doesn’t like that one; if guns are the tools shooters use and the gun lobby admits it, that means they must also admit that they are lobbying for the interests of people who want to kill (probably among other people and interests). That wouldn’t exactly make them look great.

Too bad for them that it is true even if they don’ admit it or want to talk about it. And, when they silence people who try to discuss it with them, it doesn’t actually solve their problem. It just leaves them looking like frightened people who push tools of death instead of just people who push tools of death. But hey, that fear looks great with their paranoia and hatred!

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