Thursday, December 18, 2008

GOA Urges Members to Contact National Geographic Regarding Anti-Gun Program

Growing up I remember my parents getting National Geographic. This was during the late 70’s and through the 80’s as America’s unmanned space program opened up our solar system to us. The pictures of Jupiter, Saturn, and the outer planets were amazing and really captured my imagination. I also enjoyed several of the features on animals, less so on the cultures, but hey I was a teenager. A lot has changed since the 80’s – with the explosion of cable channels, National Geographic now has one of their own. They’ve recently been running a feature presentation entitled “Guns In America”. I’d hoped that the program would live up to National Geographic’s reputation for good research. Unfortunately it turned out to be little more than an anti-Second Amendment hit piece.

Gun Owners of America is urging its members (and everyone else) to contact National Geographic regarding their slanted and yellow journalism on this topic. The program had numerous factual errors and presented debunked research in support of their anti-Second agenda. I’ve reprinted my letter (which is an editing of the one suggested by GOA) below.

Dear Mr. Kelly:

I have always been a supporter of National Geographic magazine. As a youth I eagerly awaited the monthly subscription to learn about our world and the solar system beyond. However at this point I must move away from your publication as it has become a source of thinly veiled anti-gun propaganda.
I speak specifically of the Explorer show entitled "Guns In America" -- which has run several times this month. The slant toward an unsupportable gun control position was palpable. The show used fallacious statistics without rebutting them, all in an effort to demonize firearms.

For example, "Guns in America" falsely claimed that guns in the home are 22 times more likely to kill a family member than to serve as protection. That is simply not true. The author of this study, Arthur Kellerman, has been discredited many times (by groups such as the National Academy of Sciences), so it is intellectually dishonest that your channel would even cite his work.

Second, "Guns in America" overstates the number of children who die by unintentional gunfire. In fact, when you look at the statistics involving younger children (ages 0-14), you see that kids have a greater chance of dying from choking on things like the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that you feed them. Can I expect to see a show in the near future highlighting the danger of feeding children?

Third, "Guns in America" portrays twelve times as many negative uses of guns as positive uses -- even though in the real world, the truth is quite the opposite. According to statistics from the Clinton Justice Department in 2007, guns are used at least 50 times more often to save life than take life.

Finally, "Guns in America" only quotes anti-gun "authorities," thus leaving the impression that all law-enforcement support gun control. Never mind the fact that when one looks at polls of the police community, they overwhelmingly hold pro-gun attitudes. (Please see the poll results on the website for the National Association of Chiefs of Police.) Why were none of these authorities ever cited?

The National Geographic Society's purpose is "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world's cultural, historical, and natural resources." I would submit to you that pushing such an unabashedly anti-Second Amendment position is far afield from your stated purpose.

Hopefully National Geographic will get the message, but it seems like they’re bought and paid for by the extreme left at this point.

Until next time!!!

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