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  1. #1

    Getting Back at TV Propagandists

    A totally unique take on activism.

    Getting Back at TV Propagandists
    by L. Neil Smith


    As a novelist, I have a higher soapbox to stand on than most when it comes to talking back to the enemies of liberty. Yet it makes me just as mad when ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and NPR not only lie consistently and blatantly about the individual right to own and carry weapons, but insert their lies into "news" and programs billed as entertainment.

    It's been going on for decades. You know when a politician's lying -- his mouth moves -- but broadcasters lie with a twitch of an eyebrow or the slant of a shoulder. They load questions for the "man in the street" and get the public to lie for them. They even lie by making sure the badguy in a series episode has rifles and game trophies on his wall.

    The most infuriating part is that you can't talk back. Broadcasters take advantage of the fact that any amateur, offered a chance to be on TV, is easily made to look foolish. Ask those who've tried: I give speeches where people laugh in all the right places and grown men have wept. The one occasion I tried replying to a TV editorial, I looked like Archie Bunker. Most anti-gun propaganda can't be dealt with in this manner anyway, because the other side's too dishonest to present it as a straightforward editorial.

    Since the Bill of Rights protects a broadcaster's freedom under the First Amendment to attack our freedom under the Second, the next thought that occurs to the irate viewer is to get back at propagandists through their wallets, boycotting programs or their sponsors. I've never been impressed with the tactic. True, you deprive the enemy of income; you also deprive yourself of whatever he produces, maybe something you really need. Sometimes it's worth a sacrifice, sometimes it isn't, and individual opinions always differ.

    The main problem is that for a boycott to be effective, you must persuade thousands, even millions of others to go along -- a lot of work and usually not very successful. No matter what this country's self-appointed political and religious leaders claim, self-sacrifice has never been what America is all about and it doesn't work as any kind of incentive. Robert Heinlein put it best when he said it's pointless to appeal to someone's "better nature". He may not have one. Better to appeal to his self- interest.

    Which is where my thoughts had led me many times (and dumped me out at what seemed the end of the line) when one day I asked myself the right question: if boycotts don't work, what's the opposite of a boycott? Obviously it isn't doing more business with the enemy. How about doing more business with whatever the enemy opposes?

    Call it a negative boycott.

    Since then, when I find myself subjected to anti-gun drivel disguised as "news" or "entertainment", I drop a quarter (or a dime, a nickel or a penny) into a coffee can I keep beside the chair where I watch TV. Given the rate at which propaganda fills the air, it's no time at all before the can fills up. When enough accumulates, I don't give it to the NRA or any other organization whose policies I neither control nor necessarily approve. I spend it the best way I know, in the free marketplace of ideas -- and hardware -- acquiring another gun I wouldn't otherwise have bought.

    Think about it: another gun you wouldn't otherwise have bought.

    Many benefits are generated this way with minimal effort and no pain. Appeal to the self-interest of enough gun owners, and hundreds of thousands -- maybe even millions -- of unforeseen gun purchases will occur. This will strengthen the firearms industry relative to the rest of the economy and even put some spine back into outfits who've taken the cowardly, historically discredited route of appeasing an oppressor. It didn't work with Hitler; why does Bill Ruger think it'll work with Hitler's spiritual kin, Howard Metzenbaum?

    Spotting anti-gun propaganda could make watching network TV interesting again -- a minor miracle in itself -- and might even develop into an educational game for the whole family. Kids would learn what the public schools never teach and desperately doesn't want them to know: ways to identify logical fallacies, fuzzy or missing verbs, and improperly weighted qualifiers in otherwise authoritative-sounding arguments about homelessness, urban street gangs, acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming, and the war on drugs.

    The primary effect will be felt by our opponents as their own soapboxes slowly dissolve under their feet. Even now, each time the greatest sporting-goods sales team in America -- Handgun Control Inc. -- open their mouths about gun control or push for new legislation, thousands of individuals go out and buy guns of all descriptions "before it's too late". Some estimate that the last flurry of semiauto hysteria sold a quarter of a million such weapons in Colorado alone.

    Until now, anti-gunners have encouraged the media to keep the public ignorant of this interesting, inconvenient effect. But as word of millions of coffee cans filling up with coins -- and suddenly being emptied -- gets around, an inexorable certainty that anti-gun propaganda actually causes more guns to be bought will put a damper on broadcasters' enthusiasm to saturate the air with lies.

    The best part (and most frustrating from the other side's point of view) is that nobody is in a position to think, speak, or act for you. It's your TV, your chair, your coffee can. In your home you're the only judge of what constitutes anti-gun propaganda. You decide how much to drop in the can. You're the ultimate beneficiary.

    So let your local TV stations -- and the networks -- know what you are doing. And do it. Then trust in liberal guilt to do the rest.



    L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Bretta Martyn and Lever Action. An NRA Life Member and founder of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published living novelist.

    Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author - provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given.
    https://lneilsmith.org/cofeecan.html
    Chris

    "Government ... does not exist of necessity, but rather by virtue of a tragic, almost comical combination of klutzy, opportunistic terrorism against sitting ducks whom it pretends to shelter, plus our childish phobia of responsibility, praying to be exempted from the hard reality of life on life's terms." Wolf DeVoon

    "...Make America Great Again. I'm interested in making American FREE again. Then the greatness will come automatically."Ron Paul



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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by CCTelander View Post
    A totally unique take on activism.



    https://lneilsmith.org/cofeecan.html
    To do that I'd have to actually start watching TV again. But it's a good idea for those who do. The best argument against gun control right now is Australia. There's no what what's going on right now "down under" could happen if the population hadn't been disarmed first. But the frustrating thing is how many Americans support that garbage. "Look at how great Australia is doing keeping the numbers down!" They conveniently forget that Australia is an island and they've also been very strict on who they let in their country post COVID. Most of the pro gun control/pro lockdown crowd in the U.S. are also open border which makes no sense to anybody but them. Also the story of increased gun sales when it looks like gun control is being pushed on a national level is covered by the anti-gunners in the media as a reason to do something about the "problem." And whenever there's a mass shooting there's coverage of how many guns the shooter owned, even though typically no more then 2 guns are ever used.

    Here's really the only way to win. One on one talking to people who are on the fence on the issue. Don't waste time with hard core anti gunners. But the "quasi anti gunners" as Colin Noir puts it may be open to a different point of view.



    Take your kid to work day? How about take your quasi anti gun friend to the gun range day?
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  4. #3
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to @CCTelander again


    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post
    Don't waste time with hard core anti gunners. But the "quasi anti gunners" as Colin Noir puts it may be open to a different point of view.

    How about take your quasi anti gun friend to the gun range day?

    YES, even hard core anti gunners!

    When I'm standing in line at the store or wherever and hear people talking about "we need to get rid of every gun in America!", I slide my way into the conversation, and say something like: what a tragedy, if only that college girl who got attacked/raped had a gun in her purse, she could have protected herself from that disgusting lunatic.

    Sometimes the response is "if there were no guns, that never would have happened! To which my response is: yeah, maybe, but they're disgusting criminals, and they will find a way to get one anyway,,, and if they can't, they'll just use a knife or something else,,, and it were my daughter/granddaughter, I would want her to protect herself from those disgusting lunatics.

    People actually think about that, let their guards down, and nod in agreement. And if not immediately, it sticks in their mind. It's all in how you approach it.
    Last edited by PAF; 09-17-2021 at 07:35 AM.
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

    An Agorist Primer

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PAF View Post
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to @CCTelander again





    YES, even hard core anti gunners!

    When I'm standing in line at the store or wherever and hear people talking about "we need to get rid of every gun in America!", I slide my way into the conversation, and say something like: what a tragedy, if only that college girl who got attacked/raped had a gun in her purse, she could have protected herself from that disgusting lunatic.

    Sometimes the response is "if there were no guns, that never would have happened! To which my response is: yeah, maybe, but they're disgusting criminals, and they will find a way to get one anyway,,, and if they can't, they'll just use a knife or something else,,, and it were my daughter/granddaughter, I would want her to protect herself from those disgusting lunatics.

    People actually think about that, let their guards down, and nod in agreement. And if not immediately, it sticks in their mind. It's all in how you approach it.
    I think part of the problem is that gun rights and politics in general is almost always argued from a pragmatic perspective. E.g., arguing whether gun ownership has a net positive or negative effect on crime.

    People in this country (and world in general) have almost entirely forgotten any concept of individual rights.... in favor of "the greater good".

    I don't give a $#@! if gun ownership has a positive or negative impact on crime... doesn't change anything about what rights I have as an individual
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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    I think part of the problem is that gun rights and politics in general is almost always argued from a pragmatic perspective. E.g., arguing whether gun ownership has a net positive or negative effect on crime.
    Yep.

    People in this country (and world in general) have almost entirely forgotten any concept of individual rights.... in favor of "the greater good".
    By design, by all governments. Which is where I come in.


    I don't give a $#@! if gun ownership has a positive or negative impact on crime... doesn't change anything about what rights I have as an individual
    Yep + REP
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

    An Agorist Primer



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