If you haven’t yet taken a look at the online course on gun violence being offered by our friends at the Hopkins-Bloomberg School, you haven’t been reading my columns. I have posted several columns about the importance and value of this online educational effort, and I am pleased to find that more than 2,100 folks have registered to watch the well-done video lectures which are offered along with a quiz on each section of the curriculum, a very comprehensive reading list and, of course, a feedback form.
Those of us who form what I refer to as Gun-control Nation like to believe that one of the major differences between what we say about gun violence and what Gun-nut Nation says is the degree to which our beliefs and narratives about this problem are grounded in evidence-based research, whereas the other side, the gun-nut side, doesn’t believe in evidence or scientific research at all. Want an example of how 2nd-Amendment advocates get the information they use to support their ideas? Try any of the loony and stupid videos by Grant Stinchfield, Dana Loesch or Colion Noir that are posted on NRA-TV. These efforts aren’t educational at all – they are nothing more than plain hucksterism disguised as some kind of rational opinion about the positive reasons for owning guns.
But if you believe that Gun-control Nation has a copyright on internet video messaging which has a rational, educational focus while Gun-nut Nation’s messaging is nothing more than hot air, think again. In fact, if anything, when it comes to imparting real, hard-core information about guns, the folks who produce and distribute educational videos which promote gun ownership and the gun-owning lifestyle are way out ahead.
Want an example? Try this YouTube video, which has been viewed more than one million times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKKC4ew1Xk. The company which produced this video has more than 100,000 subscribers to its website and the average video posted on the site has been viewed at least 50,000 times. Now you may not want to believe that a ten-minute video which shows a guy blasting away for 30 seconds with a variety of 9mm pistols should qualify as an ‘educational’ tool. But the reason this video has been viewed so many times is that lots of folks out there are considering buying, owning and carrying a pistol for self-defense, and this video is a very effective and professional effort to provide potential armed citizens with exactly the kind of information they need.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Gun-nut Nation’s online educational effort are aimed (pardon the pun) only at providing information which can be used to promote the sale of self-defense guns. Take a look at this video which has registered almost 250,000 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ODhQmE2OqY&feature=youtu.be.
Frankly, if the Department of History at an Ivy League school wants to expand its curriculum to include a course on the history of technology as exemplified by early gun design, they should hire the guy who did this video and runs a website, https://www.forgottenweapons.com/, which contains a remarkable collection of evidence-based articles, book reviews and technical videos that puts many so-called educational websites to shame.
You would think that with the kind of financial support that gun-control advocates can tap from the likes of Mike Bloomberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, that creating some kind of video effort to promote discussions about the risk of guns is something that should have happened years ago. The really silly videos posted on NRA-TV get more than 300,000 views every month. You mean that a solid and informed video presence produced by a gun-control production company couldn’t do just as well?
Here’s the bottom line. No advocacy effort can afford to cut itself off from actual or potential supporters when the opponents of that effort communicate to their supporters on a regular and ongoing basis every day. Believe me, the pro-gun video machine is a much more effective way to generate support for gun ‘rights’ than some loony speech coming from Wayne-o at the NRA.
THANK YOU BRENT GURTEK!