The gun industry can’t do anything right … at least, that’s what the average citizen would think if they paid attention to the media. On Jan. 15, the Associated Press even attacked a gun industry trade show.
That same day, the annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show opened in Las Vegas. Only a limited number of media credentials were allowed in the show – if you consider 2,000 credentials to be “limited.” According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the show expects one in 30 attendees to be press. Yet the AP complained the “show was closed to the public and was covered by a limited number of reporters and photographers.”
Keep in mind trade shows, no matter what the trade, aren’t normally open to public and the press. But AP had an ax to grind against guns, focusing on anti-gun voices and complaints that somehow the private trade show had something to hide.
“The start of the annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show at the sprawling Sands Expo Convention Center comes amid a national debate on gun control,” the AP story began.
The AP did report on the opening words of National Shooting Sports Foundation chief Steve Sanetti, but failed to actually interview them or any other pro-gun group for comment. They did, however, manage to interview two pro-gun control advocacy groups: the Violence Policy Center, which was founded by people from the better known Brady Campaign, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Not surprisingly, both gun control groups jumped at the opportunity to demonize the NSSF and NRA. “In truth, the lobbying of the NSSF and their partners at the NRA is the sole reason we now live in an America where homicidal maniacs are allowed to stockpile firearms, often legally,” Ladd Everitt of the Stop Gun Violence Coalition stated.
The Violence Policy Center claimed that by “shutting out the news media” the NSSF was “putting a happy face on the weapons of war it helps market.”
No word yet as to whether the AP will attack the next journalist conference that doesn’t allow outside media or the general public in.