Exposed: The anti-gun agenda behind ABC News' "Before Arranging Playdates, Ask About Guns"

By Jeff Riley

ABC News is on a mission. They have the target picked out, and are throwing everything at it, including the kitchen sink. What or who is their target? Why it's YOU, dear reader - one of millions of responsible gun owners who reside in America.

In the past two weeks, the airwaves were filled with a litany of anti-gun stories promulgated by ABC: "If I Only Had a Gun (Carrying a Gun Wouldn't Necessarily Get You Out of a Shooting)," "Easy Access: $5,000 and One Hour Buys 10 Guns," and, finally, "Before Arranging Playdates, Ask About Guns."

This article will focus on the development of the "Playdates" story, written by Eric M. Strauss, and will reveal the depths ABC News is willing to go to deliver a story full of slanted reporting and anti-gun bias.

The "Playdates" piece begins like this:

Stephen and Robbie are typical 11-year-olds who became fast friends after meeting at their local Boys and Girls club in Amelia, Ohio. They discovered a similar love of video games and shooting hoops, so it wasn't a surprise when they asked to start visiting one another's homes for playdates.

But after months of visits, it did come as a surprise to Stephen's mom, Carol, that Robbie's dad, Jan, kept handguns in his home for protection. The families asked that their last names not be used to protect their privacy.

"Stephen's been going to Jan's house to play with Robbie, and I had no idea Jan even had guns," Carol admitted. "It just never came up as a conversation."

What follows in their story is a one-sided rehash of every Brady Center talking point, coupled with all of the lies/damned lies and misleading statistics (supplied by PAX, which is funded by none-other than the Joyce Foundation, the anti-gun organization at which Barack Obama served as a board member) they could possible fit in such a small news segment.

There is no denying that there are accidents involving children and guns but, as tragic as they are, they happen very infrequently. Firearms deaths in general are down 94% from the high water mark set in 1904, and the annual number of fatal firearm accidents among children has decreased 86% since 1975.

The "Jan" listed as a gun-owning father in this story is Jan Nickels - an old friend from grade/high school, who still currently lives only about 5 miles from me. He is an ex-Marine and is well-schooled in firearms and firearm safety. We are fellow members of the same local shooting club.

I called Jan as soon as I read the story. As it turns out, ABC News tricked Jan and others to participate in what was obviously always been intended to be an anti-gun attack. In fact, this story starts with a false premise and goes quickly downhill. At this point I will let Jan tell the rest of his story:

So what have we learned?

  • In April 2008, ABC contacted parents under false pretenses, and wound up grilling 2/3 of parents as to why they needed to keep firearms in their homes if they felt their neighborhood was safe.
  • After failing to rattle these gun-owning parents, they switched to using flattery. One of the producers commented after learning about how these gun owners safely stored their firearms inaccessible to their kids or playmates, "You guys must be the exception, not the rule." (Ask yourself why you won't see any footage of parents promoting responsible gun ownership and answering loaded questions posed by the obviously biased reporters.)
  • As their next ploy, ABC News attempted to recreate the "guns in the toy box" experiment, using Jan's son Robbie as the initiator. (Disgusting!)
  • After getting no traction whatsoever, ABC then shelved the story for over a year, only deciding to trot it out after the last series of multiple victim public shootings. They have no plans to show any of the video showing responsible gun owners, yet they choose to print anti-gun organization's propaganda verbatim.
  • The kicker about the whole story is this: remember Carol, the lady referenced to at the beginning of ABC's story? It turns out that she has no qualms about letting her son Stephen play with Robbie at his home. In fact, since the ABC crew came out and filmed both kids are still welcome at each others homes for play dates and overnight visits. (Why didn't that make it to the story? I guess it was an inconvenient fact that didn't reinforce the bias in ABC's story.)

Since this interview was conducted, Jan contacted me again. It turns out that while ABC has informed him they have no intentions of airing the interview with he and Robbie showing responsible gun ownership, they DID use about fifteen seconds of footage (out of the hours and hours shot in connection with the Boys and Girls Club familes, that they felt fit their agenda. In "If I Only Had a Gun (Carrying a Gun Wouldn't Necessarily Get You Out of a Shooting)," an unidentified child is shown talking about playing with guns as his friend Eric's house. As it turns out, this is Robbie's friend Stephen.

For the last couple of weeks the drumbeat of the establishment media, and ABC in particular, has been fervently anti-gun, as they do their best to exploit recent tragedies to promote the myth that "You're too stupid, careless, or not well trained enough to own a gun. Better to lie on the floor and be shot, or raped, or beaten to death. Leave it to the police, dial 911 and wait."

But by all indications, the people of America aren't buying it. A recent Gallup Poll shows support for more gun control is fading, and at its the lowest in years. Even after the recent spate of shootings, CNN polling mirrors the same results. Faced with the prospect of lagging support, groups like the Brady Center and Violence Policy Center are left only with their sycophants in the media, who are more than eager to help.

It seems that our politicians are not buying into the anti-freedom message either. 65 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter sent to the Attorney General Eric Holder opposing any new attempt at a so-called "Assault Weapons" ban. Mr. Holder himself has backed off recent comments regarding his support for renewing the ban. Even the Queen of the Anti-Gunners, Diane Feinstein, has said that she will hold off on introducing legislation for renewals or new gun bans...for now.

Never the less, this is clearly a time when vigilance is a must. President Obama's administration has an expressly-stated desire to ban your guns posted right on the White House website. So it isn't a question of if they will try to ban them, but rather only a question of when. And when they do, the propagandists at ABC News will no doubt be found standing at the ready.

We need to be ready. Please support/ volunteer for a local organization such as Buckeye Firearms Assocation so they can band together with other freedom support groups and protect our hard-won freedoms.

Jeff Riley is a Southwest Ohio volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

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