Katie Couric has new documentary out called “Under the Gun”. Ostensibly a look at gun violence, it would appear to be very heavy on the pro-gun control side, with gun control supporters massively outnumbering gun control opponents among the interviews. And from what I’ve been reading, it looks like she’s trying to fill the rather sizable in deceptive left-wing propaganda left by Michael Moore.
The worst mistakes here rise to the level of factual error, and they undermine the film as a whole. There is no law, for example, “making it illegal to sue gun manufacturers”; rather, the law lays out the specific circumstances in which such lawsuits are allowed. These include cases stemming from illegal sales and design defects. The law was enacted amidst a wave of lawsuits against companies whose legally sold guns had eventually been used in crimes.
Further, despite what was claimed in an al-Qaeda video featured here without correction, one cannot “go to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card.” Fully automatic weapons, which fire continuously when the trigger is held down, are heavily regulated. Gun owners have been harping on the media’s failure to grasp this automatic/semiautomatic distinction for decades.
And even when the film gets its facts right, it often makes little attempt to explore both sides of an issue. While everyday gun owners and activists make numerous appearances—some flattering and some definitely not—pro-gun experts are sorely lacking. Gun-control advocates are well-represented by folks like Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Robyn Thomas of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Mark Follman of Mother Jones. Viewers are left believing that there are no similarly well-informed researchers and journalists on the right.
She also repeats a bunch of candards such as the false claim that a mass shooting has never been stopped by a legal gun owner.
But the Free Beacon recently discovered that she goes even beyond that:
A conservative news site posted what it said was audio proof that filmmakers behind a documentary about the gun control debate deliberately edited video to portray gun-rights activists as unable to answer questions about background checks.
The audio, posted by The Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday, seemed to differ from the video shown in the documentary, “Under the Gun,” in which a group of activists appear to fall silent during an interview with the news anchor Katie Couric.
“If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” Ms. Couric asks. The next shot in the film is of the activists looking on with blank stares instead of answering the question.
In the audio clip of the interview posted by The Free Beacon, Ms. Couric prefaces her question with a remark — “I know how you all are going to answer this but I’m asking anyway” — before she asks about background checks.
“One, if you’re not in jail you should still have your basic rights,” someone answers about one second later.
You can click through to get the entire audio. The gun owners don’t hesitate at all. They answer her questions immediately and directly, showing an understanding of the issues that Couric lacks and an appreciation of the subtleties. The difference between that and the video couldn’t be more blatant.
Couric and her producers are defending this as an “editing choice”. They say they just wanted people to think about the issue. I find this excuse to be garbage. You can make the audience think about a question without portraying your political opponents as bumbling idiots. And it’s not like the Left is unfamiliar with this complaint. The Planned Parenthood and ACORN videos came under fire for this kind of deceptive editing. But, apparently, all’s fair when it comes to riding our society of the dread evil firearm.
Kudos to the interviewees in this video. Not only did they effectively answer questions from a hostile interviewer, they had the wisdom to record the interview to make sure they were not misquoted. It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. And the gun grabbers are really out to get us.