View Full Version : National Geographic TV Takes Aim At Your Guns

12-17-2008, 7:37 PM
National Geographic TV Takes Aim At Your Guns

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

National Geographic Channel ran a show last night entitled, "Gun In
America." According to the program, there are millions of misguided
gun owners across the nation. Why? Because your guns are supposedly
more likely to harm you than to help you in an emergency.

"As a society, we're totally out of control with weapons," said one
Philadelphia cop who was interviewed during the show. "You need to
limit access that people have to these type of firearms."

That was the basic thrust of the program. National Geographic
recited the usual worn-out factoids that are peddled by the Brady
Campaign. It only cited anti-gun cops. And for every person who was
filmed stating he or she believed in a right to own firearms for
self-defense, the program would cite "facts" to prove that such a
hope was misplaced.

Gun owners should let the President and CEO of National Geographic
know that the channel should stick to showing pictures of kangaroos
and foliage -- images that we normally attribute to National
Geographic's magazine -- and keep his personal, anti-gun views to his
private conversations around the Christmas dinner table.

The National Geographic Channel presents itself as an educational,
unbiased alternative. But "Guns in America" was hardly unbiased, as
can be seen by the following agenda items that were pushed during the

1. "Guns in America" would have you believe that the guns in your
home are 22 times more likely to kill a family member than to protect
you. This statistic can (surprise, surprise!) be found on the Brady
Campaign website, but its source has been highly discredited. The
factoid originates with Arthur Kellerman, who has generated multiple
studies claiming that guns are a net liability.(1) But Kellerman has
been found guilty of fudging his data, and even the National Academy
of Sciences has stated that his "conclusions do not seem to follow"
from his data.(2)

The truth of the matter is actually quite encouraging for gun owners.
Anti-gun researchers for the Clinton Justice Department found that
guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense, which
means that each year, firearms are used more than 50 times more often
to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.(3)

Isn't that strange? You would think anti-gunners wouldn't mind
citing a study that was commissioned by the Clinton Justice
Department! Apparently, the results of the study didn't fit their

2. "Guns in America" overstates the number of children who die by
unintentional gunfire. The program would have viewers believe that a
child dies by accidental gunfire, once every two days. But you can
only reach that figure if you count violent-prone teens as

In fact, when you look at the statistics involving younger children
(ages 0-14), you see that kids have a greater chance of dying from
choking on things like the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that
you feed them.(4) Hmm, why doesn't National Geographic want to
report on those killer peanuts?

3. "Guns in America" portrays twelve times as many negative uses of
guns as positive uses -- even though in the real world, the truth is
quite the opposite (as guns are used at least 50 times more often to
save life than take life). The program does start with a
dramatization of a legitimate self-defense story with an actual 911
call playing in the background. But after that, every dramatization
is about drive-by-shootings or cops being shot or gang-related

The lesson for the viewer is: Guns are bad.

4. "Guns in America" only quotes anti-gun "authorities," thus leaving
the impression that all law-enforcement support gun control. Never
mind the fact that when one looks at polls of the police community,
they overwhelmingly hold pro-gun attitudes:

* Should any law-abiding citizen be able to purchase a firearm for
sport or self defense? -- 93% of law-enforcement said yes.(5)

* Do you believe law-abiding citizens should be limited to the
purchase of no more than one firearm per month? -- 70.1% of
law-enforcement said no.(6)

* Do you agree that a national concealed handgun permit would reduce
rates of violent crime as recent studies in some states have already
reflected? -- 68.2% of law-enforcement said yes.(7)

It's bad enough that a liberal teacher's union controls the education
of our kids in the public schools, and that many of them are being
brainwashed with politically correct thinking. We don't need
supposedly neutral programs like National Geographic peddling the
Brady Campaign's favorite factoids to an unsuspecting public.

ACTION: Please contact Tim T. Kelly, the President and CEO of
National Geographic Ventures (which includes their television
division), and urge him to steer the NatGeo channel away from
politics. If the National Geographic Channel can't run a balanced
program -- where they use real statistics -- then they just need to
stick to filming those cute little animals that helped make their
magazine so famous.

You can go to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/contact
to cut-and-paste the sample letter below into their webform. Since
you will need to select a Topic, please choose "I have a complaint."
And for "Department," we would suggest selecting "Factual Questions"
or "General."

---- Pre-written letter ----

Dear Mr. Kelly:

I will think twice before ordering the National Geographic magazine,
because I don't want to help you fund any more anti-gun propaganda.
Your Explorer show entitled "Guns In America" -- which has run
several times this month -- was heavily slanted to the gun control
position. The show used fallacious statistics without rebutting
them, all in an effort to demonize firearms.

For example, "Guns in America" falsely claimed that guns in the home
are 22 times more likely to kill a family member than to serve as
protection. That is simply not true. The author of this study,
Arthur Kellerman, has been discredited many times (by groups such as
the National Academy of Sciences), so it's shameful that your channel
would even cite his work.

Second, "Guns in America" overstates the number of children who die
by unintentional gunfire. In fact, when you look at the statistics
involving younger children (ages 0-14), you see that kids have a
greater chance of dying from choking on things like the peanut butter
and jelly sandwiches that you feed them. Can I expect to see a show
in the near future highlighting the danger of feeding children?

Third, "Guns in America" portrays twelve times as many negative uses
of guns as positive uses -- even though in the real world, the truth
is quite the opposite. According to statistics from the Clinton
Justice Department in 2007, guns are used at least 50 times more
often to save life than take life.

Finally, "Guns in America" only quotes anti-gun "authorities," thus
leaving the impression that all law-enforcement support gun control.
Never mind the fact that when one looks at polls of the police
community, they overwhelmingly hold pro-gun attitudes. (Please see
the poll results on the website for the National Association of
Chiefs of Police.) Why were none of these authorities ever cited?

The National Geographic Society's purpose is "to increase and diffuse
geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world's
cultural, historical, and natural resources." I would submit to you
that pushing gun control is far afield from your stated purpose.



12-17-2008, 7:50 PM

Sam .223
12-17-2008, 7:56 PM

12-17-2008, 8:08 PM
Thanks for passing this along. Letter sent.

12-17-2008, 8:17 PM
Just for adding a color to it, I sent this article to them:

"70 Million More Guns…38% Less Violent Crime

Friday, September 22, 2006

Data released by the FBI on Monday showed that in 2005, the nation’s total violent crime rate was 38% lower than in 1991, when violent crime hit an all-time high. Rates of the individual categories of violent crime were also much lower in 2005 than in 1991. Murder was 43% lower, rape 25% lower, robbery 48% lower, and aggravated assault 33% lower. The FBI’s report came on the heels of a Bureau of Justice Statistics crime survey that found that violent crime was lower in 2005 than anytime in the survey’s 32-year history.

Defying the anti-gunners’ claim that more guns means more crime, from 1991-2005 the number of privately owned guns increased by more than 70 million.

The news media often characterize violent crime as a primarily gun-oriented problem, but the FBI’s report showed that only one in every four violent crimes in 2005 was committed with a gun. In 2005, as in previous years, most violent crimes were robberies and aggravated assaults, most of which were committed with knives or bare hands.

Recently, anti-gun politicians and activists have intensified their rhetoric over the “lack” of bans on handguns, so-called “assault weapons”, and .50-caliber rifles; gun registration, gun owner licensing, and mandatory background checks on sales of guns between friends and family members; and limits on the frequency of gun purchases, all of which they say are necessary to reduce the nation’s murder rate. But for the last seven years, the murder rate has been steady¾in the 5.5-5.7 per 100,000 population range¾at all times lower than anytime since the mid-1960s. In 2005, for example, the murder rate was 5.6.

Naturally, anti-gunners will downplay the downward trend in violent crime since 1991, and focus on the fact that the FBI’s report showed a 1% increase in total violent crime, and a 2% increase in murder in 2005, compared to 2004. But those changes are miniscule, compared to the huge decrease in crime over the last 14 years.

The FBI’s report once again confirmed that violent crime rates are lower in states with Right-to-Carry (RTC) laws. In 2005, RTC states had, on average, 22% lower total violent crime, 30% less murder, 46% lower robbery, and 12% lower aggravated assault rates, compared to the rest of the country.

As usual, Washington, D.C., which leads the nation in anti-gun laws, led the nation in murder, with a rate six times higher than the rest of the country. Neighboring Maryland, where gun control advocates have been particularly active recently, once again had the highest robbery rate among the states, but also tied for the unenviable distinction of “first place” in murder among the states. However, despite Maryland’s high crime counts, CeaseFire Maryland, the local Brady Campaign affiliate that recently released a paper demanding an “assault weapon” ban, was unable to point to any crimes in the state involving such a gun.

The FBI’s report must have displeased New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (R). Despite the mayor’s recent posturing on the gun issue, and his self-laudatory comments about fighting crime, the Big Apple’s murder rate was more than double that of the rest of the state. Similarly, in Philadelphia, where anti-gun politicians are calling for a statewide one-gun-a-month law, the murder rate was more than seven times higher than the rest of Pennsylvania.

Adding to the reasons why voters should “Dump Doyle” in Wisconsin’s upcoming gubernatorial election, their state had the greatest total violent crime rate increase (15.1%) between 2004-2005. Murder was up 25.2%; robbery up 11.2%; and aggravated assault up 20.2%. Wisconsin is one of only two states that prohibits Right-to-Carry entirely, but in 2005, 11 of the 12 states that had the greatest decreases in total violent crime, and 12 of the 14 states with the greatest decreases in murder were Right-to-Carry states. The seven states with the lowest total violent crime rates in 2005, and 11 of the 12 states that had the lowest murder rates, were Right-to-Carry states.

Last, but not least, is good news from Florida, the state that during the last 20 years has been most often attacked by anti-gunners, for (among other reasons) setting the Right-to-Carry and “Castle Doctrine” movements in motion. In 2005, Florida recorded a murder rate 13% lower than the rate for the rest of the country (4.96 per 100,000, vs. 5.67 for the rest of the country). For the record, Florida’s 2005 murder rate was 58% lower than it was in 1986, the last year before the state’s landmark Right-to-Carry law took effect."

12-17-2008, 8:24 PM

12-17-2008, 8:25 PM
Thanks for taking initiative. I sent out a letter. Sadly it probably wont change squat.

redbull addict
12-17-2008, 8:33 PM

12-17-2008, 8:36 PM
I won't write them again, but if somebody wants to send them this, feel free to ;)


"The FBI data came from 12,715 law enforcement agencies that submitted information to the bureau's Uniform Crime Reporting program. The final figures will be released in the fall."

12-17-2008, 8:46 PM

12-17-2008, 11:22 PM
more stats to add:


12-17-2008, 11:27 PM
I sent them a response, in my own unique style :D

Thank you for demonstrating that your programming is agenda driven rather than factually based. You took your "facts" from the Brady campaign without checking them for accuracy. Your entire show was a farce, and unworthy of the formerly distinguished but now completely trashed reputation of National Geographic. Please stick to shows about birds and animals, because it is quite obvious that you cannot recognize a SNAKE when you see one. Your choice to broadcast that heavily biased program reinforces MY choice to never spend another moment of my time watching anything you produce or read anything you publish. You should be ashamed of yourself.

12-17-2008, 11:50 PM
Justice Department in 2007

Gotta fix that in the letter.

12-18-2008, 12:20 AM
Hmm i watched it i def. seen some neg. propaganda but not as much as expected and they did have a couple pro gun sections. But i don't like anything anti gun.

12-18-2008, 12:42 AM
more stats to add:


Maybe my pediatrician will have a question about "pool ownership" on my next questionnaire.

12-18-2008, 1:00 AM
According to some quick googling, there are c. 1m doctors in this country. Estimates about the number of private firearms vary widely, but a real lowball number would be around 100m (I tend to think it c. 3x that, but we'll use the low number for now). Estimates for annual medical malpractice deaths are c. 200K, using even abusive Brady definitions (which misleadingly claim things like suicides as gun deaths as well as fail completely on issues relating to the arrow of causality) are under 50K. IOW, granting the Brady's almost every conceivable "slop factor", doctors are 1% as numerous as guns, but cause 5x as many deaths - IOW, doctors are 500x as dangerous as guns. For the law and economics types out there, quick searches of med mal and gun deaths under a torts claim should reinforce these numbers, roughly. Funny how the Brady's never talk about the dangers of doctors flooding the streets ...

12-18-2008, 1:26 AM
That's quite a stat there...

12-18-2008, 2:32 AM

12-18-2008, 10:50 AM
Comments sent!
Thanks for the heads up!


12-18-2008, 11:31 AM


Shows like that piss me off.

12-18-2008, 11:39 AM
I tivo the show get home start to watch it and delete it after the first commercial brake. Their "Facts" were way off.

12-18-2008, 11:40 AM
Sent the letter, and added some of my own personal thoughts to it. I just needed it to be more from "me" that just a total chain letter. The body of it is still there.

12-18-2008, 12:56 PM
Defamation suit, anyone?

12-18-2008, 10:09 PM

12-19-2008, 9:29 AM
Excellent original post by hagar!

12-19-2008, 8:42 PM
Is there anywhere online I can view this? I don't get national geographic tv.

12-19-2008, 8:58 PM
Sent email. Thanks for the link. I put in there that I will not support any of thier advertisers.

12-20-2008, 3:06 AM

12-20-2008, 1:55 PM
sent. :D

will repost this...

12-20-2008, 2:40 PM

12-20-2008, 2:59 PM
Did it as well.

12-20-2008, 4:16 PM

12-20-2008, 4:32 PM

12-20-2008, 7:14 PM
Does anyone have the office address for this Tim Kelly? I would prefer to send an actual mailed letter. I've searched the website but can't find anything.