Friday, January 21, 2011

Astroturfing By ThinkProgress

Reporters from ThinkProgress, which is the lefty website for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, attended the SHOT Show this week. They were trolling for people who would say that standard capacity magazines were not needed for self-defense. As might be expected in an edited video, they found the answers they wanted. I imagine this clip will be shown to Congressional staffers and wavering Representatives in an effort to pass HR 308.

You have to wonder how many of the people answering the question realized that they were being used. It points out just how tricky it can be dealing with the press and advocacy groups.

ThinkProgress attended the SHOT Show convention in Las Vegas this week — “the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports and hunting industries” — and asked many attendees if they thought these types of clips are necessary for self-defense. Most we talked to concurred, “Not really”:

TP: Do you think that for self defense purposes it matters whether you have 10 or 15 rounds in your magazine?

ATTENDEE 1: Probably not. No probably not. Honestly. [...]

ATTENDEE 2: It takes one shot to kill. … Anything more than one shot is excessive. I mean if someone is breaking in to your house at a panic you’re might going to shoot him once. You’re not going to empty your load on him while they’re lying on your kitchen floor. [...]

TP: If someone were to use a gun for self protection purposes, would they need 10, 30 rounds?

ATTENDEE 3: No, I hope not. I don’t know why. If ten rounds of ammunition can’t do the job you probably shouldn’t own a gun. I don’t want to live next to that guy.


  1. Sometimes I wonder if the people they interview are actual gun owning attendees, and not some of their own crew.

  2. They are probably real attendees. Most people don't really think about this stuff.

  3. "Most people don't really think"

    The venue probably put many of these folks off. They did not think the enemy would be in the camp with them. In any case - these clips were obviously the only ones that met the needs of the folks putting the video together.

    I wonder how many interviews are on the cutting room floor. In any case, there are certainly people who are gun owners who feel the same way as these folks.

    I also wonder how many of these folks are members of pro-gun groups (NRA, SAF, GOA, etc.)?

  4. The lady interviewed should be the greatest shot on earth... apparently she can stop or kill anything or anyone with one shot...

    Dann in Ohio

  5. 90% of the time one shot is one miss.

  6. When I attended SHOT in Orlando many years ago, it was fun to watch the separate groups that attended.
    You had the tactical folks and the hunting folks.
    I noticed a lot of crossover, but there were always folks that would walk around and avert their eyes from tactical gear so they could hit the booth to check out engraved over-under shotguns. (in all honesty, I did the opposite myself...)

    I imagine they had to interview most of the attendees before producing enough uneducated/inexperienced viewpoints to make their little video show what they wanted it to say.