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April 12, 2012

NBC Shows Anti-Gun Bias . . . Again


In an attempt to combat failing ratings, NBC’s Rock Center on Wednesday night aired another biased and sensationalized piece on Remington Arms, and America’s firearms industry. The Rock Center reporter, Scott Cohn, has a well established anti-gun bias — as evidenced by his 2010 “story” on the Remington 700. Cohn and NBC alluded to an unwarranted government regulation of the firearms industry by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There should be no doubt, last night’s segment was just another piece of agenda-driven “journalism” clearly designed to promote a CPSC takeover of the firearms industry.

Moreover, the firearms NBC chose to demonize were the Remington Model 870 and 1100 shotguns — firearms that have been in production for almost 60 years and are among the most popular models of shotguns in America. They are used by millions of sportsmen, target shooters and for home defense, as well as the U.S. military and thousands of law enforcement agencies all across the country. There are more than 20 million of these firearms in circulation through which billions upon billions of rounds have been fired without incident.

So while this latest attack by NBC may be aimed at Remington, it is really aimed at the entire firearms industry. After all, if NBC can get away with propagating spurious claims about an alleged defect in a 60-year-old firearm model in an effort to push its anti-gun political agenda, then no firearm manufacturer is safe from such an attack.

In looking at the claims NBC is leveling against Remington, it is important to note that they are all based on the opinion of plaintiff’s attorneys and a paid so-called “expert” — hired guns if you will. The so-called expert has made a living testifying against at least 16 other firearms manufacturers. The “opinions” of the so-called expert, who has been paid to give opinions against firearm manufacturers, have consistently been rejected by courts and juries. In my opinion, he just lacks any credibility — watch here.

As a former products liability attorney who represented many in the firearms industry from baseless product liability claims, I can tell you that reports like NBC’s are nothing more than a marketing tool for ambulance-chasing attorneys and “expert” witnesses looking to make a buck. The truth is that product liability claims are exceedingly rare in our industry, especially when one considers there are more than 300 million firearms in civilian ownership in the United States. At one point, one of my former clients — one of the oldest and largest manufacturers — had no pending product liability cases, not even a frivolous one.

My concern with last night’s piece, however, is more industry based. We cannot allow NBC to launch an unwarranted attack against any manufacturer as a means of generating support for a CPSC takeover of the entire firearms industry. Every manufacturer, retailer, distributor and gun owner should be concerned and, more importantly, engaged. Way back in the 1970s when Congress set up the CPSC, it expressly exempted firearms and ammunition products because it feared that the CPSC would be used to advance gun control. That fear is as real today as it was 40 years ago. To ensure the CPSC doesn’t start to control guns, we need to be sure to elect a pro-gun majority to Congress. So #gunvote — Don’t Risk Your Rights.

Consider contacting Brian Williams at Rock Center. Let him know that for a network news show trying desperately to attract viewers, throwing credibility out the window is not a good place to start.