More often than not, gun owners are depicted as those in the wrong in TV shows and movies. Rarely are Second Amendment advocates shown in a favorable light, especially if they support the NRA.
In a recent episode of NBC’s “The Blacklist,” a young convenience store clerk is shot and killed by a would-be robber who obtained his firearm through what the show calls a “classic straw purchase.”
The reality is that it takes just shy of nine years, on average, for law enforcement to recover a firearm that was used, or suspected of use, in a criminal manner from the time it was purchased, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ (ATF) 2018 data. The narrative that a gun is bought, immediately sold illegally and used in a crime just doesn’t hold up under a factual analysis of crime data.
Later in the episode, the investigators then allege that the manufacturer of the firearm used was deliberately attempting to flood high-crime neighborhoods with cheap guns—the show does this in an obvious attempt to shift the blame from the actions of a criminal to a firearms manufacturer.
Naturally, this is just the start of a narrative that casts gun owners, firearms manufacturers and the NRA in a negative light. As the episode progresses and the media blames the fictional manufacturer for the tragic loss of life, the manufacturer makes a large donation to the NRA as a public relations stunt. The explicit naming of the NRA is a plot device used in a deliberate attempt to paint this nation’s oldest civil rights organization as something that perpetuates violence and crime.
Beyond this, the show portrays the head of the firearms manufacturer as a shady character who has no problem with senseless deaths.
The attempt to blame lawful manufacturers for the actions of criminals has become all-too-common in the media. It’s no surprise that presidential candidate Joe Biden has said that, if he’s elected, he will repeal the very law that protects firearms manufacturers from being held liable for the actions of criminals: the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
This episode of “The Blacklist” is yet another example of TV shows pushing the narrative that gun owners—and, by extension, the NRA—are a problem that needs to be solved.