Guns & Radio

I do apologize in advance for the following rant, however I’m in a bit of a foul temper this morning, having received about 6 inches of snow yesterday; locking my keys (no spare) in the truck, and finally this morning being treated to the following profound babble on my radio.

Allow me to set the stage for you, if you will. In the Indianapolis Metro area, there are approximately three morning radio shows. There is the Bob & Tom Show on 94.7, Stuck and Gunner on 103.3, and finally the Village Idiot Smiley Morning Show on 99.5. Before I continue, I should mention that 99.5 relentlessly hypes the Smiley show, so if you’re listening even when the fool isn’t on, you’re likely to hear at least 1,907 promos for his show in a 30 minute span. So, one day about 4 months ago, I took leave of my senses and tried to listen to the show. WORST. IDEA. EVER. I cannot with words even begin to convey the absolute, utter banality of the program. My only conclusion as to its seemingly inexplicable popularity is that everyone that listens to the show is a moron, that fear was unfortunately proven all to correct by their motley assortment of call-ins.

However, I am digressing from the subject at hand. During my lovely, icy commute this morning (Dear City of Hoosiertown – next time it snows, don’t use a zamboni to plow my subdivision), I was changing stations on the radio and happened across the Smiley Morning Show. My normal response to anything but music on 99.5 is to immediately punch the “next station” button on my radio, but this morning I lingered. The idiot host was mentioning how his family had a tradition that every Christmas they would go out into the backyard and plink cans with an air rifle. Apparently, the young children are allowed and encouraged to shoot as well, under adult supervision. “Well, that’s not so bad” I thought to myself, “Maybe this guy’s not a total idiot after all. You know, that’s actually pretty good when I think about it.

Ah, but my inner monologue spoke to soon. No sooner had the thought passed my frontal lobe than one of his idiot minions opined “Wow, I can’t believe you’re introducing children to guns. That’s really dangerous.” This caused a whole chorus of agreement from the mewling sycophants that they call “co-hosts”, and Smiley immediately agreed that children should not shoot guns because “Guns are Dangerous”.

Right about then, I lost the ability to see straight, as Red Curtain of Blood (thanks Kim) descended across my vision. I wasn’t angry because some idiot on the radio has an opinion – that’s his right and good for him. I wasn’t angry because the idiot on the radio’s opinion runs contrary to my own. I was angry because the entire show collectively went “Oh yeah…guns…icky. Kids should never even SEE guns”, and then the topic was never even discussed. It was done in such a flippant way, that the average person probably wouldn’t have even noticed it.

This is exactly what people are talking about when they refer to an “anti-gun bias”. It’s so subtle that if you’re not paying attention, you’d just write it off as par for the course. Suzy Soccermom in her Yukon probably didn’t even notice because it’s so common. It’s what you expect to hear. If one of the trained monkeys had spoken up and said “hey, there’s nothing wrong with teaching kids to shoot with an airgun, especially since it sounds like that’s a fun family activity with safe adult supervision”, the show would have been getting calls from Hell to breakfast about how they were advocating unsafe behavior. I’m relatively certain that the trained monkey would have been hauled in front of his or her boss for a little talking-to, just to make sure.

Of course, the advantage to this situation is exactly what you see here. I hear anti-gun bias on the radio, I can go on the internet and complain about it. It’s really all I can do, short of emailing the station (which I’ve already done); put the word out that guns aren’t bad.

You know, I think I’m going to go swing by Gander Mtn. on my way home and pick up an air rifle.