What Buddy Holly once said: Last night, Rachel Maddow did two segments about gun reform, a response to this week’s most recent mass shooting.
In her second segment, she interviewed Mark Kelly, who with his wife, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, has started a group which favors gun reforms.
Whether you agree with his views or not, Kelly is a thoroughly sensible person. We were struck by Maddow’s account of the way the debate about guns gets cast by various parties:
MADDOW (9/17/13): The debate in our country over gun policy most often gets cast as “people who hate guns” versus “people who love guns.” That’s the way the Beltway media casts the debate most often.Wow! As Buddy Holly once said, “it’s so easy.” It’s so easy to maybe get conned a wee bit by people on your own side!
That’s the way that the side [that] is opposed to any reforms likes to cast the debate. But that’s not how the debate is cast by the people who are on the side of the debate that wants gun reform.
Does “the Beltway media” most often cast this debate as “people who hate guns versus people who love guns?” We wouldn’t necessarily say so. As is so often the case at such moments, Maddow gave no examples.
More significantly, we were struck by Maddow’s portrait of the two warring sides. According to Maddow, the other tribe casts the debate that way.
Our own tribe does not.
We certainly agree with what Maddow said about leading groups on the other side. The NRA does tend to encourage the view that gun grabbers want to take everyone’s guns.
That said, is it really true that our side doesn’t cast the debate in cartoonish ways involving “people who love guns?”
It’s certainly true that Kelly and Giffords are working to erase clownish portrayals of the nation’s gun owners as a bunch of “gun nuts.”
But is it true that people on our side haven’t advanced that portrait down through the years? As we watched Maddow criticize Everyone Except Us, we thought of what Buddy Holly noted long ago.
In our view, Maddow’s account is hard to defend. We’d also say this:
Such statements tend to make blue voters feel good. They also tend to make red voters stop listening.
To watch these segments: To watch Maddow’s first segment, click this.
To watch her interview with Kelly, click here.