This Weapon is Set to Stun!
By The Liberty Crew
It’s a fair question: “What do the anti-gun people say when they see your film, Innocents Betrayed?”
No matter what business you are in -- from landscaping to cooking, from health care to accounting, from trucking to making music -- you have to face the customers and the critics. It is no different when you make a strong film designed to persuade.
Naturally, people have wanted to know whether Innocents Betrayed can survive criticism from the anti-self defense, gun-prohibitionist crowd. The film was featured at the American Renaissance Film Festival in September in Dallas, Texas. Dedicated critics viewed it there.
They Came to Attack
The folks at Salon.com called it “outlandish” and tried their hardest to just broad-brush and dismiss the message. They wrote that Innocents Betrayed “attributes most of the 20th century's genocides, as well as lynching, the Japanese-American internment and the rape of Nanking, to gun control.” To describe the film as simplistically as possible, they said: “it first explains how a particular government passed laws limiting the ownership of weapons, and then cuts to pornographic montages of mutilated corpses.”
At the American Prospect online presence, the reviewer tried to minimize Innocents Betrayed by saying that it offers “the astounding thesis that the genocides of Rwanda, Cambodia, and Bosnia stemmed from gun-control laws.” (Bosnia is not mentioned in the film, but hey, was the reviewer actually watching?)
What was missing from these reviews? Everything that makes any difference.
Neither of these reviewers offered a shred of argument against any fact presented in Innocents Betrayed. They could write sarcastically, but they could not disprove. They could try to minimize, but they could not rebut. You know if they could have then they would have seized on any vulnerable fact to attack.
It seems that even enemies of the message who see Innocents Betrayed are left without arguments. They are stunned – they have no ready answer.
Where Were Our Friends?
Something disturbing did occur at the American Film Renaissance Festival in Dallas. More accurately, something did not occur. The Festival featured films made by conservative and pro-liberty people, but the self-styled friends of traditional American values, the “conservative” media, did not attend. They did not watch the films or write reviews.
Do gun owners just assume that that well-known talk hosts and personalities, news commentators, and “right wing” Internet news services, are going to take care of their interests? It’s time to think again. Make a list of the “conservative” or “libertarian” or “pro-gun” opinion makers that you rely upon to carry the message of gun rights. Now draw a red line through each name – none of them came to the Festival to watch or review the films.
Second Amendment Sisters did attend, as did a number of wonderful pro-liberty, pro-America college students from North Texas University and elsewhere. JPFO was there with Innocents Betrayed. And the hostile media was there – even the New York Times Magazine sent a reporter.
The shocking lack of support for the Festival from the supposed friends of right-of-center ideas made one thing very clear: the people who want to protect gun rights must fight for them by their own efforts. We cannot rely on famous and supposedly influential people to help in any way.
Many readers of this column have done so much more. Readers have bought and shared a booklet, a book or a video, and transmitted the message to others through articles, letters to the editor and Internet posts. These are people who have actually joined the fight.
Sometimes people ask why JPFO exists. After all, there are other pro-rights organizations. The answer is simple: we are regular decent Americans who are taking real action. We are people who learn, get informed, and teach others. Sometimes affecting one person at a time, but we’re doing something to affect hearts and minds.
Now we see that the rich and famous “conservative” people are not much interested in actually advancing the pro-rights message. The American Film Renaissance Festival was a perfect time to gather pro-American, pro-Bill of Rights people under a big tent to advance liberty – but the rich and famous folks didn’t show up.
You can join the dedicated band of Americans of all colors, professions and income brackets who really want to advance the right to keep and bear arms. Join JPFO. It’s still only $20 annually. View the jpfo.org website, and learn, and obtain the teaching tools. And pass the word. Because nobody else will.
Copyright 2004, by Aaron Zelman. Permission is granted to reproduce this article in full, provided that JPFO contact information, website and phone number are included. J.P.F.O., Inc. * P.O. Box 270143 * Hartford, WI 53027 * (800) 869-1884 * (800) 869-1884.
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