Reality TV and Guns

From American Rifleman:

Whatever bias senior network executives once had against guns, it has appeared to have evaporated. In television, ratings rule (especially when it comes to hard-to-reach viewers through traditional programming, such as, uh, men), and those who produce entertainment have finally realized that firearms and shooting are part of mainstream America. And, perhaps more importantly, guns and the people that own and use them are interesting. While there is contrived drama and, at times, there are scenes that make this NRA Certified Instructor wince, these shows bring firearms ownership into literally tens of millions of homes every week. From such shows, people who have never been exposed to firearms and their lawful owners can see them being used, made, bought and sold, like the artifacts and tools they are. Whether it was through the Heller and McDonald decisions or the simple success of shows where firearms are featured (Hollywood and New York love to dog pile success), guns and shooting equal ratings, which is good news for the Second Amendment. Such programs demystify firearms, and they show what we have known all along—shooting is fun and marksmanship competition is challenging.

The pity is that we don’t get similar shows here.

The moment that I realized I was genuinely hooked on reality firearm shows was when my oldest son excitedly told me, “Dad, get down here. Big Mike is back!” Of course, he was referring to Mike Hughes returning to “Top Shot” late in Season Three of the hit History Channel show. Tuesday nights are reserved for the two of us, with the basement TV and the couch. “Top Shot” begins its fourth season this week, 10 p.m. EST on Tuesday, and I look forward to it. The first season, with its high-speed camera work, exploding or reactive targets, and the increasingly interesting guns and challenging shooting stages of Season Two and Three have made a good premise into a truly interesting and entertaining show.

I haven’t seen Top Shot…but there are other shows:

Firearms are a part of this genre’s most successful programs, as well as other shows doing well in the rating these days, including “Mythbusters,” “Pawn Stars,”  Sons Of Guns,”  “American Guns,” “Only In America With Larry The Cable Guy,” “Top Shot,” “Cajun Pawn,” “Swamp People” and even Discovery’s top show “Gold Rush.” Speaking of the latter, we had a great interview with NRA members Todd Hoffman and his dad, Jack, who plan to be at the NRA Annual Meetings in St. Louis. Todd and Jack did say there was a downside to the reality TV business, though—they missed out some prime hunting last season.

I love Sons of Guns. I’m not sure the other shows are shown here…with the exception of Mythbusters.

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  • redeye

    Pawn Stars is a great little over-dinner watch on 7:00pm on the Box.

    • Right I’ll set MySky up for that

  • Hakim of phut

    They have all these shows and we get Fran Drescher- again

  • Vlad

    Auction Hunters 8pm Thursday on Discovery — one of the hosts is an old weapons expert — they always get to fire them too, lots of black powder smoke & flames. 

  • Spiker

    I wonder how to go about importing Tannerite for a little exploding target fun?

    • phronesis

      you can buy it on trademe if you know what you’re looking for….

  • Digit

    Top Shot is basically ‘Survivor’ with guns. Ive enjoyed the last 3 series – My son loves it to. Season 4 kicks off tonight – first episode should be available for download in the next 12 hours. I have seasons 1-3 if interested.

  • A-random-reader

    I am amused to read that you have a MySky subscription Whale.

    It seems highly inappropriate for somebody on a government benefit.

  • kehua

    Cam , I am involved in the manufacture of leather goods and my contempories in the States  are all kept busy making custom holsters, it is a huge market. Moulded replicas for virtually every gun ever produced are available on a site called it is well worth a look, the range of handguns is quite incredible.