I recently heard a rumor that two of the Discovery Channel’s shows – American Guns and Sons of Guns – were being cancelled due to recent gun-related violence and the public’s sensitivity to gun related issues. As, you may have read, I’m a big fan of Sons of Guns. So naturally this made me upset.
I know that in the wake of recent gun-related tragedies and the current gun control debate in America, a lot organizations have tried to distance themselves from firearms. Additionally, many gun advocates and companies in the firearms industry have come under what can only be referred to as persecution.
Just days after the tragedy in Newtown, CT, it was reported that Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped carrying AR15’s. Further, politicians have come out urging banks not to do business with the firearms industry or to stop banks from funding firearms manufacturers. Then you have folks like Emperor Bloomberg in NYC actually blaming the NRA for the Sandy Hook tragedies.
Among all this, Hollywood hypocrites came out urging us, their fans, to plead for the government to do something to stop the violence. They do this while taking salaries glorifying gun violence in movies and TV. And yet, this “public sensitivity to to gun violence” hasn’t stopped new horror shows like The Following from launching. Further, this “gun sensitive public” are happily going to see gratuitously violent films like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Django Unchained, Gangster Squad and Bullet to the Head to name a few.
So, if the public is so sensitive to topics related to firearms, why do scores of violent films and TV shows remains so popular? And if shows depicting gun violence are lapped up by the public, why would we shy away from TV shows that demonstrate the safe use of firearms and how these firearms should be respected and handled with care?
Hearing about the Discovery Channel cancellation rumors made me both angry and sad. But rather than react emotionally, I put my emotions to productive use and wrote a letter to Discovery explaining why I think it would be sad to see these shows go away. Below is what I wrote.
My letter to Discovery on Sons of Guns and American Guns
I am writing to you as a long-time fan of your network and many of your shows. One of my favorite shows is Sons of Guns. I find the team at Red Jacket to be some of the kindest, smartest and most ingenious people ever depicted in a “reality” show. So many shows featuring real life people and jobs focus on in-fighting, back-stabbing and poor behavior. Sons of Guns has continued to buck this trend and it has been a joy to watch. Rather than watching reality shows that demonstrate poor behavior so pervasive in our culture today, this show has demonstrated family values, hard work and tradition. This is the type of show that I’ve come to expect from a quality network like Discovery.
Sadly, I had recently heard many rumors that the cancellation of American Guns and the possible cancellation of Sons of Guns might be due to recent gun-related tragedies and the current gun control debate in America. It is my sincere hopes that this is not true.
In a TV culture where more scripted shows depict greater and more horrific violence and the worst type of human behavior, it would be very sad to see two quality shows demonstrating responsible gun owners and the positive side of firearms be removed from the air. Indeed these two shows have had many opportunities to depict how carefully gun owners treat their weapons and how they respect them. These are shows that demonstrate the great history of firearms, the wonderful inventions involved in the firearms industry and how firearms can be a positive tool when handled with care and respect. Where else on television do people have a chance to see the positive and healthy side of firearms if not on Discovery?
Today, more and more TV shows, movies and video games seem aimed at glorifying gun violence. Indeed, many shows are almost unbearable to watch even for a grown man. American Guns and Sons of Guns not only demonstrate the amazing technology of firearms, but also their usefulness in military, law enforcement, sporting and self-defense – and they do all of this in healthy working environments among smart and caring people.
It is my sincere hope that these rumors of cancellation that I have heard are not true and that you will strongly consider continuing to air these two smart, informative and entertaining shows on a network that so many have come to trust and rely on for quality educational programming.
Thank you, from a sincere fan.
All photos owned by Discovery and Jupiter Entertainment.