Everyone in the firearm community has seen it, and everyone knows of at least one journalistic hatchet job aimed at firearm owners. It evokes the usual reaction of letters to the editor, rebuttals, and backlash. However with the recent trend of centering on digital media, is this the proper approach from the firearm community?
Just recently the Canadian mainstream media has come out with their latest attack against the firearm community with the claim that "one Ontario child is killed per day by a firearm" (see our rebuttal here). This false claim by the mainstream media was shared tens of thousands of times by firearms owners via social media, which put hundreds of thousands of eyes on the articles and giving them what they so crave these days; traffic. You see, the media is dying, it's losing the battle to alternative media, YouTube, Bloggers, and social media. So like a child craving attention that will behave badly to get it, the media is spinning the narrative in order to incite the firearms community into giving them traffic. Unfortunately the firearm community played into their hands in this latest case and gave the 'spoiled child' a reward for their bad behaviour in the form of traffic to their digital media.
Of course articles aimed at the firearm community can't be ignored, and must be rebutted, however it's a fine line to walk between the proper action and feeding into the attention they require to remain relevant. Attention should be drawn to the articles in question, but in a way that alerts alternative media, firearm organizations, and bloggers to it in order to rebut the claim without sharing their articles to your own personal social media and giving them hundreds of thousands of views. In today's world of digital media if you want something to go away, then pay as little attention to it as possible, and let the traffic be generated by the sites that are on the side of civilian firearm ownership.
If it doesn't generate the views then it doesn't generate revenue, and believe it or not some media outlets give their journalists a quota for an amount of clicks to reach. These journalists and their employers are quick to learn what articles to lead with to gain the best return, and they will repeat the type of article if it generates enough traffic. So much like how a good parent doesn't reward a child for bad behaviour, don't feed the mainstream media traffic for the stories that oppose your firearms rights.