We Have A Lot Of Ground To Make Up.

Speaking of the culture war against guns (and I have been speaking about that a lot recently), these are just some of the gun-centric shows have come and gone from basic cable since I starting writing this blog.

Lock and Load
Top Shot
Sons Of Guns
Guns And Gear
American Guns
Mail Call (NSFW, because Gunny)
Hot Shots
3 Gun Nation

Now, there are very good (legal) reasons why at least two of those shows are off the air, and two more relied on the sparkling personality of R. Lee Ermey for their success, but right now, there are exactly ZERO gun-related shows on basic cable. Yes, there are the great shows about guns and how they’re used on places like the Outdoor Channel, Sportsmans Channel and The Pursuit Channel, but those shows are not growing the culture because the audience for those programs is an audience that is already interested in the outdoor life.

We need more outreach programs that show up on channels which don’t rely on hunting programs for the majority of their content. Something like a gunsmith version of “Forged In Fire” is an obvious idea, but that’s just an opening bid. We need more. Let’s get back to the 2010 numbers, and soon.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Let’s hope the producers vet the “hosts” considerably more thoroughly. Sons of Guns and American Guns should have never been greenlighted. Now my wife enjoyed “Top Shot,” and she’s not a gun enthusiast. Still don’t know why that series wasn’t renewed.

  2. The outdoor channel is selling out as well they run deadliest catch and movies now so they are not a good source of information anymore. To top it off the sportsman channel is no longer on our cable system so there is liitle to no pro-gun programming.

    1. A fishing show on an outdoor network! Realy, and the movies have guns. What are they not a good source of?

    2. A couple of thoughts on the outdoor channel:

      1) Their online service is excellent with tons of content.

      2) Cable and satellite are both dying. “Cord cutting” has become massive. Studies show that people now watch only 6-8 channels. Now virtually every channel is available online – for a lot less. At our house, we have Directv NOW ($35/mo), MYoutdoorTV ($10/mo) and PureFlix ($12/mo). Additionally our Ruku gets NRA TV and a ton of other free content. Then there are the 30+ channels we get for free over our antenna – all crystal clear and many in HD. Do the math – we get everything we could ever want for $57/mo.

      The bottom line is that content is rapidly moving online – and it is beginning with special interest programing. Outdoor Channel actually took a while to recognize this, but Michael Bane and others convinced them. In ten years cable/satellite may very well be gone.

    1. The problem isn’t the content creation: Heck, you can put together a crackerjack digital studio for about the same cost as a cheap car these days.

      The problem is getting someone to PAY for it.

  3. While I agree, I’m not sure what someone who isn’t a TV producer to pitch shows can do. If something like the Outdoor Channel shows that I watch (Best Defense, Gun Stories, Shooting USA…) were on the other channels, I’d watch them, but if they’re not on those channels, how do they know they’re losing a viewer.

    On the other hand, I’m not watching reality TV like the ones that have been on, wherever they are.

    I just went through the “cutting the cord” exercise, and I’m not even sure what “basic cable” means anymore. I went through all the streaming services and they don’t have that much in common. Compare the lowest end Sling package to Fubo for instance. I looked specifically for Outdoor Channel being included because I don’t see them being worth $10/month just for their My Outdoor TV service. The end result is that one or two services had them as an option for another $5 month, bundled with a few other specialized channels.

    BTW, another Florida gun blogger here. You’re a Florida guy?

    1. SWFL.

      Part of the problem (and I only know this third-hand, so I could be wrong) is that Outdoor Sportsman’s Group and others are hamstrung in their cable contracts with the biggies like Time-Warner and Comcast. Those guys don’t want OSG to stray too far from the nest and discourages OSG from pursuing other digital options.

      This is compounded, I think, by OSG seeing themselves as a TV operation, when in reality, they are a digital content provider.

      I’ve been screaming at them (and others) for YEARS to move content onto Roku, Apple TV and other delivery systems. Still hasn’t happened.

      1. I’m East Central – near the Cape. I should have said I’m here from Tam’s link.

        I listen to/watch Michael Bane’s weekly video/audio podcast and he’s been talking up MOTV for quite a while. It was pushing rocks uphill to get them to consider it.

        The price point for streaming channels ought to be a buck or two each. I get 65 channels for $40 now, so that’s about right. I’d pay $1 or $2 each for the handful of channels I’ll actually watch. Various providers talk about a la carte TV but nobody does it. I’ve yet to figure out how to get the few channels I want for less than $50/month – and it comes with lots of channels I never watch.

  4. In Silicon Valley, to get any shooting/hunting shows, or racing (MotoGP, etc) required the top tier package, which doubled the cost of tv viewing. Not happening. Just web access now. Nothing else worth watching for the cost. Mostly drivel now. Better shows back when there were only 3+ channels.

    Why so expensive? Politics driven?

  5. To be fair, I think video games are reaching many more people than cable.

    That being said, the cable cutters are going to be turning to youtube when they want to learn more about their sweet PUBG rifle, which itself is trying to choke out the culture.

    1. I agree. We need to reach out to the gamers and give them an IRL version of Call Of Duty with cardboard and steel, not pixels.

      There was a nice little deal worked out a few years ago where some of the power-ups in one of the FPS games was actual branded gear, like a 5.11 gear and Aimpoint optics. Sandy Hook put the kibosh on that. We need it again.

        1. That’s a good start. That’s an interesting video game to me because as far as I can tell, it rejects fascism and at the same time upholds traditional values of faith and ‘Murica.

          The SJW gamer element is puzzled at the idea that those two things could exist at the same time. This makes me want to buy it.

  6. Addressing the main point of the article, I think the closest we have is Blue Bloods – but the occasional positive portrayal of guns is not surprising given the involvement of an NRA Board member.

    Of course, as an evangelical, I’m used to this. Evangelicals are about 30% of the US population – name one TV show that features a positive evangelical character? A few have positive portrayals of Catholics (again Blue Bloods comes to mind), but I don’t know of a single show with a regular evangelical character, nor a single LDS character. Contrast this with the number of LBGT characters on TV. At most, this group comprises 10% of the US population.

    The bottom line is simple: Much of what is on TV is propaganda. It’s not crude or overt – but it is still propaganda. There is enormous pressure on content providers to be politically correct – only a few are willing to stand up against it.

    1. Michael Bane suggests that we use the same tactics that the LBGT community used to make themselves accepted, and I think he’s right.
      I also think that the anti-smoking tactics that the gun control crow is using is doomed to fail. The societal benefits of smoking are pretty much nil, but the societal benefits of private gun ownership show up every time some defends a life with a gun.

  7. I’ve been thinking about this, myself lately – the lack of mainstream firearm friendly shows. And now gun content is gradually getting squeezed out of YouTube. With that said, I think “exiling” gun stuff to specialized TV and online venues only reinforces the (untrue) idea that it’s a non-mainstream avocation.

    Not only has History Channel ditched Top Shot, but two recent episodes of Forged In Fire (so far) featured the destruction of guns for use a raw material to make knives.

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