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National Geographic Gun Show Draws Heavy Fire from Critics

A recent special from the National Geographic Channel titled "Guns in America" has become the latest catalyst in the debate over what responsible journalism means when it comes to one of America's most contentious issues.

Guns in America originally aired on the National Geographic Channel on December 16, 2008. The show's intended mission was to be an unbiased exploration of "the gun culture in America, from a police officer to a young mother."

No sooner had the program ended than gun right's advocates were up in arms over the statistics used in the show and what they saw as a decidedly anti-gun slant.

"It's bad enough that a liberal teacher's union controls the education of our
kids in the public schools, and that many of them are being brainwashed with
politically correct thinking.  We don't need supposedly neutral programs like
National Geographic peddling the Brady Campaign's favorite factoids to an
unsuspecting public," wrote gun rights advocacy group Gun Owners of America in a letter urging their members to consider boycotting the channel. (Click here to read the full letter).

However, many gun control organizations support the controversial statistics cited in the program, with leading gun control groups like the Brady Campaign backing up the program's claim that eight young people a day are killed by a firearm in the United States.

The National Geographic Channel has so far declined to make any statement about the program.

Does owning a gun make you safer? Read the Opposing Views debate here.



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