PBS Produces Anti-Campus Carry Propaganda to Accompany ‘Tower’ Documentary

Guns On Campus Univeristy of Texas
PBS Produces Anti-Campus Carry Propaganda to Accompany ‘Tower' Documentary
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

AUSTIN, TEXAS –-(Ammoland.com)- If you were producing a short documentary about Texas' campus carry law, wouldn’t you want the input of the student-led organization that started the campus carry movement, solicited the support of both the National Rifle Association and its state affiliates, and popularized the phrase “campus carry”?

This apparently wasn't a priority for PBS when it produced the short documentary “Guns on Campus” to accompany the network's upcoming broadcast of “Tower,” the award-winning feature-length documentary about the 1966 sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin.

Producer/director Joanne Elgart Jennings waited until she was at the airport, on her way to Texas, before reaching out to the Texas chapter of Students for Concealed Carry. SCC Southwest Regional Director Brian Bensimon was eager to speak to Jennings about his organization's positions and activism, but Jennings refused to interview Bensimon for the documentary unless he agreed to let her film him showing off a gun in his apartment. Bensimon explained that SCC has a strict policy against representatives displaying their handguns to the media, but Jennings refused to budge, and SCC was excluded from PBS's documentary about the issue SCC created.

Now PBS is promoting a campus carry documentary that, despite offering brief clips of a couple of campus carry supporters, offers no insight into either the campus carry movement or the arguments that got a campus carry law passed in the Lone Star State.

The documentary does, however, include an interview with one of the leaders of UT-Austin's anti-campus carry movement.

Anti Gun English Professor Lisa Moore
Anti Gun English Professor Lisa Moore : At no point during the documentary does this professor mention that she is one of three professors who filed suit a full month before the law took effect, seeking to block it.

The documentary ( https://youtu.be/yvrWnWjCM9s ) also includes an interview with a UT-Austin professor who—in stark contrast to most media reports—claims that campus carry “makes it really hard for [professors] to do [their] job as instructors” because it has “introduced a level of tension, or wariness, into the classroom setting.

At no point during the documentary does this professor mention that she is one of three professors who filed suit a full month before the law took effect, seeking to block it.

This five-minute hit piece by PBS also includes a short interview with Ramiro Martinez, a retired Austin police officer who was one of two officers who shot and killed the perpetrator of the 1966 University of Texas sniper attack. The piece includes a clip of Martinez speculating about how dangerous it would have been if, during the 96-minute shooting spree, he had encountered an armed citizen who was also looking for the shooter—something license to carry holders are trained not to do.

Joanne Elgart Jennings
Joanne Elgart Jennings : Given Ms. Jennings' fundamental misunderstandings of the issue, I thought SCC would have a lot to contribute to her project. But when I returned her call, she was only interested in finding somebody to add controversy or sex appeal or whatever she thought showing a student with a gun added to her film.

The piece neglects to mention that Martinez retired from law enforcement five years before Texas' concealed carry law took effect and that he has no experience as a law enforcement officer in a state where the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is allowed. It also neglects to mention that Martinez's 2005 autobiography states;

“I was and am still upset that more recognition has not been given to the citizens who pulled out their hunting rifles and returned the sniper's fire. The City of Austin and the State of Texas should be forever thankful and grateful to them because of the many lives they saved that day.”

Michael Newbern, assistant director of public relations for SCC, commented, “How does someone produce a documentary on Texas' campus carry law and not involve the group responsible for virtually every pro-campus carry op-ed published in Texas during the past decade? How do they not include the one group that ran a TV commercial supporting passage of the campus carry bill? It's as if the film's producers had no interest in the individuals and arguments that got the law passed in the first place.”

Bensimon, the SCC director who took the call from the documentary's producer/director, explained his feelings on the matter:

When Ms. Jennings called, she left a voice mail stating that she was doing a story about “open carry on the UT campus” and that she planned on filming an “open carry class” and wanted to talk to “gun owners who can make the case that civilians who are trained and armed can assist law enforcement.”

The fact that she referenced gun owners rather than to license to carry holders gave me pause. There is a big difference between someone who simply buys a gun and someone who goes through the training, testing, and vetting required to obtain a Texas license to carry.

Also, the fact that she clearly didn't understand the difference between open carry, which remains illegal on Texas college campuses, and concealed carry, which is what the Texas Legislature voted to allow on college campuses, made me think she hadn't done much homework before embarking on her trip to Texas.

I was further concerned by the fact that she wanted someone to defend the argument that gun owners can “assist law enforcement ,” which was not one of the arguments behind the passage of Texas' campus carry law—a law that is about personal protection, not campus protection, that is about allowing licensed individuals on campus their usual means of self-defense, not about creating amateur security guards.

Given Ms. Jennings' fundamental misunderstandings of the issue, I thought SCC would have a lot to contribute to her project. But when I returned her call, she was only interested in finding somebody to add controversy or sex appeal or whatever she thought showing a student with a gun added to her film.

ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com.

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oldvet
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oldvet

Don’t feel bad Gail they’re not posting my reply to you either.

oldvet
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oldvet

@ Gail Question: Do you have an air-bag in your car, do you plan to use it? Air-bags have been proven to kill people. Yes the fake news media began screaming the somalian had used a gun before they had any facts.

Gail Caduff-Nash
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Gail Caduff-Nash

F you if you don’t print my comment. I filled out all required fields. I just don’t agree with anything you say.

Tionico
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Tionico

Hmm.. a little not too well hidden anger and aggression there, I see.
Perhaps your opposition to the concept of armed citizens is that you project your own instability and aggression.

Not everyone else has those issues.

Dave Eckart
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Dave Eckart

All posts are reviewed first, and take awhile for them to appear. As you can see, your original post is here. One of the reasons for this website is to educate people about gun rights. You should take some time and peruse this website. It has a lot of valuable information on gun rights. I have found that when one becomes educated about guns, gun safety, and gun rights, one begins to understand and agrees with the right to carry and other gun rights. I have also found that those that live in fear of guns are controlled by their… Read more »

oldvet
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oldvet

@Gail Question: Do you have an air-bag in your car? Do you plan to use it? Air-bags have been proven to kill people. Yes the fake news media began screaming the somalian had used a gun before they had any facts.

Gail Caduff-Nash
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Gail Caduff-Nash

It seemed to last forever, the killing. It was on tv in Ohio – at least part of it. Kids being killed by some idiot with guns. There was shock among everyone witnessing it. Disbelief. So much sadness. And now? Promoting campus-carry? Acting so passe about killings? Thinking you’ll be safe with a weapon? Thinking you’ll be a big hero? Thinking you might not end up being killed by another delusional and well-armed person? YOU are delusional.

Tionico
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Tionico

YES, promoting campus carry… the same kind of carry fifteen million Americans do every day. The bank, the library, parks, Costco, Starbux, Home Depot, a concert, church, a picnic in the park with my family, ridoung our bicycles, driving our cars…. shopping downtown, eating dinner in a restaurant, and YOU WILL NEVER KNOW. Every year, somewhere around one to two and a half million times, normal every day folks use their guns to stop vilnent crimes… this per federal statistics. In most of those incidents the gun is never fired. Roughly one in ten adult residents are able to carry… Read more »

Dave Eckart
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Dave Eckart

In all the gun safety and self-defense training I have taken or read about in classrooms, magazines, and websites, etc., no one is told to “be a hero” – that is not part of the training. One carries as a last resort, hoping to never need it. Thankfully that is usually the case; one is very unlikely to be a victim of a crime, and even more unlikely to be the victim of a violent crime. The delusion you have is believing that you will never be a victim of a crime, and hopefully that will be true, something we… Read more »

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@Gail Ohio? Wasn’t that a young Somali person with a car and a knife, shouting Alah Akbar, that was ultimately shot by a campus policemen?

Don Bailey
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Don Bailey

During the shooting at the U. of Texas Tower, none of the Austin P.D. officers had sufficient fire power to fire back at Charles Whitman. Only the students living in the dorms who were deer hunters, had their deer rifles with the reach to fire back him. I believe that it was this incident that led to the development of mass shooting contingency plans and special reaction teams like SWAT. However, people like Joanne Jennings, will use any device, any prop, to further their anti-gun agenda.

Jim S
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Jim S

This is where we on the conservative have lost many battles. Mainstream media (if PBS is still mainstream) continually promotes a socialist agenda of let the government take care of all things and there will be peace among man. We do not counter this trash in any effective manner. It feels as if the illegals have more support than us 2A conservatives. I know we dont protest like the left does, we dont burn businesses, but we also dont come together to at least balance out these competing viewpoints. I dont know what the answer is but I will know… Read more »

Jim Macklin
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Jim Macklin

As I recall the Texas Tower shooting, a private citizen carried a shotgun up the elevator leading several police officers. “This five-minute hit piece by PBS also includes a short interview with Ramiro Martinez, a retired Austin police officer who was one of two officers who shot and killed the perpetrator of the 1966 University of Texas sniper attack. The piece includes a clip of Martinez speculating about how dangerous it would have been if, during the 96-minute shooting spree, he had encountered an armed citizen who was also looking for the shooter—something license to carry holders are trained not… Read more »

Joanne Jennings
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Joanne Jennings

Dear editors, I’m writing to respond to the inaccurate characterization by Students For Concealed Carry regarding my efforts to interview a member of their organization. First, I want to provide a link to the actual video, since that was not included in the blog and I think it’s best for people to have source material so they can determine their own viewpoints: I tried to reach out to get a representative to interview, and the one person who I got on the telephone, hung up on me mid-conversation. After he explained his perspective on campus carry, which I would have… Read more »

Dave Eckart
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Dave Eckart

I feel that it was unwise for both the CC holder and you to show how he carries cc at the school. That is the whole point of cc, that no one else knows. I also believe that professor and student’s argument for why they are against cc is disingenuous. How can there be tension over someone carrying, if you have no idea if someone is carrying or not? Just because one is allowed, does not mean he/she is cc. If someone is that afraid of the unknown, how does that person function daily? Off campus, the same issue would… Read more »

Tionico
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Tionico

Joanne Jennings, having done a little bit of research and reporting into various topics, I am surprised that, long before you hopped on that plane for Texas, you did not attempt to contact the folks at Campus Carry, and get them on board with your project. Since it were they who largely brought this law into effect, normal thinking would dictate they are a key player, and thus ought to have a more significant role in YOUR project. To wait until you were on the ground in Texas to even broach the project is lazy reporting. Did you even listen… Read more »

Joanne Jennings
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Joanne Jennings

Thank you for articulating your viewpoint so clearly. In response to your question, I was assigned the story three days before hopping on the plane. In addition to editorial research, there was much technical and administrative work to do in advance. Of course I wanted to speak with students who advocate for concealed carry on campus. I did immediately send several messages via social media, but did not receive any responses. The night before the flight, another advocate for campus carry suggested I talk with Brian and gave me his contact info. I was genuinely excited to get his viewpoint.… Read more »

Texas Students for Concealed Carry
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Texas Students for Concealed Carry

For the record, SCC’s representative politely ended the telephone conversation with Ms. Jennings after ten minutes of her unrelenting insistence that he show a gun in his apartment. However, you don’t have to take SCC’s word on this to see that this documentary is biased. The portion of this documentary dedicated to supporters of campus carry is almost entirely B-roll of them carrying or shooting guns and narrating what they’re doing (e.g., “I get up, eat breakfast; the only difference is that I put a gun in my bag before I go to campus”). The portion dedicated to opponents is… Read more »

Students for Concealed Carry
Guest
Students for Concealed Carry

For the record, SCC’s representative politely ended the telephone conversation with Ms. Jennings after ten minutes of her unrelenting insistence that he show a gun in his apartment. However, you don’t have to take SCC’s word on this to see that the documentary is biased. The portion of the documentary dedicated to supporters of campus carry is almost entirely B-roll of them carrying or shooting guns and narrating what they’re doing (e.g., “I get up, eat breakfast; the only difference is that I put a gun in my bag before I go to campus”). The portion dedicated to opponents is… Read more »

TX SCC
Guest
TX SCC

For the record, SCC’s representative politely ended the telephone conversation with Ms. Jennings after ten minutes of her unrelenting insistence that he show a gun in his apartment. However, you don’t have to take SCC’s word on this to see that the documentary is biased. The portion of the documentary dedicated to supporters of campus carry is almost entirely B-roll of them carrying or shooting guns and narrating what they’re doing (e.g., “I get up, eat breakfast; the only difference is that I put a gun in my bag before I go to campus”). The portion dedicated to opponents is… Read more »