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The NRA Just Created its Own Netflix to Convince Young People That Guns Are Cool

The NRA Just Created its Own Netflix to Convince Young People That Guns Are Cool

Written by Jessica Goldstein

The NRA would like you to meet Colion Noir. He’s the host of their new show, Noir, which premieres May 11 on NRA FreestyleNoir is just one of the new shows the NRA plans to launch, alongside Media Lab, in which a Veteran Navy SEAL will dissect violence in TV and movies, NRA Sharp (“for the culturally curious”), and I Am Forever, about another Veteran Navy SEAL and the teenage girl he will “guide” on “her journey toward personal protection.”

About two months ago, the NRA announced a partnership with Noir who, as an African-American millennial, isn’t the typical NRA spokesperson, thus the basis of his appeal. Since Newtown, the NRA has made a mission of winning over more non-white supporters. The NRA even hosted a “Youth Day” at which children were offered free memberships.

But the odds are not ever in the NRA’s favor: According to a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll, taken in spring of last year, 49 percent of millennials support stricter gun laws, compared to 15 percent who think they should be less strict (35 percent want no change in the laws). Only 18 percent of 18 to 25 year olds reported owning a gun.

Noir has an impressive social media presence—over 35,000 followers on Twitter, 181,000 likes on Facebook, and nearly 220,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel—and got his start in the pro-gun world with YouTube videos about firearms. His show is part of this broader NRA effort to reach out to the not older, white and male crowd; he’s co-hosting with Amy Robbins, a young white woman who says her mission is to “highlight women shooters and our influence in the gun world.” She also says she has total disdain for guys who pick up a gun by “limp wrist[ing] it like he was picking up a tarantula.” The whole thing winds up reading like an out-of-touch person’s idea of what hot, hip gun supporters should be.

Amy demonstrates the lame, unmanly way to hold a gun. Don't try THAT at home if you want to impress the ladies, boys! Credit: Screenshot from "Noir"

Though the only clip available right now is a short preview, the show already looks like it’s all over the place. Noir promises he’ll be discussing politics; the video cuts to him asking, “Is it me, or is Mayor Bloomberg the lamest billionaire on the planet?” At one point, Noir announces that “we’ll talk about everything and politicize nothing,” but goes on to say he’s not convinced that the anti-gun citizens really exist. “I have a theory. No one is actually anti-gun. You’re either pro-gun, scared of guns, or you’re hiding it, because you think it makes you look progressive. You come on my show, you’re going to have to be honest about it.”

Even the styling makes no sense: Noir wears a Phillies hat in one shot, an OKC Thunder hat in another, and a Yankee hat in the direct-to-camera addresses, making the clips feel even more staged than they already are. It’s as if, on three separate occasions, someone on set said, “We need a crisp baseball hat on this guy to make him look more ‘accessible-urban.’” And no one even thought through how inauthentic it would look for this guy—from Texas!—to go back and forth between mutually exclusive fandoms. On the promotional photo on the website, he is wearing a Boston Red Sox cap.

Credit: Screenshot from "Noir"

As you can probably guess, Colion Noir is not his real name. It’s Collins Idehen. (Can you imagine the pitch meeting, trying to come up with the just-right fake name for the face of young black gun ownership? “How about Jack Black? Wait, that’s taken.” “You know, Noir means “black” in French.” “French? Isn’t that a little liberal-elite for our taste?” “No, trust me, people are going to like it.” “BOOM. Best brainstorm ever!”)

Noir seems to have emerged out of the ether; evidence of his earlier, real-name career is scant. In interviews, he recites an origin story that sounds too good to not be scripted: he told conservative news site TheBlaze that he was “not too fond” of guns as a kid and didn’t fire one until after college, when he went with gun-owning friend to a range one day. “Quite frankly, when I stepped in I was terrified.” But once he fired, “it was literally love at first shot.”

Today, Noir is a self-described “Urban Gun Enthusiast.” To quote from his website: “I am unapologetically a Gun Enthusiast. I love shooting, I love guns, and all things gun related.” He addresses what he must assume is a primary concern at the top of his personal FAQ: “Are you just a pawn for the NRA?” (Spoiler alert: he says no.) He also writes that he wasn’t pro-gun until he fired one, after college, and was “immediately intrigued.” “Intrigued” is such an interesting word choice. I mean, I watched Breaking Bad and was “immediately intrigued” by the cooking-crystal process, but I can’t say it really swayed me, meth-wise.

The NRA seems to think that the right way to address the lack of enthusiasm for guns among young people, African-Americans and women is to just dress up two young hosts—one female, one black—and assume that this will “solve the problem,” when the real, underlying reasons these demographics aren’t flocking to the NRA have very little to do with optics and everything to do with the concern that the NRA has no interest in common sense gun regulations that would make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to have easy access to firearms. The majority of gun violence victims are people of color. If a gun is present in a domestic violence situation, a woman is 500 percent more likely to be killed.

Noir says this is a gun show “for my generation.” Noir’s generation, not so coincidentally, is the one upon whom the pain of gun violence falls most of all. 54 percent of people murdered with guns in 2010 were under the age of 30.3.

Watch the Noir preview here:

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

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Photo Credit: Screenshot from "Noir" Preview

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3:19PM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

There is a mugger coming at you: What do you do?
A. Call the police and twenty minutes later, they show.
B. Have a gun at your disposal and are safe.
I will go for B

6:44PM PDT on May 28, 2014

The mind boggles...

6:36PM PDT on May 28, 2014

Collins might just want to get paid.

7:58PM PDT on May 19, 2014

I dont like how they wrote this article,again its very one sided,nothing against a writer pointing out things but the way they wrote it they have dug themselves a foxhole.Gun debates are just about always nutty....lots of emotion without a whole lot of thought.

I cant comment on this new show cause i've never seen it.I dont think its wrong to talk to kids about weapons as their whole lives will be surrounded by them in one form or another,directly or not.I think educating people how to properly use them and when/where to use them is also important.One could debate we dont need guns at all,when they take them out of the military that debate will make more sense.If people spent more time thinking about their actions less bad things would happen,but its hard to put that in a package people will act upon.

All weapons can be dangerous,rules and laws mean little if people dont follow them,and the more rules and laws there are the more confusing matters become.If you want to be safer,ask more questions on why people are creating such levels of violence on others.Ask yourself if they did ban all guns,do you really think people would be less violent?Good questions are.....why are people violent,why are there so many people on earth,why do so many people need medications etc.....

8:05PM PDT on May 15, 2014

ty

2:58PM PDT on May 12, 2014

Yes and at the same time the NRA has lobbied to make it harder to enforce or even study gun violence amonst the mentally unbalanced. They constantly lobby law enforcement to not enforce laws on the books.

I am not pointing ANY Fingers at you unless you are part of the excutive branch of the NRA.

1:30PM PDT on May 12, 2014

Today we have found out through experience that leaving the civilians unarmed does not help, but letting them arm themselves has allowed the gun murder rate and gun violence to drop steadily every year since the early 1990's (it is about 49% lower today). But that is not the complete fix, our government has still left our mentally ill out on the streets with no treatment and instead of coming up with a solution to help them to avoid another Newtown or another Aurora they simply point their finger to the NRA and say, yeah it is their fault even though the only thing that has changed in the last several decades is that WE the Government have kicked the mentally ill to the streets, we just want to say the NRA and all its members are evil and Newtown is their fault because they made that boy crazy and put ideas of him killing little children in his head. Yeah, the 2nd Amendment and availability of firearms has been around for how long in this country? But we are the cause of the mentally ill problem now why exactly? And no one here is holding the Government accountable for deinstitutionalisation why exactly?

1:18PM PDT on May 12, 2014

But what else was happening around this same time period? The strange thing was that the US has always had the 2nd Amendment and the citizens have always been armed, but during the 1940's Massacres were occurring only in Europe and not in the US other than the occasional Mob hit, in the 1950's and 1960's the US still had the 2nd Amendment and a heavily armed civilian population but Massacres were now occurring in Asia and not in the US, 1970's was mostly in Ireland and other countries but not in the US until about July 18, 1984 in San Diego, when Gunman James Oliver Huberty killed 21 people in a McDonald's restaurant before being fatally shot by a SWAT team sniper.

That right about the time deinstitutionalisation was in full gear in the US and all of a sudden Gun violence exploded on several fronts, mostly because the drug war was in full force but soon after in the early 1990's we got hit with massacre after massacre which led to the political thinking that Gun Control had to be the answer, so the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was put into law. After 10 years of it we learned that it did nothing to avert a massacre and it was allowed to expire, we went the other way.

1:04PM PDT on May 12, 2014

The United States has experienced two waves of deinstitutionalization. Wave one began in the 1950s and targeted people with mental illness. The second wave began roughly fifteen years after and focused on individuals who had been diagnosed with a developmental disability (e.g. mentally retarded). Although these waves began over fifty years ago, deinstitutionalization continues today; however, these waves are growing smaller as fewer people are sent to institutions.

A process of indirect cost-shifting may have led to a form of "re-institutionalization" through the increased use of jail detention for those with mental disorders deemed unmanageable and noncompliant. In Summer 2009, author and columnist Heather Mac Donald stated in City Journal, "jails have become society’s primary mental institutions, though few have the funding or expertise to carry out that role properly... at Rikers, 28 percent of the inmates require mental health services, a number that rises each year."

In 1955 for every 100,000 US citizens there was 340 psychiatric hospital beds. In 2005 that number had diminished to 17 per 100,000. As hospitalisation costs increased, both the federal and state governments were motivated to find less expensive alternatives to hospitalisation. The increase in homelessness was seen as related to deinstitutionalisation. Studies from the late 1980s indicated that one-third to one-half of homeless people had severe psychiatric disorders, often co-occurring with subst

12:57PM PDT on May 12, 2014

Robert H- You are old enough and experienced enough to know what I am about to talk about. Look, Mass shootings like Newtown hurt everybody but I am sick and tired of everyone pointing the finger at the wrong direction and placing the blame wrongfully on us. Lets put the entire truth out there and I know Robert that you can attest to what I am about to say.

First of all lets put a myth to bed when everyone here wrongfully says guns are easier to get today than ever and that is why there are so many massacres, wrong! There are more gun laws and processes today than before and fewer gun options especially after the 1986 Full-auto weapons ban. So why is it that it was easier to get fully automatic weapons in the past but there were far fewer gun massacres in the US?
Because 2 timelines tie together, Mental Hospital deinstitutionalisation and Gun Massacre upswing! Our Government has turned its back on those with mental disorder in order to save money and this is part of the side effect.

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