It seems easier and easier to find fake news these days, what with CNN and The New York Times being prime providers of such drivel on a nearly daily basis. Yet I was somewhat surprised to find completely bogus information right in the big, bold headline of a recent Nbcnews.com business feature.
The story, headlined “Millennials Aren’t That Into Guns—Except in Video Games,” caught my eye because I frequently shoot with people in that 18- to 29-year-old age group. Since those acquaintances of mine are really “into guns”—as are my own children in that age group—I threw caution to the wind and decided to dig deeper to find out NBC’s take on the topic.
I should have stopped before I even started.
Delving into the story, I found that, in fact, Millennials are just as “into guns” as are other age groups. The feature—despite its headline—even reported that exact fact: “According to Pew’s survey, 27 percent of people aged 18 to 29 own a gun, a number that, when compared with older age groups, doesn’t relay a ‘statistically significant difference,’ [Pew’s Kim] Parker said. So, even though millennials and Gen Z adults might purchase guns for different reasons than older people, they’re evidently still buying guns.”
Huh? What about that headline about Millennials not being “into guns.” Oh well, let’s continue.
Wasting another five minutes of my life, I dug deeper. It seems the real gist of the story—unlike the focus of the headline—was that Millennials reported that they are buying guns for different reasons than some older age groups.
“Older people are saying they want guns for protection, but 18- to 29-year-olds are saying they’re more into going shooting at a gun range,” Parker told NBC News. “They’re also more likely to listen to gun-oriented podcasts and shows, more likely to participate in online forums, and generally more likely to integrate technology in gun culture."
While very interesting information, that’s a far cry from concluding that Millennials “aren’t that into” guns. Where did the headline writer come up with such a headline? We’ll never know. One thing’s for sure, though: In this case, those people who only get their news from headlines got a healthy dose of fake news about Millennials and guns.
I suppose that’s what NBC was trying to accomplish from the start. Unless they just have a terrible headline writer.