Have you ever noticed that in the aftermath of a shooting, particularly one at a school, the message of gungrabbers seems to be almost in unison? At that point, the gungrabbers will immediately start telling you why gun control is important, and they trample upon the corpses of the victims to get to a microphone to say how they won’t tolerate one more shooting. They can’t stop making laws in the wake of dead people; it’s almost a blind compulsion.
They have no problem turning dead children into a prop with which to scream about gun control because when it comes to guns, they feel they’re right. I don’t assign malice to their behavior because I don’t think they have ill intent. I just think they’re wrong and misguided. I do, however, think that their use of children’s bodies to further their agenda is cynical at the very least.
They also have no problem dragging photos of smiling kids to Congress and saying “You need to pass a law in their name,” while at the same time they argue that anyone (like me) who will tell you ten times over how their guns are not a threat and they don’t think it’s fair to further restrict their rights are politicizing the issue. They’re not politicizing shootings by using bodies as props. You, defending your rights, are.
The messaging is so concerted and together that it’s almost impossible to believe that they aren’t getting their talking points from somewhere, and guess what? They are. That’s right, folks. The gungrabbers have messaging experts working on reports for them on how to twist reality and exploit dead bodies for their gungrabbing agenda.
Recently, a report was obtained that was done by a Washington DC consultant firm for a Washington State gun-control group. Keep in mind this happened in 2012 before the Sandy Hook shooting.
Let’s take a look through some of their recommendations on how to properly exploit a shooting for maximum political gain.
Here’s a real gem from page 5 of the report.
It’s not just about words. Powerful and emotionally-engaging images are vitally important reinforcers of strong messages. For example, intimidating images of military-style weapons help bring to life the point that we are dealing with a different situation than in earlier times.
“Intimidating images.” Note that they say nothing about context, they simply talk about images that intimidate. The implication is clear: find a picture of a scary weapon and show it to ignorant people who don’t know any better to garner the most emotionally irrational reaction possible.
The next section of the report lists specific “messaging guidance.”
The first point:
It’s critical that you ground your messaging around gun violence prevention by making that emotional connection. Don’t skip past emotional arguments and lapse into a passionless public policy voice. And don’t make the gun violence debate seem as if it is a political “food fight” between two interest groups.
There is a reason why the NRA falls silent at times of high-profile gun violence incidents. The last thing they want is an American conversation centered on the terrible toll that gun violence takes on people’s lives.
Translation: don’t get bogged down in pesky things like facts. Argue emotions. This is something I’ve been saying forever: gungrabbers can’t argue facts because facts don’t back up their arguments. When cornered to provide facts, a gungrabber will either make things up or just outright lie and then accuse you of being politically motivated if you point out that they are, in fact, lying.
Point number two:
Our first task is to draw a vivid portrait and make an emotional connection. We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence.
Compelling facts should be used to back up that emotional narrative, not as a substitute for it.
WARNING: Don’t break the power and undermine the value of emotionally powerful images and feelings by appearing squeamish or apologetic in presenting them.
If you go back to the piece I wrote two weeks ago, look at the header image. Requisite photos of the victims, and a logo that implies a heart. How can you argue with a heart? It doesn’t matter that Connecticut actually had an assault weapon ban that made the gun used in Newtown illegal, just that you’re scared and emotional when you see all these smiling children gunned down by an evil weapon.
We should emphasize that one fundamental freedom every American should have is the freedom to be safe in our homes and neighborhoods – freedom to live our lives without the constant threat of gun violence hanging over our heads.
The NRA likes to talk about its work as the defense of American freedom. Recognize that, depending on the audience, both sides of the debate have the opportunity to claim moral authority. But, don’t yield that ground. Fight for it by emphasizing that a reckless disregard for the gun violence that plagues so many people’s lives is morally bankrupt and doesn’t have anything to do with protecting freedom.
Translation: paint your opponent as immoral. Again, this is tied in to the idea that when they trot out bodies, they’re doing the right thing. If you defend your rights while they’re trying to curtail them, you’re politicizing the event.
We have to make clear to people that this isn’t a conversation about your grandfather’s hunting rifle. The fact that military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are routinely available to people in most states is alarming – and surprising – news to many Americans.
As is usually the case, a gungrabber cannot differentiate between a powerful gun and one that simply looks scary, which is why they use the term “military-style.” They want you to believe that if you have a rifle that looks like a military rifle, it’s the same kind of rifle used in wars. That simply isn’t the case. They also want you to believe that you just hold down the trigger and it just shoots until the magazine is empty. Again, clearly not the case. This is what the average american believes and when they see pictures like the one above and combine that with the emotional manipulation these organizations do, the panic makes them applaud ridiculous gun control measures that do nothing to get guns out of the hands of those that are a danger, and instead take them out of the hands of responsible gun owners.
The point mentions “these aren’t your grandfather’s hunting rifles.” Actually, they’re 100% right. They aren’t. But, they’re not “weapons of war” either. A semi-automatic AR-15 chambered in .225 is no more dangerous than a semi-automatic M1 Garand that was issued during World War II, even though the AR-15 looks so much scarier (which is why it’s a favorite target of gungrabbers; it looks scary).
The next two points talk about US gun laws and how weak they are (they aren’t, and in states where the gun laws are less strict, there is less gun violence. This is not debatable, it’s a fact) and how to address the NRA (not even worth talking about). They then go into some messaging do’s and don’ts, and the message to the gungrabbers is clear: don’t tell people that you want gun control and stricter gun laws. You want to “prevent gun violence” and “stronger gun laws.”
Pure semantic arguing.
Look at the “effective language” they recommend.
Point 1, 2, 3, and 4 are pure unbridled emotion with zero facts to back them up. Number four is actually a lie. There are no assault weapons in the United States, which is why the definition of “assault weapon” needs to keep being scaled back further and further to include low-calibre semi-automatic weapons.
It’s also interesting in point 2 that they argue that the NRA tries to scare people when they openly admit that the best messaging method they can recommend is emotion and fear-based.
I could go on and on and the report is actually very long, but the points I’ve raised here warrant discussion. It clearly demonstrates that gungrabbers are knowingly being manipulative when they argue for stricter gun laws. There’s no clear conclusion to this report, but it’s filled with manipulation of language and emotion and statistics including the results of push-polls done in an effort to further their agenda. At over 60 pages, it’s an interesting insight into the gungrabber culture and one that, if we are to continue to advocate for our right to defend our homes and family, we owe ourselves to familiarize ourselves with. To that end, I’m saving this file in a place where you’ll always be able to access it just in case it disappears one day. Read through this and note how the messaging you hear from the gungrabbers is exactly what you’re reading here.
When the gungrabbers talk about powerful special interests controlling the debate, you’ll know which powerful interests are really presenting an organized and well-funded front when you see them follow the exact tactics you’ll read.
You can find the publication here: Gun Violence Messaging Guide
Header Image via John Crowley on Flickr