Submitted by cbaus on August 12, 2013 – 7:00am. Found Here on Buckeye Firearms Association
by Chad D. Baus
A friend sent a very interesting document to me recently – one that is making its rounds through the gun rights community after having been leaked online.
Entitled “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging,” it is an 80-page playbook designed to help anti-gun rights extremists learn why they continue to get beat, and how to change their message so as to fool the general public into thinking their mainstream views are actually supported by these anti-gun rights extremist groups.
“Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging” is based on a 2011 study conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, and was prepared by three Washington D.C.-based political consultants – Frank O’Brien of OMP, a direct marketing firm whose client list includes leftist organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the National Resources Defense Council, John Neffinger and Matthew Hut of KNP Communications, and Al Quinlan of the aforementioned Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, whose client list is a virtual who’s who of anti-gun politicians including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Rahm Emanuel, and Gabrielle Giffords, as well as anti-gun rights and leftist groups including Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Joyce Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, National Public Radio and the Sierra Club.
According to the introduction, the guide was prepared in order to “help organizations and individuals choose effective arguments and language when communicating with the public on behalf of stronger public policies to prevent gun violence.”
Their very best arguments
According to the guide, “three key themes drive the most powerful arguments for gun violence prevention:”
ONE: The serious personal toll that gun violence takes on people’s lives.
Elsewhere in the guide, the point is made that “40% of respondents report that they or someone they know personally has been a victim of gun violence.” The trouble for the authors and their audience is that many of the people who become a victim of violence, or know someone who has been, rightfully conclude that only they, and no one else, are responsible for their own security. Indeed, it is precisely the exposure to violence that leads many people to become first-time gun owners.
TW0: People’s right to be free from violence in their communities.
We’ve looked, and still haven’t found that particular “right” in the constitution yet. It certainly isn’t listed next to “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
THREE: The changing nature of weapons towards more powerful, military-style ones that make us less safe.
This point is stressed again, and described as a “key message”:
The notion that today’s weapons are different in kind from what was available in the past is an especially powerful idea and helps make the case for new levels of concern and scrutiny around access to weapons.
This “key message” – the notion that today’s weapons are different is, as you likely know, a false notion.
The truth, of course, is that military-style weapons have always dominated the civilian firearms marketplace – from the muskets that fought off Red Coats and brought home supper, to the pistols and rifles that started on the Civil War battlefield and eventually helped conquer the West, to the rifles that came home with Dough Boys and GIs in the World Wars. “More powerful?” Another false notion. World War I and World War II-era rifles were every bit as powerful as today’s military look-alike civilian models.
Elsewhere in the guide they address this issue again, stating that “we have to make clear to people that this isn’t a conversation about your grandfather’s hunting rifle.” The writers know that people will identify less with the anti-gun rights crowd if they sound like they’re trying to take away grandpa’s hunting rifle. The lesson for the good guys is this – grandpa’s hunting rifle was very likely a military rifle bought as surplus from World War I or World War II, so if those rifles are ok to have around, today’s modern sporting rifles should be any different.
The guide also notes that claims of law enforcement support for their policies is “crucial,” and asserts the “fact that policies advocated by the NRA put law enforcement officials at risk seriously weakens the NRA’s arguments.”
They couldn’t have been too pleased, then, when a 2013 survey of nearly 15,000 active and retired law enforcement officers showed that an overwhelming majority of America’s policemen and women do NOT support Obama’s gun control agenda.
The authors of the guide also admit that the question of whether or not they will succeed in fooling people depends on the audience:
On the gun violence issue – as on most public issues – it pays to know as much as possible about who you are talking to.
The weight and power of the three key themes we have mentioned varies substantially by audience.
…[W]hen talking to men, it is important to know that they are much more motivated by protecting people from “gun crime” than preventing “gun violence.” Women are motivated by both.
Clearly, in spreading falsehoods like those above as “key messages,” they must think their audience is a fairly ignorant bunch.
If these are their most powerful arguments, it’s no wonder that they continue to lose.