Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging was recently leaked all over the Internet. Coauthored by a left-of-center political research firm and a K Street communications consultancy, this in-the-beltway book is a guide for gun control activist, designed to change their position and reframe the gun control debate. In parts one and two of this series, I explored the strategy laid-out in Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging as well as the false and fragile “facts” the book feeds gun control advocates.
Now let’s get to the more interesting aspect of the gun control lobby’s new game plan – their messaging and how you can stop it.
The Book’s Purpose
“This guide,” the new gun control playbook begins “is intended 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.” (emphasis mine unless otherwise noted) The book is a guide to shifting the framework of debates concerning gun control, and it begins be eliminating the very phrase. With “gun control” having proven itself as a failed concept in the 1970s and 1980s, the gun control movement is changing its very moniker in order to evade both its failed past and its manipulative future.
They have few choices. The 1990s and the early part of this century have seen greatly expanded freedom vis-à-vis private gun ownership along with a drop in violent crime, including gun crimes. It has also seen key victories where the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right to own arms, incorporated that right against the states, and may soon institutionalize national concealed carry and universal reciprocity. The gun control movement has to change their strategy or face failure.
To do so they must reframe both the core of the debate and how it is communicated. Gone is the meme of “gun control”, now replaced with “gun violence prevention.” Gone too are substantive discussion involving crime statistics, which will be replaced with emotional bait-and-switch tactics. In short the gun control movement will use fear as an invasive emotional crowbar on low-information voters, then insert misleading or outright fraudulent “facts” to sway the undecided masses.
Strategy and Tactics
Their core strategy can be summed up as:
- Scare people with stories and images
- Avoid facts and statistics except as follow-through to fear
- Keep it simple
- Divide by changing the message for key audiences
The new gun control playbook is blunt about using fear and other emotions as tools to sway voters. “Alarming facts open the door to action. And powerful stories put feeling and emotional energy behind those facts.” (emphasis theirs) “Always focus on emotional and value-driven arguments about gun violence.” “Tell stories with images and feelings.” “Emphasize that extraordinarily dangerous, military-style weapons are now within easy reach across America.”
In politics, this is not new. A state of fear has long been a primary tool for motivating people past logic, reflection and perspective. The book’s gun control propagandists are refreshingly transparent about their objectives. They are also clear in instructing followers to use a one-two punch; “start with the pain and anguish that gun violence brings into people’s lives” then “use statistics to reinforce an emotional argument.”
The book’s authors also advise…
Like what you have read so far? This is just part of several articels on the CalGunLaws Blog “Spinning Your Rights Away” a three part series that you can read here: calgunlaws.
Read more: ammoland.com