Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Gun-banners Playbook Revealed

Friday, November 1, 2013

NRA members know what happens every time a tragedy involving guns appears in the news. Your NRA offers thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families and the community, while respectfully waiting for the facts to come to light before commenting in detail. Our opponents rush to the cameras, usually while police are still collecting evidence, leveling blame at America’s law-abiding gun owners despite having no knowledge of the facts. Their robotic response makes it seem like they have a playbook to follow. 

That’s because they do. And now, we have a copy. Written by a cadre of high-dollar consultants who claim Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns as a client, the guide is a step-by-step roadmap for exploiting tragedy for political gain. Written well before the tragedy in Newtown, its advice is now apparent in the coordinated response that anti-gun groups and politicians launched the very same day of that terrible atrocity. 

The guide makes no bones about the need to exploit tragedy while it’s still fresh. It tells gun-ban activists, “Don’t hesitate to speak out.” It goes on to say, “Don’t assume the facts—and don’t wait for them … the clearest course is to advance our core message.” And it closes this section about exploiting tragedy by noting, “Never apologize.” Perhaps this item signals that even jaded anti-gun extremists have become uncomfortable with these callous tactics, but the guide directs them to plunge ahead regardless, because a tragedy “creates a unique climate for our communications efforts.” 

So what should the novice gun-ban zealot say after a tragedy? The guide is clear:  “Always focus on emotional and value-driven arguments about gun violence, not the political food fight in Washington or wonky statistics.” Of course there’s no role for those wonky statistics—they reflect reality, not the gauzy, anecdotal narrative that drives support for gun bans. “Tell stories with images and feelings,” it continues. That’s why the anti-gun lobby is relentless in manipulating well-meaning families of victims, coaching them to deliver the same account time and time again, usually with pictures of the victim by their side. These principles are repeated in the guide: “Always start with the pain and anguish that gun violence brings into people’s lives. … use images that bring your message home.” 

The “Language Dos and Don’ts” read like the anti-gun rhetoric of the past two decades. “Don’t talk about ‘gun control’ … do talk about ‘preventing gun violence.’ Don’t use the terms ‘stricter’ gun laws. … do advocate for ‘stronger’ gun laws.”  This insight is paired with the authors’ clear discomfort with the two recent Supreme Court rulings that affirmed that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a handgun for self-defense. “Don’t let our opponents overstate what the Supreme Court rulings did,” says the guide, and it cautions the reader to refrain from “ineffective language,” including the example provided: “We’re not trying to take away anyone’s Second Amendment rights.” It recommends that readers mask their gun-ban agenda by instead saying, “This is about taking reasonable steps to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”  

One section is dedicated to countering “the role of the NRA.”  Here we see what must be a painful admission for the authors, noting that “When communicating with the general public, we need to be aware of the fact that, beyond our base, people have a positive impression of the organization and its role. … most Americans consider the NRA to be a mainstream organization.” That’s strong medicine, but it’s meant to help their cause, because they then identify arguments intended to chip
away at NRA’s positive reputation. “Always draw distinctions between NRA officials and the organization’s rank-and-file members,” it advises. It further recommends saying, “They’re a giant operation defending powerful gun manufacturers at every turn.”   

Those baseless assertions were perhaps the most common refrains over the past year from anti-gun politicians and lobbyists alike. These statements indicate the elitist mindset that no intelligent, well-meaning person could possibly support the vigorous defense of the Second Amendment as worthwhile in its own right. And they throw a blinding spotlight on the inability of our opponents to understand why their anti-freedom agenda will never have the support of the American people.

 But they do have their playbook, and we can safely predict they will follow it
to the letter.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

The legislature only just gaveled in this week and anti-gun legislators and gun control groups couldn’t wait to reintroduce their extreme gun ban legislation - an "assault weapons" ban, Senate Bill 5217.

Washington:  The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

On Friday, the Washington Senate pulled magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078 to the Senate Floor where it is eligible for a vote for passage.

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

News  

Monday, January 10, 2022

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

On December 23, ATF launched a new system for applicants to complete various forms that ATF is responsible for administrating. For most gun owners, this change will primarily impact how applications for firearms regulated under ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Yesterday, the House voted 64-29 to pass House Bill 1077, the lawful carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Alabama: Sheriff’s Association Working With Anti-Gun Group Opposing Constitutional Carry

Monday, January 17, 2022

Alabama: Sheriff’s Association Working With Anti-Gun Group Opposing Constitutional Carry

Bobby Timmons, director of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association (ASA), is so opposed to acknowledging your inherent right-to-carry, and wants so badly to protect the revenue stream from permit fees, that he openly opposes the Second ...

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

In early 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his so-called “assault weapon” ban along with a temporary amnesty period that allows the owners of newly-banned firearms to possess their property without incurring criminal liability. Canadians affected ...

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, January 14, 2022

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry voted to pass Senate Bill 619, the constitutional carry bill. It is now eligible for floor debate in the full Senate.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Maine: Judiciary Committee Rejects Gun Confiscation Measure

Friday, January 14, 2022

Maine: Judiciary Committee Rejects Gun Confiscation Measure

Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee held a work session on gun confiscation legislation carried over from last year.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.