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No Sale: Marketing Tricks in Gun Control

Friday, October 20, 2017

No Sale: Marketing Tricks in Gun Control

Marketing analysts refer to “churn” in an industry – the turnover or attrition rate of customers or employees or some other category – as an important metric of business growth and success: keeping track of churn rates offers insight into how well a business is doing. 

Applying this concept in the context of the gun control movement, the high prevalence of change in the anti-gun community points to a failure to build a successful “brand” identity and, more generally, a lack of public buy-in for their key concept.  

Advertising professionals know that switching to a fresh new moniker and a more contemporary or dynamic logo can revitalize a tired or humdrum brand. Repackaging unappealing, prohibitionist ideas of gun control as new and improved notions of “gun safety” or “violence prevention” or “common sense regulations” or “independent research” sounds innovative while at the same time helpfully obfuscates the real agenda. 

Starting over under a different label offers the prospect, also, of jettisoning a less than impressive track record. And gun control “churn” bolsters the superficial impression of a growing proliferation of anti-gun groups when in fact, it’s the same old message in a new bottle.

The Brady Campaign started out in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH). By 1980, NCCH had changed its name to the trendier Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI). In 2001, HCI changed again, becoming the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 

The National Coalition to Ban Handguns (NCBH), established in 1974, also initially focused on handguns but refashioned itself in 1989 as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV).  

gun control “churn” bolsters the superficial impression of a growing proliferation of anti-gun groups when in fact, it’s the same old message in a new bottle.

The New Right Watch (NRW), founded in 1988, subsequently renamed itself as the Violence Policy Center (VPC). 

CeaseFire, Inc., the 1995 group started by Courtney Love with the goal of reshaping the "gun violence" debate in America, has since morphed into Cure Violence, a group focusing on street violence using an infectious disease control model.   

Americans for Gun Safety (AGS), a group founded and funded by a billionaire board member of what was then HCI, began in 2000. Among its many gun law goals was the “top national priority” of “passage of licensing and/or registration in the next Congress.” Since those heady days, AGS has “folded into” a new entity, Third Way. Not surprisingly, Third Way continues to promote the “old way” gun control agenda – pushing for expanded background checks, opposing suppressor deregulation, and calling national concealed carry reciprocity a “dangerous mistake.”

Michael Bloomberg’s initial gun-grabbing venture was launched in 2006 as Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Following reports of criminal impropriety by many of its members and the defections of others, MAIG re-emerged in 2014 as Everytown for Gun Safety (EGS). At the same time, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA), founded in 2012, became part of EGS. (The Brady Campaign has its own moms’ group, the Million Mom March, a national organization that was absorbed into the Brady Campaign in 2001). In contrast to their prior and separate efforts, perhaps, both MDA’s founder and Bloomberg portrayed this merger as the ticket to success, as “creat[ing] a force for change that political leaders will not be able to ignore.” 

Another champion of expanded restrictions on guns and gun owners, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV), was previously known as the Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV). In 2016, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), a different and more recent gun control entity founded by Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, combined with the LCPGV. This month, the LCPGV and ARS announced yet another change – their joint group would now operate as a new organization called the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Amidst all these changes, the National Rifle Association, founded in 1871, remains, still, as the National Rifle Association, based on the straightforward and enduring concept of safeguarding the Second Amendment constitutional right to keep and bear arms. In the span of the nearly 25 years that Gallup pollsters have been tracking the opinions of everyday Americans on this question, the percentage of the respondents who report a “very favorable” overall opinion of the National Rifle Association continues to climb, and nearly six in ten people say they view the NRA in a positive way.  

Looking to the future, we have no hesitation in predicting more churn within the gun-grabbing community, as these groups continue to transform themselves in the search for a critical winning formula. Meanwhile, America’s gun owners know, as they always have, that regardless of the label, what they’re dealing with is the same old baloney.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land.

Urgent: Legislation to Ban Long Gun Purchases by Law-Abiding Adults to be Heard in Olympia

Friday, February 23, 2018

Urgent: Legislation to Ban Long Gun Purchases by Law-Abiding Adults to be Heard in Olympia

Today, anti-gun legislators in Olympia have submitted Senate Bill 6620 just two weeks before the end of the current session.  SB 6620 includes provisions that would raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun to 21 years of ...

Monday, June 23, 2014

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What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

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Friday, February 2, 2018

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

Anybody who is exposed to the so-called news media these days faces a barrage of bewildering and often outlandish claims. “Breaking news” cycles through the public eye with such frequency and speed that knowing what’s ...

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Today, in a private signing ceremony, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law.  Similar legislation had been vetoed by former Governor Maggie Hassan for two years in a row, but thanks to your active involvement, ...

Ten Reasons Why States Should Reject "Assault Weapon" and "Large" Magazine Bans

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ten Reasons Why States Should Reject "Assault Weapon" and "Large" Magazine Bans

In the late 1980s, gun control groups realized that they had failed in their original goal—getting handguns banned1—and began campaigning against semi-automatic firearms they called “assault weapons,” most of which are rifles. As an anti-gun ...

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

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On February 9th, the Washington state Senate passed Senate Bill 6298 to expand the category of persons stripped of their Second Amendment rights and it is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary ...

Gun Laws  

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Citizen's Guide To Federal Firearms Laws - Summary

A Citizen`s Guide to Federal Firearms Laws A summary of federal restrictions on the purchase, sale, possession, and transportation of firearms and ammunition. Caution: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation.

NRA Endorses Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

NRA Endorses Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate

Fairfax, Va.— On behalf of our five million members across the country, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) today endorsed Marco Rubio for the office of U.S. Senate in the Florida Republican primary.

Oklahoma: House Committee to Consider Permitless Carry Legislation

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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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.