HELP WE CAN DO WITHOUT
Some “Pro-Gunners” Make Anti-Gunners’ Points For Them
By Harold Hutchison
A FIASCO ON CNN
When Alex Jones faced off against Piers Morgan, he ultimately handed the British-born host a major lifeline caused by his poor treatment of GOA’s Larry Pratt, and his bloviating on gun control. Like it or not, how spokesmen (and women) for the Second Amendment present their case is extremely important. While we’d like to believe the truth can stand on its own, the sad fact is, perception can overshadow truth.
Perception is something that enemies of the Second Amendment have used very well, and not just on this issue. Mitt Romney was tarred as out of touch by Obama – and as a result, Obama managed to squeak by in the 2012 election, even though Romney was seen by many as being better on issues like the economy, and as a better leader. And the anti-gunners have a way they want America to perceive defenders of the Second Amendment.
We already see it in the works from fiery speeches from gun-grabbers like Governor Andrew Cuomo and former President Bill Clinton. We’re “extremists” or “unbelievably stupid” people who ought to be a source of shame for this country. So, how can we get people to perceive us as folks who are no threat if they own AR-15s? This question may sound ass-backwards, but if the American people think we’re nuts, they will have no problem supporting the anti-gun extremists.
TWO SUPERB EXAMPLES
There are two superb examples of how to present yourself when the anti-gunners attack. In both cases, the presentation is calm, rational, and makes the anti-gunners look like the wild-eyed extremists. Let’s discuss both of those.
The first was Tom Selleck’s handling of Rosie O’Donnell’s ambush in 1999, less than a month after the Columbine High School shootings. Selleck handled the ambush with class. In a sense, it not only made O’Donnell look bad, but it also showed that Second Amendment supporters were calm and rational. How effective was Selleck? In a 2011 interview with the New York Post, Rosie admitted, “In hindsight, if I had to redo [it], I would do it differently.”
The other is more recent – it is former Marine Joshua Boston being interviewed by Piers Morgan. In direct contrast to Alex Jones, Boston kept calm and rational, not only citing the case of the 11 December shooting at the Clackamas Town Center that was halted by an armed citizen. Piers Morgan was reduced to saying, “I would say the only thing I would say to that is I believe the rights of a six or seven-year-old child to go to school without the fear of being murdered, to me, exceed and come higher than any rights to own an AR-15 assault rifle.”
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
What won’t work is going off the deep end. The petition to deport Morgan, for instance, was tailor-made to allow him to claim he was the victim of would-be censors. That doesn’t help us out. If anything, when anti-gunners are allowed to talk, they inevitably will over-reach and look like hysterical extremists. Show sorrow, not anger, at things WRC-TV anchor Jim Vance’s call to use photos from Sandy Hook Elementary School to push gun control.
What also doesn’t work will be invoking 1776. Violent insurrection makes many Americans uneasy, and will tend to push them towards the position of the gun grabbers. With a biased mainstream media, you can bet that these quotes will be repeated ad nauseum. The anti-gunners have a very loud megaphone – don’t give them anything they can trumpeted to make you look bad.
Don’t get into a shouting match. The anti-gunners want to make us look like we have anger-management issues and capable of snapping at any moment. You need to come across as the kind of person that your neighbors wouldn’t object to having an AR-15. Yes, they are trying to make you a scapegoat for tragedies like Aurora and Newtown. Yes, it is wrong and unfair. But shouting won’t stop them. When you write to your lawmakers or attend town meetings, be polite, and make sure that your facts are accurate. Don’t blow up your credibility in a fit of anger.
MAKING THE CASE
The fact remains, we need to win the image battle. Anti-gun extremists have used perception, not only to confuse people, but to paint us as unstable. If we can put the lie to their claims, we can get people to turn their backs on their agenda. But all too often, folks like Alex Jones manage to make us look bad.
Get the facts. Go to the NRA-ILA’s website and acquaint yourself with the Fact Sheets, which are available at http://nraila.org/news-issues/fact-sheets.aspx – having the facts and being knowledgeable will go a long way towards disrupting the picture the gun-grabbers are trying to paint.
That said, you need to join with other gun owners. Go to http://membership.nrahq.org/ to join the NRA. Then go to https://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/forms/secure/frontlines.aspx to become part of NRA-ILA’s Frontlines to help defeat the gun-grabbers’ plans.