No matter what your opinion of the NRA, one thing you have to admit is that their marketing is second to none.
Think about the audacity of the NRA for a second. You'd think it might be considered in bad taste to use Sandy Hook to push for more guns.
But they're so confident of their ability that they did it anyways. While the nation is still trying to figure this out, the NRA is out there pushing guns for teachers, principals, and administrators. A gun in every pocket.
I'm actually surprised they haven't argued that kids should have guns. I can almost picture the marketing department meeting: What about kids with guns? Too early, Jim ... but I like how you think.
In the wake of the NRA's latest statement after meeting with President Biden yesterday, I wanted to take a second to break down how their marketing works to shift the argument away from what happened to how gun owners are the real victims of gun attacks.
The statement in full is posted here on Slate.
Let's parse this out sentence by sentence as it truly is a work of art.
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again.Translation: Families own guns. Moms own guns. Daughters and sons own guns. It's perfectly normal to be cooking an apple pie at home with a gun in one hand.
Nothing to see folks ... no nutbags here. No Columbine. No Aurora. No Sandy Hook. Moms and kids shooting together in perfect harmony.
We attended today's White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.Translation: We attended this meeting because Sandy Hook is a publicity disaster for gun makers. We have to get in front of this and change the narrative.
We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.Translation: Let's bring the children back into this. That would be a good start. Is there any way we could be protectors of puppies too? Hmmm. We'll have to think about that.
We've got to change the narrative so we'll need another victim. The real victims here are gun owners. This is a war on the Second Amendment. And puppies.
While claiming that no policy proposals would be "prejudged," this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.Translation: The people under attack here are honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans being attacked by the government. Not some kids who died in Connecticut.
It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems.Translation: The government is to blame! Even though we don't believe the government should be acting, someone else needs to be blamed.
We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.Translation: We've got to make gun owners feel angry, like it's an attack on them. If you own a gun, you're being blamed!
Remember, the real victims here are gun owners.
Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.Translation: Do you hear that Congress? We'll donate to you if you tow the line. Which means you shouldn't even be talking about this.
Now I'm not arguing one way or another for gun control. This is a discussion about marketing.
What I do know, however, is that this isn't a war on moms and pops who own guns and/or the Second Amendment.
Can we have a conversation about what happened though? Can we even talk about things like high capacity magazines? Or about how to keep guns out of the hands of "criminals and madmen"?
When even Antonin Scalia suggests that there are limits to gun ownership under the 2nd Amendment - an obvious one that comes to mind is the illegality of machine guns - shouldn't we be able to have this conversation?
We're able to talk about car regulations without the emotion. And we should be able to talk rationally about gun ownership. However, this might impact gun sales. Especially of assault style weapons and high capacity magazines.
I'm sorry NRA, but it's pretty obvious what you're doing. You're trying to shut down any conversation on the issue. You're changing the subject so we can't even have a calm discussion about what the Second Amendment means. You're pumping people full of anger and fear in order to sell more guns.
I suppose if we buy it, however, we deserve it, right?