For those of you who haven’t read Brian Anse Patrick’s book, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the most thorough analysis’ of the concealed carry movement, and how it became successful, out there today.
If one knew about guns and gun violence from watching television entertainment and popular movies, then Living for 32might be perceived, as goes the standard movie review line, as a powerful and hard-hitting film. But it is not designed for people who substantively know. The film reinforces preconceptions of mass media-audiences. Such audiences, I know from my research, tend to construe guns as a symbol of evil. They exhibit generally an undifferentiated perception of firearms, appearing to perceive them from within the stereotypical limitations of the lurid media stories to which they have been repeatedly exposed, i.e., “gun is bad, therefore un-gun good.” Such systematically misinformed persons, for example, mostly cannot differentiate the national concealed carry movement, with its millions of licensed honest citizens safety-trained and background checked, from felonious illegal carry by criminals such as Cho (Patrick & Hart, 2011). Non sequitur passes as profundity for such an audience.
Biased? Maybe. But my experience and observations reflect that this is a correct observation. One of the problem the Internet has presented to our opponent is it’s moved the debate model away from mass media, where our opponents message predominated, to more of a national conversation, where voices and viewpoints have more equality. Ignorance has a difficult time surviving in this environment, and our opponents message depends on that.
I had contacted the film’s promoters a month or so previous about arranging a showing. I wanted especially to have my American Gun Policy seminar honors students see it, but after an initial cordial response the promoters stopped responding to my emails. The UT showing was apparently arranged in collaboration with the local foundation-funded antigun professional, the director of a local “coalition,” invisible except for the director and a secretary, who greeted me at the door.
We will venture into the lions den, and with enthusiasm, confidence and vigor. They refuse to engage in any kind of discourse where they are unable to control the agenda. More than anything, that is what will doom their movement to continued failure. Patrick also comments on how Brady is successfully targeting the target audience with their propaganda:
Additionally, the epidemiological model perfectly suits the values of the audience—My Second Commandment of Propaganda is “Reflect the values and beliefs of the audience.” The human services faculty tend toward what might be called an administrative hermeneutic or worldview. They see themselves as scientific social managers, experts who apply knowledge to social problems. The idea of the heroic social scientist or human services professional battling an epidemic is right up their alley, providing not only a sense of a secure, manageable world, but also of a personal ego-enhancing position of relatively high status in this world.
Exactly. The problem in this case would seem to be the god complex.