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Anti-Gunners: Go for Bans & Attack Concealed Carry Licensees

Continuing to look at the anti-gun communication strategy book making its way around the internet, there were more than a few tips that struck me as rather odd.

First, there’s a clear theme that they want the gun control groups to jump on board with a semi-automatic ban again. They really put a big focus on how they want anti-gun advocates to continually describe modern rifles as more dangerous than previous rifles owned by their grandparents.

By telling their supporters to stay away from facts and details, they keep them focused on the broader message so that they don’t end up in a Carolyn McCarthy moment.

She tries to follow the same kind of tactics they are endorsing, and she almost manages to get away with it twice. But the people who wrote this report know that their supporters will almost never be caught in a situation like this and hope that their followers will be able to get away from refusing to answer detailed questions.

However, this video is a great reminder that catching your opponents in moments like this can really hurt their credibility. If you’re ever at an event with a Q&A period with a gun ban supporter or if you yourself ever take one on in a debate, have a question like this in your mental file. Just ask what a specific part of a gun is and why it should be regulated. It’s such a simple question, and most of the antis, especially ones who read advice like in this report, will completely fall down on it.

As part of the AWB push, they also promote the idea that all “loopholes” must be closed with any proposed bills so that no supposedly “more deadly” guns can be sold again. Basically, they suggest to their supporters that they go BIG when it comes to promoting a gun ban. My assumption is that this is a way to try and inch the “compromise” line closer to their ultimate position. There’s a case to be made for that style of arguing, but those kinds of proposals are also what help us motivate more gun owners to act. So, for that reason, I really hope that all anti-gun groups follow this advice of being as extreme as possible.

One way they suggest getting people to buy into the messaging is through visuals. This is good advice for our side. But just so you know what you may be going up against, their advice to use visuals to scary looking rifles and guns to illustrate their call for gun control. Anti-gun advocates don’t want to talk specifics of bills at all, just find the scariest guns they can find and then claim that’s all they really want to ban. Don’t write it off, it works. That’s why I use eye-catching lists at gun shows targeted to my audience to highlight the kinds of things they want to regulate. It gets people who otherwise aren’t inclined to act to step up.

When Sebastian was reading the report, he noticed an interesting trend. While they warn off insulting NRA members, they actually embrace insulting concealed carry license holders. They refer to those who are licensed to carry their firearms outside of the home as “gun-toting vigilantes.” Even when they know that these folks have had the repeated background checks they hold in such high regard, they still argue that anti-gun advocates should frame the debate that these people licensed to carry in public are a danger to society.

I can’t fathom where this type of attack got the blessing of the report writers since they warned off similar individual attacks of NRA members. Consider the Pennsylvania numbers for concealed carry through the end of 2011 (the latest data available on the State Police website), there were 792,317 concealed carry licenses issued in between 2007-2011. In the 2010 census, there were only about 9.9 million people 18 and over in Pennsylvania. That means it’s safe to say that these folks suggest hurling personal insults to about 1 in 10 Pennsylvania voters. It’s no wonder they don’t want to talk politics since no politician would take the advice to piss off about 10% of the voting population with a few careless words.

On other specific policy debates, the report suggests staying away from actual legal principles like “duty to retreat.” They acknowledge that it is a real legal principle that comes into play in self-defense laws, but they ask people not to talk about it. Once a duty to retreat is mentioned, it would seem that law-abiding folks don’t like that concept as much. These anti-gunners don’t want to have to defend the fundamental argument they are making – that innocent victims should be blamed for not retreating properly when attacked by criminals.

The report also asks gun control proponents to avoid talking about details of their background check policies. They suggest that being weighed down by details of their proposals is a bad thing. Well, yeah, it is a bad thing for them. When details start coming out about their background check proposals, that’s when they start losing all of the gun owner support they claim they have. So, in order to keep that perceived support, they ask anti-gunners to just stay away from all details of proposals and keep voters in the dark.

Overall, these concepts aren’t anything new to those of us who have watched the language of anti-gun groups over the years. However, it is handy to see that they have been packaged in a way that will likely make its way around their lower level activists. If they use these strategies, now our people can have a better understanding of the tactics and how to defeat them.

28 Responses to “Anti-Gunners: Go for Bans & Attack Concealed Carry Licensees”

  1. TS says:

    I noticed how many of their argument/counter examples are to change the subject. For example, if someone brings up Fast and Furious, they are supposed to complain about the NRA making trafficking easier. “look at the monkey”

  2. Jacob says:

    “The notion that today‚Äôs weapons are different in kind from what was available in the past is
    an especially powerful idea and helps make the case for new levels of concern and scrutiny
    around access to weapons.”
    What “past” are they talking about? The 1880s?

    • Bitter says:

      Heh, yeah.

      Actually, I noticed a reference they made to honoring traditional gun ownership as recognizing one’s grandfather’s hunting rifle. They assume that common gun ownership is now two generations in the past as opposed to something that current adults own or care about.

      • The Jack says:

        It’s also showing how far they have to go back to get “non scary guns”. (Which is a lie given how old EBRs are).

        They don’t even bother saying “This isn’t your father’s rifle.”

        • Clearly they haven’t heard of a “mad minute.”

          15 or more hits, 12″ target, 300 yards, bolt action Lee-Enfield, WW1.

          Maybe they should be looking back at least four or five generations?

        • Zermoid says:

          I guess the Gatling gun wasn’t scary then, was it?

          :-)

          • Geodkyt says:

            Not even the elctrically driven Gatling gun (patent date 1893) at 1500+ rounds per minute. . . ? (Yup, actually tested in 1893 in .30-40 Krag at 1500rpms; theoretical limit of 3000rpms, just like the M134 GE Minigun today.)

            {snerk}

  3. The Jack says:

    Also I’m not sure the antis fully “grok” the CCW situation.

    It’s as if they’re still in the mid-late 90’s where Shall Issue is a fringe thing that only a few states have done.

    I wonder if it hit them what it means for the “conversation” to have over 70% of the US populace living in Shall issue or CC states.

    Though maybe there is. There’s less talk of handgun bans now. And I recall back in the day the antis would stress how handguns were “Pointless for home defense as a shotgun or rifle would be better.” And “Their only use was to carry if you wanted to kill.”

    And Shall Issue puts that last point on its head. Which maybe that’s why the antis are so angry at it, since there’s no sporting/hunting/ect varnish on why why carry.

    • I think you are correct. One of their biggest objectives was to define self defense out of the debate. If you look at their successes in England, the rest of Europe, and Australia, one of the most important things was to make defense with a firearm legitimately impossible by eliminating defensive carry outside the home and requireing that firearms inside the home be locked up and unloaded.

      They have lost that debate in the United States both in the culture and in Heller.

      They are trying to bring it back as a racial issue in STG.

      It isn’t working.

      • They haven’t lost the issue in NY, MD, CA, or the other few “may issue” states. Those states happen to hold a sizable portion of the US population.

        • The Jack says:

          30% Or so.

          Once self defense is taken off the table (resistance to .gov tyranny is already long gone if the preceding has happened) then guns are *merely* tools of a dangerous hobby that the criminal element can exploit.

          Which is *exactly* how the antis frame it. They want the only “legitimate” uses of guns to be expensive toys, means to secure the elites, and tools for criminals.

        • Heller ruled that you have a Constitutional right to a loaded, unlocked handgun in your home for self defense. With McDonald, it applies even in New York and the other anti-self defense states.

          When people in those states become educated that the police have no duty to protect them, they are likely to come around.

  4. Zermoid says:

    Second link doesn’t work.
    The “the anti-gun communication strategy book” link goes to:

    Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

    Requested URL: /uploadedFiles/site/Rabbis_Corner/Rabbi_Study_Materials/Gun ViolenceMessaging Guide PDF-1.pdf

  5. Mark Anderson says:

    I think the visual works really well. Here in Illinois when they were trying to shove all the AWBs throught, I took a picture of a pink camo Remington 22 597 that my daughter owns and a picture of a S&W M&P 22. I then when through similarities, each can hold a magazine in excess of 10 rounds, each fires one time when trigger pulled, etc. Then the “prohibited features”. The collapsible stock,which just makes it safer for smaller/taller shooters, but still meets minimum lengths set by Feds (their argument here is concealability), shroud is same as stock that lets you hold rifle with second hand without burning it (all rifles are to be used with two hands-duh), Pistol grip, again easier to hold and safer, etc. It really opens people’s eyes!

  6. tincankilla says:

    i still think that the gun community missed a few opportunities to actually address the “crazies with guns” issue, which is actually the real issue. a) re-institutionalizing the mentally ill b) a hot-line for FFLs, ranges, etc to report crazies

    • Rob Crawford says:

      Nothing the gun community supports in that area will ever happen, because the ACLU wants the nutjobs on the street.

  7. Frank S. says:

    I downloaded a copy before the link was pulled if you’d like copy let me know.

  8. Glen says:

    Where’s the professional messaging handbook for gun rights?

  9. J says:

    I agree that pinning down an anti on specific features is a great tactic but, in my experience at least, you don’t have to go that far down the rabbit hole. You can usually achieve the same effect by getting them to define assault weapon (always helpful if they use that term), assault rifle, machine gun or even rifle, shotgun or pistol.

  10. These idiots clearly can’t do math. In state after state — and often surprisingly blue states — 5% of the population now has carry permits. These insults against licensees are doomed to fail.

  11. James says:

    So, they’ve basically just developed a step-by-step manual on how to be dishonest?
    All I keep seeing is recommendations that they avoid or outright ignore certain topics, truths, facts, and numbers, and when they’re not doing that, it’s suggestions on how to mislead and confuse people less knowledgeable than them?

    To know the truth and deny it, then pass it on to others as gospel is worse than not knowing the truth and opening your mouth regardless.

    If this is the best they’ve got, they are sunk.

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