Just to point out the gun control script that leaked a while back.
It’s all about how they should use emotion and manipulate terminology and facts
Again, apply Sun Tzu advice:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Just a few significant parts of this. Peruse the whole file at your convenience.
PREVENTING GUN VIOLENCE THROUGH EFFECTIVE MESSAGING
POWERFUL FACTS AND IMAGES
1. Alarming facts open the door to action. And powerful stories put feeling and emotional energy behind those facts.
2. It’s not helpful to try to drown your audience in a flurry of facts and statistics. It is far more effective to zero in on a handful of simple facts that are both compelling and memorable.
3. Here are some of the facts that met that test in the research:
There are no background checks or ID requirements in most states for private sales, including private sales at gun shows.
There are virtually no restrictions on the type of weapons available for purchase in America, including assault weapons and ammunition magazines that store up to 100 bullets and can shoot 20 rounds in 10 seconds.
Police and law enforcement officers are more at risk, due to the availability and power of new weapons.
Reinforcing example: Police forces in places like Chicago and Miami are outfitting officers with assault weapons so that they aren’t outgunned by criminals.
4. It’s not just about words. Powerful and emotionally-engaging images are vitally important reinforcers of strong messages. For example, intimidating images of military-style weapons help bring to life the point that we are dealing with a different situation than in earlier times.
OVERALL MESSAGING GUIDANCE
KEY MESSAGING PRINCIPLES
#1: ALWAYS FOCUS ON EMOTIONAL AND VALUE-DRIVEN
ARGUMENTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE, NOT THE POLITICAL
FOOD FIGHT IN WASHINGTON OR WONKY STATISTICS.
It’s critical that you ground your messaging around gun violence prevention by making that emotional connection. Don’t skip past emotional arguments and lapse into a passionless public policy voice. And don’t make the gun violence debate seem as if it is a political “food fight” between two interest groups.
There is a reason why the NRA falls silent at times of high-profile gun violence incidents. The last thing they want is an American conversation centered on the terrible toll that gun violence takes on people’s lives.
#2: TELL STORIES WITH IMAGES AND FEELINGS.
Our first task is to draw a vivid portrait and make an emotional connection. We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence. Compelling facts should be used to back up that emotional narrative, not as a substitute for it.
WARNING: Don’t break the power and undermine the value of emotionally powerful images and feelings by appearing squeamish or apologetic in presenting them
#3: CLAIM MORAL AUTHORITY AND THE MANTLE OF FREEDOM.
We should emphasize that one fundamental freedom every American should have is the freedom to be safe in our homes and neighborhoods – freedom to live our lives without the constant threat of gun violence hanging over our heads.
The NRA likes to talk about its work as the defense of American freedom. Recognize that, depending on the audience, both sides of the debate have the opportunity to claim moral authority. But, don’t yield that ground. Fight for it by emphasizing that a reckless disregard for the gun violence that plagues so many people’s lives is morally bankrupt and doesn’t have anything to do with protecting freedom.
#4: EMPHASIZE THAT EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS, MILITARY-STYLE WEAPONS ARE NOW WITHIN EASY REACH ACROSS AMERICA.
We have to make clear to people that this isn’t a conversation about your grandfather’s hunting rifle. The fact that military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are routinely available to people in most states is alarming – and surprising – news to many Americans.
#5: EMPHASIZE THAT AMERICA HAS WEAK GUN LAWS AND DON’T ASSUME THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT.
It is important to emphasize that current laws allow easy access to guns for criminals, mentally unstable people, and even terrorists. Generally speaking, the public makes the assumption that our nation’s gun laws are much stronger than is actually the case.
The truth is, it is far worse than most people think. And when they learn what is really true about our gun laws, it raises serious concerns.
#6: CHALLENGE THE NRA ON YOUR TERMS, NOT THEIRS.
We will discuss the NRA in more detail in the next section. But, at the very outset, it is important to emphasize two critical points:
Whether to spend much time talking about the NRA depends upon whether we are talking to our base (where an NRA focus is often worthwhile) or broader audiences (where an NRA focus is far less likely to be helpful).
Even with the base, we need to always connect our comments to the NRA’s role in exposing people to needless violence.
Simply “taking on” the NRA as if “defeating the NRA” is our mission never serves our interests. Pointing out the direct link between laws the NRA promotes or blocks and the tragic human impact of gun violence is almost always more effective.
It’s effective to emphasize that the vast majority of NRA members are law-abiding gun owners who agree with common sense laws to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people—the NRA’s officials and lobbyists are the problem.