What is the best way to push gun control? According to a newly leaked document that gives Democrats advice on that very subject, national tragedies are the answer.
The document, “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging,” is more than 70 pages long and was created by a group of Washington, D.C., consultants who did research for a Washington state gun-control advocates. It was written in 2012 before the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy.
The document states that "The most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak ... The debate over gun violence in America is periodically punctuated by high-profile gun violence incidents including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, the Trayvon Martin killing, Aurora and Oak Creek. When an incident such as these attracts sustained media attention, it creates a unique climate for our communications efforts.”
The document further suggests using “emotionally powerful language” to promote the gun control cause. It also gives advice for how to attack the National Rifle Association, and warns that many people view the NRA as a positive force, so politicians should portray the NRA as being reckless or misguided rather than evil or profit-driven.
This document is simultaneously unsurprising and depressing. On the one hand, politicians on both sides of the fence regularly use tragedies and major events to push political agendas. While one politician points to Columbine and claims that guns need to be taken off the streets, another politician will argue that Columbine proves people need more guns to protect themselves. On the other hand, though, explaining how to exploit a national tragedy in a strategic document portrays gun-control advocates as being callous.
How do you feel about this document? Do you think that political strategies such as this one are a dime a dozen in the modern political sphere? Are you appalled by how cold and calculated the document is?