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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Emotion versus Logic

What are we gonna do?

Every damned time there's a mass shooting, the MSM and Talking Heads on TV start the parade of family members that had a loved one shot or killed.  Almost without exception, the family members plead for more strict gun laws.

Last Sunday - after the DC Navy Yard shooting - that chimp-faced bastard on Meet The Press trotted out the mother of some young woman that was killed in the Aurora movie theater.  These "interviews" - more like gun control infomercials - all go something like this:
Chimp-faced bastard:  I have to ask you, when you were here, and you heard about what happened at the Navy Yard, can you describe your reaction to it?

Mom:  [sigh] ...any time you've been a victim of gun violence like we have - when you hear news like that - it takes you right back to what happened when you heard your news.  And unfortunately, we got our news in the middle of the night - from the young man who was with my daughter - who called me from inside the  theater twenty minutes after I'd been talking to my daughter... and told me - with screaming going on in the background - that my daughter was dead.
 Chimp-face tossed her a couple of softball questions which she answered with the tried and true MSM-approved responses.  More background checks.  Close the gun show loophole.  More guns aren't the answer.  Blah, blah, blah.  Chimp-face then finished the infomercial with another request about feelings  Lots more sighs and gentle head shaking.

I got all dewy-eyed.  But that was from the force of my projectile vomiting.

Earlier in the show, Chimp-face had interviewed Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.  Unlike his pity-party with mom, he asked LaPierre tough questions, and got back tough answers.

Including the fact that the crazy bastard in Aurora - the criminal who gunned down gun-grabbin' momma's daughter - went through a background check.... AND WAS CLEARED!

Holy shit on a shingle!  The very system mom is saying we need more of, was used and failed.   If mom had half a brain that held a wit of logic, she'd see that any "system" can be beat. 

Criminals have known and exploited this for years.  Build a set of laws, and let Mr. and Mrs. Jones get all snug and comfy in the knowledge that the law is out there protecting them.

Then beat them, rob them and kill them once they've let their guard down, and given up their ability to protect themselves.

Without exception, all of these mass shooting occur in Gun Free Zones.  These are like salt-licks to deer.  If you were going to blow away a bunch of people, where would you do it?  In a highly-armed location like a police station or gun range, or in a place where possession of a gun is a crime?

Logic SCREAMS that the way you fix this problem is to arm anyone so inclined to defend themselves.  To make our laws to promote personal defense and responsibility.  To empower, encourage and enable every decent American to be willing to defend themselves and others in peril.

But, on Meet The Press with its millions of viewers, emotion carried the day.  Again.

To win a point in the public arena, you need to think like an advertiser.  With few exceptions, emotional tugs are more successful than logic.  Mini-vans are sold using images of a helicopter mom loading junior into the van with enough straps and binding to withstand a moonshot.  Women are the shot-callers for auto sales, so getting those innate protective mommy genes all riled up will result in a sale.

They use the same schtick with guns.  Ban guns so you don't end up like me - an empty, childless shell of my former self.

That's some powerful shit.

How do we logical types win the advertising battle?  How do we interject the same kind of emotional angst the gun grabbers use, into our fight?

Here are the basics of our logical arguments -
  • Since recorded history, there have been human beings that are either insane, anti-social criminals, or both.  That will never change.  These people will continue - until the end of time - to kill, maim and brutalize other human beings, regardless of the number of laws put on the books stating that these acts are illegal.
  • We can hope.  We can wish.  We can dream.  We can get down on our knees and pray to Almighty God to let the violence end, but it never will.  The best we can do is to manage the violence - keep it to a minimum by not allowing it to spread.  
  • Insane, anti-social criminals don't give a shit.  Logic and compassionate reasoning rarely work.  They've got to be put down like feral animals.  Wrap your brain around that.
  • Gun laws restrict access to guns, not by criminals and the insane, but by good people.  This works perfectly into the plans and actions of the anti-social criminals and the insane.
  • Every single recent mass shooting event was extended because the means to repel the criminal were removed from the law abiding citizens present at the event.  
  • Every single mass shooting event has been ended by people with guns either using, or threatening to use, those guns.
 Saying something like, "My first grader was killed by a crazy person.  Just one teacher with a gun could have stopped my child's death at Sandy Hook," just doesn't carry the same emotional baggage of, "My first grader had her brains blown out by a gun.  Ban guns so your baby doesn't have her brains blown out, too."

Yikes!  Sign me up for a donation to Brady!  [Hey, hey, hey!  Holster that weapon!]

If you notice, the grabbers place the emphasis of their wrath, not on the person responsible for the act, but on the inanimate object used.  It's the gun that's the problem, not the poor, pitiful, crying-for-help, I'm-just-another-victim-of-the-system that pulled the trigger.  They were almost forced to kill all of those people.  If we'd only removed all of the guns from the world...

They make a mental picture between a gun and splattered brains.  Kids brains.  What would we do, make a mental picture between a gun and an intact skull?

Obviously, I'm not a marketing genius!

We (that means you, NRA and GOA, et al) need to get some PR hacks and marketing dweebs on this.  We need a theme that ties guns to long life.  And kids being able to grow up.  And families staying together.  Honestly, it should probably stay away from the self-reliance angle, as way too many Americans are now very willing to hand over their personal responsibilities to the government.  Our goal with these types is to either keep them neutral or leaning our way, and not be anti-gun.

How do we emotionally convince these types that it's in their best interest to leave the rest of us alone with our guns?  That they will actually be better off with us with guns, instead of in danger as the gun grabbers would like them to think.

We need to have pre-written press notices that extend and reinforce this positive mental picture every time a person uses a gun to save or protect a life.  And every time a crazy bastard takes one.

We also need a female talking-head for our side.  Someone who is passionate, articulate, well-spoken and knowledgeable enough to hit the Sunday news show circuit.  Someone that's equally attractive to men and women, but whom you believe would punch you in the head if you got out of line.  Sorry, Wayne, we need someone that the women can get behind.  And that ain't you.  Thank you for your service, but it's time to step out of the limelight.

We're not controlling this debate.  We're defensively counter-punching.  This topic only comes up after a mass shooting, and when that happens, we look like the bad guys.  We bob-and-weave with facts and logic, and they throw hay-makers with dead children and Assault Rifles.

Seriously, who do you think will win, "the hearts and minds" of America with these tactics?  We're toast if this same road is followed.  We must get out in front of this and guide the conversation.  We've got to interject emotion into our fact-filled arguments.

Fear, love, hate, sorrow, glee, pride, joy, safety, contentment.  Which best get ALL of our emotional juices flowing?

Copyright 2013 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Adam said...

Too many people are apathetic about their rights to begin with. Anyone who isn't a gun owner doesn't really care because they don't like guns, they could care less if they are banned and no amount of marketing will get them to change their mind.

The problem is with the marketing from the NRA. They need to be pushing the self defense uses of guns. They need to go after those who illegally purchase guns for criminals (felons, etc). If it comes out that person A committed a shooting and wasn't allowed to own a gun. They should lead the charge to find out how it happened. If it turns out a straw purchase occurred, the NRA needs to lead the charge to charge and convict that person. Which is all within current law.

The other problem is that society in general has a "anger" problem. People are getting killed over small amounts of money ($2, $5, $10, $20, etc) or disrespect or whatever. We as a society will not get past mass shootings until we as a society figure out a way to handle our anger without shooting or stabbing someone. People don't get into fist fights anymore and then move on. What causes the escalation in violence? Many many things, from the break down of the family, to desensitization from movies, tv, video games, to gangs, to "thug life" glamorization, etc.

The NRA and gun rights activists need to pound the pavement and get out the message about what is really causing the violence, and it isn't the gun.

Chief Instructor said...


Re: NRA going after criminals not being prosecuted, amen to that. That's a hell of an idea, in that, it happens all of the time, and it would show the NRA being vigilant ALWAYS, not just counter-punching when a big shooting happens.

RE: Anger - I've thought a lot about that. There was recently a fight between two gangs near my PM store - black and Hispanic. It was kind of cool. Two guys went behind the building, duked it out, and no one ended up dead. One guy won, he and his guys left, all high-fives. The other guys, picked up their guy, and left. Seriously, that's how it used to be.

Now, will there be retribution and gun play later? Maybe, but this one was settled the old fashioned way, and no one died.