Some here at TTAG can be quick to voice our criticism of the NRA. When we think they are slow to react or we think their message is off. But we should also take time to pat them on the back when they get it right. And they did just that in Illinois this week. In a showing of forward thinking, NRA arranged for a shoot and demonstration of suppressors for the capitol press corp. NRA has been working with the American Suppressor Association to legalize suppressors in the Land of Lincoln. Bills have been filed and they continue to work on the issue at the state capitol . . .
In an effort to head off the typical anti-gun talking points and hype about the evils of those things called “silencers”, the NRA gathered up almost a dozen willing reporters and let them hear for themselves what the fuss is all about. The results — no less than six news stories about the event — every one of them fair or balanced to positive. Not a negative story in the bunch.
One statewide story headline was: “Gun silencers demonstrated for media.” The Springfield newspaper put up a video showing side by side comparisons of firearms both suppressed and un-suppressed.
That seems to be a completely fair way of showing the public what suppressors actual do while dispelling the Hollywood myths about them. That didn’t go unnoticed by the participants. After hearing the suppressed version of several firearms, one TV reporter said that she felt she’d been “lied to” by what what’s portrayed in the movies .
Game, set, and match.
With that statement from the “mainstream” capitol media, the NRA accomplished everything they set out to do. If nothing else, the day was a success. The had broken through the ice and made a lasting impression on a group who regularly covers the gun issue at the state capitol. If no one else said it, we bet they were all thinking it.
The Ch 20 news story is here: http://www.wics.com/news/top-stories/stories/gun-advocates-push-suppressors-22593.shtml
As a kicker, the anti-gunners got 1 stinking lackluster comment in one story … which was nicely countered by a LEO:
Opponents of the bill say silencers could increase crime and make it harder for cops to catch shooters.
Evan Wilkins works as a patrolmen for two police departments here in central Illinois. He says he doesn’t see that happening.
“These aren’t exactly quiet like the Hollywood-type suppressors that you might see, but these are still pretty loud. But if you’re relying on hearing a gun shot, you’re already behind,” said Wilkins.
So while the gun-haters are left scratching their heads about what to do to fight the tide, the NRA got a couple of hours of quality range time with media members to let them shoot and answer all their questions. And NRA wasn’t reduced to spouting a bumper sticker slogans on a complex subject. They did what almost never happens with the media – they got to explain the issue in depth and answer every question. And did intelligently, thoughtfully and professionally.
One of the participants who was there runs an Illinois version of C-SPAN. They put up a short unedited video of parts of the talks and shoot. It underscores the value of these types of events. You see press people not looking like network anchors, but in jeans and casual clothes having fun at the range and LEARNING about the issue.
Four video stories, including local news, at least two radio stories, and statewide distribution on a print story. Not bad for an afternoon at the range on an issue like suppressors. The anti-gunners now have a much bigger hill to climb when they spew their distortions and scare-mongering. They will now face an educated audience of reporters. That’s not something a press release is going to overcome.
Atta boy, NRA. Keep it up.