Meet Jason Rzepka, Everytown for Gun Safety’s “Director of Cultural Engagement”

Jason Rezepka (courtesy bloomberg.com)

I’ve said it a millions times: don’t exaggerate. Wait. That’s not it. Culture eats strategy for lunch. The Constitution is Americans’ shield against the degradation and destruction of their gun (and other) rights. Pro-gunners must fight to protect their right to arm-up in the courts and the voting booth. But the culture is the real battleground. On one hand: the anti-gun rights mainstream media and the politicians they enable. On the other: tradition, patriotism, Hollywood, video games, the Internet, hands-on gun fun and the politicians all that enables. Unfortunately, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety “gets it.” Hence . . .

the addition of a Stalinist sounding “Director of Cultural Engagement.”

Jason Rzepka is a former MTV Vice President of Public Affairs and head of communications at PopTech and IMAX. He now earns his crust “using culture to fight gun violence.” According to netrootsnation.com, Rxepka’s overseeing Everytown’s “storytelling efforts, celebrity engagement and the development of other cultural assets that mobilize Americans to take common sense steps that will help save lives.”

We clocked Everytown’s creation of  their star-studded, Hollywood-based Creative Council last week, but who knew the MTV PR flack was behind it? Jason’s public debut in the world of culturally-minded anti-gun agitprop exploits Everytown’s Scientology-like outreach to Hollywood hypocrites arrived via an email blast:

One of the reasons we go to the movies is to escape. The world can be stressful, and sometimes the only way to deal with it is to grab some popcorn and have a good laugh.

But this summer, once again, a movie theater became a crime scene. This past July, 11 people were shot in a Louisiana theater while watching Trainwreck.

Since that horrible day, Judd Apatow, the director of Trainwreck and other iconic comedies like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up has redoubled his commitment to the gun violence prevention movement.

And he’s partnering with Everytown for his sold out comedy show in New York City.

Make a donation today and you could win a trip to New York and tickets to Judd’s comedy show at Carnegie Hall on November 14. All proceeds will support Everytown and the fight to end gun violence in America. Support the cause and have a few laughs.

Trainwreck? I guess Jason doesn’t “do” irony. But I bet he does lunch. Lots. And so should we. So should we.

comments

  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    Sounds like they’re after a bloodless coup, with a little nazi razzle-dazzle first before they really kick things off.

    1. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

      The problem is that culture wars never end bloodlessly. Never. In fact, history has proven it to be quite the opposite.

      Tom

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Their example will always be cigarette smoking, and how the percentage of Americans who smoke has dropped drastically and the places in which you can smoke have decreased drastically due to a cultural shift — a pretty deliberately-orchestrated one, too — in the way smoking is perceived (from “cool” to “gross”). The cigarette example is also related to why they push so hard to label “gun violence” as a “public health crisis” and they want the CDC, Surgeon General, etc involved. This is why Mr. Rzepka (I’d like to buy a vowel?) here has been hired, and I guaran-freaking-tee you his very specific edict is “do to guns what was done to cigarettes.”

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          While their users might have, cigarettes have never defended the Constitution. Cigarette smoking is alive and well, even with the added pressure of ‘vaping’.

          Guns are not the problem, and are only a miniscule aspect of what is the problem.

          The problem is liberals of every ilk. They are here to destroy you by whatever means and they need to be dealt with in-kind but asymmetrically.

        2. avatar Kyle says:

          Cigarette smoking only became uncool when the health problems with it became known. But gun rights are not about being cool. IMO, the LAST THING we want is wide gun ownership because it looks cool. Those types of people will be the first ones to give up their guns if/when it stops looking cool. Rather, it is about the protection of the right itself that is important.

        3. avatar Jeremy S says:

          “Cigarette smoking only became uncool when the health problems with it became known. But gun rights are not about being cool.”

          Well of course we think this way, but the entire reason this sort of “cultural engagement” anti-gun propaganda campaign exists is to 1) convince the majority that guns are a health problem and 2) convince as many people as possible that owning a gun is socially unacceptable and something worthy of shun. They are trying to mimic the anti-smoking campaigns (and have explicitly said this). So… FYI… that’s what we’re up against and that’s what Rzepka was hired to do.

        4. avatar SkyMan77 says:

          +1…Holder rolled out the whole cultural idealism that “we” need to brainwash people into thinking that guns are like cigarettes and it’s been pretty effective (sad to say). It’s really discouraging that so many people fall for these ploys. Here’s an early video of Holder selling the idea.

          Like the Nazi POS Goebbels spewed “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it…. Or, if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” This is the type of dark evil we’re facing… Let the Light (the truth) shine!!!

          God Bless….

  2. avatar DoomGuy says:

    So… Out of all the gun control activists especially those from the “urban communities”… The one these leftists choose to push their “cultural agenda” is a white guy?

    http://giphy.com/gifs/racist-thats-4WHkXdDx8wjS0

    1. avatar Noah says:

      Doesn’t surprise me too much. I’m sure that a lot of leftish folks legitimately respect those of other races. The anti-2a movement, however, has been furthered a great deal by the stereotype of the “angry black criminal.”

  3. avatar Shire-man says:

    Bloomberg, some Holloywood actors and a PR guy from MTV?
    This has pointless circle jerk written all over it.

    1. avatar dh34 says:

      It would be pathetically comedic if it wasn’t for the fact they are actively trying to restrict the rights of the citizenry.

      Fortunately, Bloomberg’s forays into media, other than business news, have not gone too well.

  4. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    Irony~ a word whose significance eludes them.

    1. avatar dh34 says:

      Among other things…

  5. avatar DavidinNC says:

    What an elbow rubbing, ass patting clown. The strategy of attracting new supporters through pop-cultured bribery aligns perfectly with the left’s agenda of “we’ll give you free stuff if you vote for us.”

    How sad that free dumb crap often trumps freedom itself. That’s why we need to work harder than ever before.

  6. avatar Joe R. says:

    I’m certain that this will cause enough gun owners, so concerned that they might actually ban guns, to make plans to transition over to EFPs. You can’t defend the Constitution un-armed.

  7. avatar Ian says:

    It seems fairly obvious to me that any group who needs a “Director of Cultural Engagement” is grasping at ways to justify being on the wrong side of an issue. Having one on staff is tantamount to admitting defeat.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      I’m wondering which ‘culture’ he is going to engage that’s responsible for ‘gun violence’. Is he going to engage the legislative puritan culture which prohibits certain recreational chemicals, making their profit margins really high and driving turf wars for illegal distribution? Or is he going to engage black culture itself, which seems to have no problem with the 50% of all homicides a small percentage of their fellow members commit?

      Oh, that’s right, he’s going to rub elbows with some famous people. That’ll slow gang violence in Chicago for sure.

  8. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    You want to fight on the cultural front?
    Find a woman brave enough stand in front of a camera and tell everyone that the second time someone tried to rape her, she was ready.
    Put that grandmother that dropped the home invaders in Detroit in an ad or the guy that killed some carjackers, or the uber driver that stopped that mass shooting in Chicago.
    At the end of the PSA, go with the classic black screen with the question in white,”Why would anyone want them defenseless?”

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      At the end of the PSA, go with the classic black screen with the question in white,”Why would anyone want them defenseless?”

      As a follow-up to RF’s offhand comment about Scientology, I’d like to point out that the black screen question was first conceived by a woman in the group marketing the book Dianetics. The point was to black-screen ask a pertinent question, then give the page number in the book where the question was answered. As it has become rather culturally iconic in itself, a rather brilliant bit of marketing.

      To follow up your comment above, it should go like this:

      “Why would anyone want them defenseless? See The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment Two.”

  9. avatar Brentonadams says:

    Following the links backwards I find that ‘everytown creative council’ Facebook page has nine likes.

    Okay then.

    1. avatar Chuck (hates nj) says:

      Bloomie’s group messed up again and forgot to create the page before announcing the group so some crafty pro gunner did it.

  10. avatar Scorpion says:

    Excellent post. OK, Farago, you’re the boss of the biggest internet gun site and the Texas Firearms Festival. Are you reaching out to the pro-gun A- or B- list celebs to make appearances at the 2016 event?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      No.

      For one thing, no time. We’d need a Director of Cultural Engagement (apparently).

      For another, we’re a pro-2A blog, not a pro-gun rights lobbying group.

      1. avatar Chadwick P. says:

        Awe hell just invite the nuge! I think he’d be pretty cool to just hang out with.

      2. avatar That Guy says:

        Robert isn’t that sort of a distinction without a difference? Yes, TTAG doesn’t directly lobby for gun rights, but by “lobbying” the Armed Intelligensia (providing insight into pro and anti gun politicians, places, laws etc) aren’t you in effect lobbying for gun rights?

      3. avatar Scorpion says:

        Indeed, chasing down celebs is a full-time job or four. And if my Rolodex had any value (it doesn’t), I’d donate it to the cause. But I disagree somewhat with the blog v. lobbying group. Everytown using Apatow isn’t so much to advance their work in statehouses and DC. It is, as you point out, part of the cultural battle to get the giant middle of America to think that nice people don’t like guns. We gun rights advocates prove them wrong. If some paparazzi-worthy leading man is spotted at the Firearms Festival and that’s picked up by Extra, that would be hard for Everytown to counter.

        That’s my .02. You have a business to run, and Dir. of Cultural Engagement ain’t cheap.

      4. avatar Cliff H says:

        Why not?

        1. avatar Wee Liam says:

          Because someone else decided they write the rules, that’s why.

  11. avatar DerryM says:

    I guess he won’t be “engaging” the POTG Culture with any “free stuff”…like gun giveaways, free ammo, free gun gear…Since there are 100 million of us (31% of the US Population of 322 million) and we are mostly adults, that’s a lot of voters to alienate by exclusion. But, then, none of us really would want anything tainted by Bloomberg’s “infected and corroding fingers”, and our spare money goes to support the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun rights Organizations that oppose you.

  12. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Director of Cultural Engagement is just a less obvious way of saying Minister of Propaganda. Kind of like Joseph Goebbels.

    1. avatar clickboom says:

      Much truth here

  13. avatar Mk10108 says:

    What is important here is Bloomberg is actively searching for ways to move the needle. Let’s not ignore because our cause is just, lets engage in moving the issues on the board to s checkmate.

  14. avatar Mr. AR-10 says:

    Good gravy. “All proceeds will support Everytown and the fight to end gun violence in America.”

    I know math, as do most of us here. Math tells us that to reduce gun violence we need to increase the number of legally owned and carried guns, which, again, as we well know, is specifically spelled out in the constitution as a right of the people.

    But this group is trying to do the exact opposite, ignoring math.

    You can’t ignore math, math doesn’t care, and will win in the end.

    “storytelling efforts, celebrity engagement and the development of other cultural assets that mobilize Americans to take common sense steps that will help save lives.”

    Seriously? Did I wake up in the Soviet Union this morning? What has happened to this country?

    1. avatar clickboom says:

      The “storytelling efforts” bit is predominantly ominous.

  15. avatar GunGeek says:

    I’m grateful for Everytown’s initiative if it results in a PR counter response.

    The San Francisco bay area has seen an 84% decline in gun ranges over the past 25 years; certainly some decline due to development and land cost. But the culture war has been a factor too. Shooting sports have virtually disappeared in area high schools and colleges with only a handful of ROTC programs remaining.

    Aging rock stars and dead actors may appeal to the 50+ NRA demographic, but not to the 18-35 segment that’s key to our long term sustainability. Litigation and lobbying are necessary, but not sufficient.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      San Francisco itself, maybe, but it is my understanding that Oakland is a gun range.

  16. avatar CarlosT says:

    First, anyone else wondering how the heck Rzepka is pronounced? Second, these kinds of things, as stupid as they sound, do worry me a bit. It lends glamour and cachet to gun control, and our side doesn’t have anything equivalent. Sure, protecting gun rights is the right position if you think about it, but that’s the problem. Very few people are going to think it through. They just see people they like to watch in movies and TV tell them guns are bad and that will be the extent of the mental effort expended.

    1. avatar Mr. AR-10 says:

      It’s social engineering and it works.

      And it was part of getting Obama elected, twice.

      These people have money, time and smarts.

      Our side is not lacking in the smarts department, but we have nothing like the kind of money that is being used to attack the constitution. And we are running out of time.

      1. avatar Wee Liam says:

        We don’t have a lot of time, that’s for sure. I confess I’ve entertained thoughts of joining the Chiapas Guerillas in the few years I have remaining.

    2. avatar JSJ says:

      First, anyone else wondering how the heck Rzepka is pronounced?

      I believe in this instance it’s pronounced: “Douchebag”.

  17. avatar Ray says:

    Is it just me or doesn’t he look like the grown version of Cameron from Ferris Bueller who married the first girl he boinked and has been “whipped” ever since?

    1. avatar Dave in SoCal says:

      I’m kind of reminded of Louis Tully from “Ghostbusters”, but without the glasses.

      “Who does your taxes?”

  18. avatar Bob says:

    I think to win the culture war, you need more gun owners. Two main reasons people buys guns are self defense and competition. I think it’s easier for a person to become convinced to buy a gun for competition (ie fun) than self defense. I think the self defense reason requires more of a potential shift in their current thinking.

    I liken it to the likelihood of a person buying a softball bat for pure self defense vs playing recreational softball. One is just easier to digest if you are already not programmed about the need for self defense. And the great thing is that how many people bought that bat for games and then eventually let it live under the bed, because “you just never know”?

    Incrementalism, it’s a thing.

    1. avatar clickboom says:

      Absolutely.

      The best thing any of us could would be to try to get shooting clubs / teams and the like started at any youth organization accessible

  19. avatar Wee Liam says:

    The name this group of liars and tyrants call themselves makes my poor, ulcer-ridden stomach churn.

    I will, from this moment forward, call them what they should actually be called: Despotic Fellow Travelers for Outright Gun Confiscation.

    I can’t muster a single publishable thought about them.

  20. avatar American Made says:

    So the owner of TTAG claims “…. the culture is the real battleground….” and he attacks the biased Liberal media and the disarmament cabal who routinely label US as deranged fanatics yet he himself and his moderators hamstring us in the fight by restricting OUR speech.

    Wake up! We’re in a fight for OUR lives and we ARE being stabbed in the back by those that claim to champion OUR cause. Yes, those that are enriching themselves with revenue from advertising and have appointed themselves as the “arbiters of civility” in the fight to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights, our “betters”, are also our enemy and MUST be treated as such.

    We WILL lose if the obstacles placed before by our own kind are not removed, our enemy has NO such restrictions THAT’S why their voices are always heard over ours. Haven’t anyone learned from Trump? Say outrageous things and OUR message WILL be heard loud and clear.

  21. avatar Gearmoe says:

    Lies from the word go. There is no gun violence problem.

  22. avatar suzette says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble of inreality but our family morns the loss of a Nephew due to Gun violence. Neil was shot to death as he rode his bicycle through Sherman Circle park in DC. He was a college senior just going about his daily routine. A teen with a gun (for simple savage amusement) deliberately shot Neil to death as he peddled by.
    The killer then loudly boasted to his clutch of admirers “See. Like butta baby…” The killer is doing 42 years without hope of parole. Neil lost his physical life. the rest of us lost our minds. This loss if for the shooters family as well. The shitty waste of it all…continues to make me vomit. It makes me full of rage because of the lie that guns are OK.
    Yeah….and Merry Christmas to all you dumb gun enthusiasts. May tragedy never (pray) mark your lives.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I’m posting this on the main page to stimulate debate. I’d appreciate it if you could consider the responses, to help you understand the pro-gun rights position. Sorry for your loss.

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