Mike “the Gun Guy” Weisser is nothing if not an ideas man. What The Movement For Gun Violence Prevention Is Missing is the anti-gun kapo’s advice for popularizing gun control. One idea: call it GVP. Like the NRA! Another idea: make it fun. Like the NRA! Apparently all those NRA affiliations and come-ons — calls, emails and direct mail shots — are a good thing, not a bad thing.

Over the last five days I received six email communications from the NRA, including three messages offering to sell me clothing, backpacks and all kinds of other consumer crap.

During that same five-day period I received only three emails from the GVP folks, and every message consisted of asking me to donate money to the cause. Several of the NRA emails were also straight out of the organization’s fundraising kit, but overall the NRA messaging did one thing that the GVP messaging didn’t do – it conveyed the idea that being involved with the NRA is not only important but also fun.

The idea that you can have a good time by being a member of America’s “oldest civil rights organization” is an important aspect of the pro-gun messaging strategy that I’m not sure the GVP community understands . . .

Later today I’m going to drive over to Marlborough where the semi-annual gun show is going on, and the reason I’m going to the show is the same reason that millions of people attend gun shows all over the country every weekend – the shows are fun. I can wander around, play with lots of guns, eat a hot dog and wash it down with a full-calorie drink and buy a Make America Great Again baseball cap for under five bucks.

Spending money on some useless junk may not be the preferred method for raising political awareness within the GVP, but it sure works for the NRA.

It sounds simplistic and, considering the source, it probably is. And I own exactly zero examples of NRA chazerai. But someone’s buying this stuff. So . . .

Did MTGG get it right? Does the NRA win because it makes guns fun?

 

42 Responses to Question of the Day: Is the NRA Winning the Culture War?

      • And agreed again.

        If I needed to produce a patronus, Harry Potter style, there’s a good chance guns would be featured in that one perfect memory. (Okay, so it’d be backed up behind the birth of my first child and getting married, but still…)

        What have the “gun violence prevention” dementors got to compete with that?

    • Ralph is correct, and the NRA knows that, and capitalizes on it.
      Anyone who has ever been to a Friends of NRA dinner or Pheasants Forever banquet or similar event knows that people love forking over cash for the chance to acquire another instrument of fun. Just because.

      Frankly, the GGHH (gun-grabber hen house) has nothing to counteract that.

    • SHOT show, NRA convention, local gun show… at the very least you’ll go home with something interesting and fun.
      Mom’s Demand Subservience rally, Brady Bunch reunion, any run-of-the-mill bigot gathering… you might get a t-shirt and a dog-eared poster board with a hand-scrawled bigot sound bite on it.
      Easy decision.

  1. The NRA is not ‘Winning the Culture War’, gun rights as a whole is winning the culture war.

    More and more people are becoming aware of the need and value of self-defense. In the Black community, the concept of the importance of gun rights has more than doubled over the last 20 years.

    If anything, the Leftists are the ones doing the losing as Americans reject their political poison…

    • No one is winning the culture war. Everyone is just retreating to their corners. Unfortunately, the next step is to come out fighting. I had hoped to be peacefully in my grave before it all went to shit, but I’m increasingly thinking I won’t be afforded that luxury.

  2. You can be an NRA member and be yourself. You don’t have to fret you’ll get yelled at if you’re not up on the newest social trends or causes. You don’t have to worry about offending anyone. And guns.

  3. “it conveyed the idea that being involved with the NRA is not only important but also fun.”

    Perhaps the civil disarmament movement could try something similar. They could promote various fun activities that are ideologically similar, such as boot stomping the heads of gun owners and/or conservatives onto pavement, using baseball bats to break the limbs of those same people, or tossing molotov cocktails through the windows of any establishments that support anything or anyone contrary to the cause. I realize these ideas are repellent and vile to normal people like us who aren’t insane, but you have to remember, the civil disarmament movement/GVP/gun control culture is made up of mentally unhinged, left wing nutjobs who yearn to violently subdue those they disagree with. These types of things would certainly be fun for them.

  4. The fun thing about gun shows is, well, guns. Which are inherently cool and fun. What would an anti-gun show feature? Dildos? Dildos with M-Lok or KeyMod slots?

    When the sole purpose of your organization is to rant against something, and not promote anything, it’s going to be pretty dull.

  5. Hmmm, how is the GVP going to write “oppression is fun, liberty is overrated” email to make gun control more popular?

    Che Guevara or Nicolás Maduro might have some tips, but they are not all that popular either.

  6. In short no the NRA isn’t winning the culture war… What is winning the culture war is the integrity and honesty of normal everyday pro gun folks out in their neighborhoods. The lies and cooked studies will only win so long before eventually they turn on their creators and cause more damage than any honest study ever could. Humans are just wired that way we eventually start studying “known facts” to see if they really are true and most when presented with the truth either proving or disproving the fact we set out to test we will alter our view point accordingly, for example, we’ve all had that one friend or neighbor who was anti gun and upon finding out that their friend (You) was a gun owner started to rethink their position, maybe they started to ask you questions, and eventually you took them out to shoot and now it’s hard to tell who’s the bigger gun nut you or them. Culture wars are not won through propaganda and lies despite what China and North Korea say their citizens know life sucks in their sh*thole country and they know communism doesn’t work.

  7. Well guns are growing in popularity among varying cultural groups, but the NRA tends to be on the wrong side of a lot “culture war” issues that have nothing to do with guns. They should stick to firearms rights, stop the fear mongering, and definitely stop dabbling in other social/political issues that could alienate people from shooting sports and self-defense.

  8. Gun violence protection, now I’m concerned my gun may turn violent, does anyone know a good therapist that my gun could perhaps talk to? Are there any precursors to my gun becoming violent?

  9. I don’t really understand the concept of a “culture war.” A lot of people say there is one, and make various claims about who is winning, but I don’t really see a “victory” for anyone. In order to “win”, it seems to me that the the cultural value in question, would have to become so dominant that anyone who did not accept it would be an outlier — regardless of the legal protections for firearms and their owners, opposition to firearms ownership is hardly a rare position, nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future.

    Both sides demonize each other, mischaracterize the other’s positions, conflate positions on firearms with other political positions that may or may not actually reflect the other side’s views, ascribe to the other side personal and moral characteristics that reflect scorn, and assume that everyone of the opposing view is exactly the same. I keep reading derogatory comments about liberal snowflakes on websites such as this one, and about uneducated toothless hillbillies on pro-gun control websites.

    If winning the “culture war” means converting those of the opposing view, then the “culture war” is one that cannot be won by either side, at least not in the way it is being fought. People should just stop the arguing and name-calling and be satisfied with the legal protections that have been recognized and that, hopefully, will be recognized in the future.

    • “I don’t really understand the concept of a “culture war.””

      I’ll give you an example –

      A few decades back, the Leftists waged a culture war on tobacco. They won that war by making smoking un-cool.

      One of the tools they used were banning cigarette advertising. It used to be *everywhere* Now, you practically have to hunt to find it…

      • Seriously, smoking is a “cultural” issue? Tobacco use is demonstrably harmful to the user’s health — when did scientific facts become a left-right political issue?

        I suppose that widespread recognition of that fact has led to a diminution in use (emphysema and lung cancer are no longer “cool”, and the Marlboro man died of smoking-related disease), but the 7-11 up the street from me has a full selection of cigarettes and chewing tobacco. If you’re over 21 in my state, you can smoke as much as you want. There are restrictions as to where you can smoke, like not in restaurants. I don’t look at that as a cultural issue. As far as I’m concerned, people who want to blow smoke at other people in restaurants are just inconsiderate D-bags.

    • I figure we can say we’ve won the culture war when you see a recurring TV show female character who leaves the house every day with a gun but is neither a police detective, a vigilante, or in a Western.
      Not really sure how the “always armed” characteristic can be written into the story in a meaningful way that would further the plot…only so many DGUs an everyday character can get in before starts getting ridiculous.

  10. How are you going to make the “GVP” fun?

    Ideas…

    1. A training conference where you can learn to torture and keep captive your newly disarmed neighbors.

    2. Seminars on how to make kitschy sculptures with melted down firearms.

    3. A romantic getaway to the city of Detroit, which is now a tourists paradise because of the lack of firearms used in crime.

    I have a million of em…

  11. If one could win the culture war with copious amounts of spam…the NRA would win hands down. They pass the plate more than the catholic church.

  12. IMHO the antis have fallen down in two areas, both of which the NRA has not.

    1) The antis have managed to align themselves with the far Left in many parts of the public’s mind. They’ve done this with their shrill demands for bans and even retroactive bans as well as cross support for other groups. Example: trying to tie gay rights to gun control about five seconds after Orlando.

    The result is similar to the DARE program. People figure if you lie about one thing you lied about everything and when you start tying your shtick to small grievance groups most people don’t care much about people tune out your message. On top of that they’ve, fairly or not, managed to lump themselves in with groups like Antifa. Because, you know, bashing people with bricks and bike locks makes other people want to give up their CCW pistol…

    2) The antis have managed to, with really OTT rhetoric, alienate a lot of people because most people don’t live in a place where “gun violence” is a problem. If people, generally, interact with a “gun person” they find them friendly, approachable and mild mannered. As opposed to the antis who generally can’t converse for more than 90 seconds without either flying off the handle or saying things that make zero sense.

    As for the “culture war” this is another place where the antis/Leftists fall down. Most people don’t want a restructuring of society from top to bottom to “accommodate” some very small segment of the population that really isn’t being oppressed in the first place. This is where I don’t mind the NRA going “culture warrior” because if enough of the “culture war” is lost at the ballot box that will naturally erode gun rights. Far Left “culture warriors” might not run on gun control but they will support it in the Legislature or anywhere else they happen to attain office.

    • “Most people don’t want a restructuring of society from top to bottom to “accommodate” some very small segment of the population that really isn’t being oppressed in the first place.”

      *BINGO*

      And politically, that will be the rope that hangs them…

  13. “The idea that you can have a good time by being a member of America’s “oldest civil rights organization” is an important aspect of the pro-gun messaging strategy that I’m not sure the GVP community understands . . .”

    So, he’s saying that even the NRA can’t completely mess up the messaging around doing something awesome and fun, that you’re already interested in.

    If the Republicans really focus on gun issues, we’ll see what true professionals can do to screw this up.

  14. GVP already is fun, for a small set of people with a particular damage.

    Scolding people for having a good time, working hard to make other people impotent and dependent is a a turn on for some folks. Check the back pages of the local entertainment weekly in any good sized blue city.

    Hey, there’s no accounting for taste, really.

  15. The NRA’s job is not to win the culture war. It’s supposed to be working to remove gun regulations. As a life member I would grade their effort at a B-. The culture war(sic) is a misnomer. Culture is what we make of it. it ebbs and flows as the generations pass. What was popular yesterday is passe today as what will be is popular tomorrow. Just stay the course long enough and the foolishness of today will pass. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  16. Sort of sounds like MTGG is suggesting the GVP folks hold a gun show, since they are so fun! Now THAT is an interesting idea.

  17. The GVP should auction off gun squishes.
    The winning bidder gets to send, via the internet, instructions to a 2000 ton hydraulic press that squishes a firearm live over the internet. The winning bidder gets the steel pancake to mount on their wall or carry at protests. The squish guns should be fully loaded so that some cool fireworks might be seen.

  18. It’s like this: guns are inherently cool and empowering, and rich snobs who have armed bodyguards giving regular people the “you’ll shoot your eye out” routine only makes guns more desirable. Nobody likes it when their self-proclaimed “betters” tell them what to do and how to live, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. All the NRA has to do to win is pull down their eyelid and stick their tongues out at them.

    Oh, and solicit, solicit, solicit…I have a file folder in which I was planning to put a year’s worth of their mailings, but it looks like I’ll have to reserve a whole drawer before it’s over with…

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