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California’s Hope and Heal Fund doesn’t like the way the mainstream media reports Golden State “gun violence.” So HHF hired Spitfire — a PR company that helps left-leaning orgs push their progressive message — to recommend ways to bend firearms-related press coverage to HHF’s will. And left-leaning Media Matters posted the results.

Here are some excerpts from Spitfire’s analysis of “218 articles from nine major newspapers papers and 163,000 relevant mentions on Twitter between December 2015 and January 2017.” And their recommended game plan for promoting civilian disarmament.

Coverage ignored everyday gun violence.
Ongoing gun violence in California — including domestic violence, suicide and gang violence –received minimal coverage compared to more sensational gun-related tragedies. These three issues accounted for just five percent of news coverage.

Gun violence was rarely framed as a public health issue.
Only four percent of news coverage discussed gun violence in the context of public health.

California’s policy leadership fueled complacency.
Coverage often noted that California has some of the most robust gun laws in the nation, and these statements contribute to a narrative that there is little more that can be done to combat gun violence at the state level.

Politicians were the primary messengers.
Politicians accounted for nearly 40 percent of newspaper quotes on gun violence – more than funders, researchers, advocacy groups, community groups and victims of gun violence combined. Democrats were more likely to be quoted than Republicans. On social media, politicians accounted for the majority of the messengers with the greatest spread.

So Spitfire gets it: mass shootings get the ink, day-to-day firearms-related suicide and crime, not so much. Despite the coverage of high profile spree killers, these black swan events don’t motivate the public to support gun control. Because they’re black swan events.

In that sense, Spitfire acknowledges the fact that California gun grabbers are a victim of their own success; there’s nothing substantive left to offer as a solution to “gun violence,” big or small.

At the same time, the civilian disarmament industrial complex is a victim of its own failures. The Golden State’s “strict” gun control laws haven’t stopped firearms-related injury and death. Ipso facto. 

Make the case that there is much work left to be done in California.
Counter the perception that California has done enough to address gunviolence by pointing out that we must do more than enact strong gunlaws – we must also address the root causes of violence.

Reinforce public health framing.
Continue to talk about gun violence as a public health issue until that framing permeates the media narrative. Identify doctors, researchers and public health experts who can serve as effective messengers.

Depoliticize gun violence by appealing to common values.
Sidestep political opposition by crafting messages that emphasize universal values like safety, opportunity and freedom from fear.

Focus on storytelling instead of data.
Highlighting personal stories will bring statistics to life, create empathy and overcome stereotypes about who is impacted by gun violence.

I’m down with that! Address the root causes of [firearms-related] violence: gangs and mental illness. Yes? Hello?

As for the “guns are a public health crisis” pitch, even the sympathetic mainstream media aren’t buying it. If nothing else, it’s boring. Especially compared to the idea that [non-suicide] “gun violence” is a crime/policing problem.

Spitfire’s recommendation to “depoliticize gun violence” is an attempt to get the anti-gun elite to ignore/block any discussion of the facts.

Which they already do, by focusing on “personal stories” of carefully chosen and often groomed “gun violence victims.” And that the media love. You might even say that’s what got the anti-gun rights movement where it is today.

But no further. Because, at some point, facts matter. And the facts do not support infringement on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutional protected right to keep and bear arms.

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  1. I live in California, and I truly wish, as this group posits, that the politicians here were more complacent, because it sure seems to me that they can’t stop passing anti-gun laws. This session includes laws to increase the storage requirements for FFLS (met with a safe, but otherwise very expensive), an audit of three counties (LA, San Diego and Sacramento) that issue CCWs, not because there has been any outcry from local police or sheriffs that the cost of administering the CCW program is not covered by the current fee structure, but instead as a means of developing the evidence needed to hike the cost of application (now about $150 for the first application, plus the cost of the mandatory training) as a way of cracking down on “shall issue” schemes on some counties by making it too damned expensive for people to obtain them, a bill to take away the discretion of school administrators to allow CCW holders to carry on campuses (there are only five campuses that do so), and another bill requiring mandatory warnings as to safe storage laws. This after the ammo bill and Proposition, the bullet button ‘AW” registration bill, the bill requiring ALL firearms, irrespective of date of purchase to be serialized (if necessary) and registered, and of course the bill that gave CalState Davis “public health” (and ER physician) researcher David Wintemute $5 million to research “gun violence” as a “public health” issue.

    We need more laws like we need a hole in the head. Suicide is a “public health” issue, but the manner by which the act is committed is not. Get real. Gang violence isn’t a public health issue that will be solved by gun laws either. So the true intent is to ban guns. Because guns are bad for the public health. Or something.

  2. I think that this pretty well proves that liberalism is a mental disorder.
    And pretty damned scary too.

  3. I looked on Spitfire’s website and found Greenpeace and several other environment friendly organizations as their clients. I used to think Greenpeace was a decent organization. Maybe a little left leaning, but not so far as to call our president a “White Supremacist.” Am I, an environment loving gun owner, the last of my kind? Just because I like nature, do I have to be against the president and patriotism?

    • If what you’re saying about yourself is true, I’d say that defines you as the typical ethical hunter (or would be – if you hunt).
      As far as Greenpeace being a “decent organization” : maybe they were, once upon a time – times change. Remember that the Southern Poverty Law Center once did a bit of good in fighting evil – until they had to resort to evil themselves to justify their continued existence in the twenty-first century.

      • Personally, I don’t hunt, but I would if I had to. I just prefer shooting paper rings and little pictures of Kim-Jong-Onion-Head. I tried hunting, but that was back when I was a kid with a pellet gun, and no concept of why things twitch. Needless to say, I got mentally scarred. XD Looking back, it was a comical error on my part, but to this day, I never will kill anything, if I can help it. With the exception of a creature that’s suffering.
        I never thought of myself as an Ethical Hunter, type, but now that you say it, I guess I am. Thanks. ^_^

    • well, the environmental protection has long since moved from “protect the land from those who would destroy it for profit” to “DERRRRRRRRRP!”

      My personal fav in CA, road construction equipment is now parked on plastic sheeting to prevent any oil/fluid drips from damaging the environment. Interesting idea that, unless you want to take into account the thousands of tons of tar/gravel mix they just dumped on the road to fix it…..

      The nuts are in charge of the nut house and nobody gives a damn as long as they can drink organic sun tea on their redwood decks and they dont have to pay too much for gasoline for the prius that runs best on well maintained roads. These fruitloops are doing more damage on a global scale than BP when they screwed the pooch down in the gulf of mexico.

      but yeah, i like nature too….

      • Plastic sheeting? That’s hilarious! This coming from the state that banned plastic bags. You just can’t make that shit up…

        • The Army has been throwing “drip pans” under the engine of every parked vehicle for the last 30+ years. Or throwing the pan somewhere under the frontish end/check the box Lt.

  4. Wow, ‘cue sad trombone.’ “Our analysis has proven mathematically that the people ain’t buying what you politicians are selling. That’ll be $50,000.” “CA’s Policy Leadership Fueled Complacency;” wait, they’re suggesting that the continued gun violence in spite of the ever-growing litany of creative CA gun bans is causing complacency? And not that people are simply dissatisfied with failed policy panacea after failed policy panacea? I’d want my $50,000 back, these guys are worthless yes-men, therefore worthless to the Bloomberg yes-men who commissioned them.

  5. More FAIL from the worst run state in the union. I’d expect no less. Warning, Kalifornia is like an STD. Infectious and spreads. WAKE THE HELL UP PEOPLE.

  6. …we must also address the root causes of violence.

    ~75% of black kids in single parent homes and no father.
    Criminal gangs comprised of “Dreamers”.

    I’m sure the Lefty media will get right on those issues after the skating party in hell.

  7. Write the down – anyone that uses the word “violence” in a conversation is an moron. Same for “hope and heal”.

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