If you consider yourself an ardent defender of the Second Amendment, congratulations, you now work in sales and marketing. It’s time we realize this and act accordingly. When we are speaking to friends, family, and strangers, we need to be very careful and controlled in our choice of words, analogies, and demeanor. We are the ambassadors of freedom and we should seek to be as effective as possible.
Whenever a reporter asks for my opinion on “gun control”, I explain that I do my best to avoid the term due to its inherent bias and instead refer to “firearm related legislation.” Their term is designed to be manipulative at the root. They want it to sound like for you to be against whatever they arbitrarily deem “common sense gun control” must mean that you are against an orderly society.
This is the subtext that’s not often called out, and it has a greater impact than you might realize.
An example we’re all more aware of is the infamous term, “assault rifle/weapon” and now the more recent “assault(style) rifle/weapon” and of course, “weapon of war.” While you and I both know those names are beyond inaccurate, disingenuous, and designed to manipulate the clueless plebs in the middle, we need to remember that there is a great number of Americans who are those clueless plebs in the middle.
I don’t mean to disparage those middle-dwellers. I understand that most are simply too busy raising their families and trying to keep food on the table to study Edward Bernays and the history of linguistic manipulation and propaganda. Yet as politicians are keenly aware, it’s those masses in the middle whose opinions we fight to sway. They’re the swing voters who decide elections.
For those of us who have chosen to dedicate a portion of our lives to the defense of liberty, we need to remember to do our best to avoid the temptation of fallacious arguments and insults. Instead, we need to spend a lot more time honing our arguments and paying closer attention to what works and what doesn’t.
We’re up against billionaires, the media and entrenched statists with access to million-dollar ad campaigns and PR firms that eat, sleep, and breathe manipulation. We need to recognize our enemies for what they are, pay attention to their tactics, and adapt accordingly.
Make no mistake; the future of liberty depends upon your effectiveness in its defense.