Shannon Watts
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If you live in America, it will come as no surprise that there have been over 300 mass shootings in 2022(opens in new tab) alone, and 45,222 people died in 2020 from gun-related injuries(opens in new tab). Nobody is “bulletproof” from gun violence, and women in particular have a lot at stake (opens in new tab) when it comes to fighting against gun violence. This year, Congress passed the first federal legislation on gun violence in over 25 years (it had 15 Republicans sign on to it) and hundreds of laws have been passed at the state and local levels(opens in new tab), which signals that Democrats and Republicans can come together on the issue. 

“When you go back a decade ago when we started doing this work, about a quarter of all Democrats in Congress had an A rating from the NRA. Today, none do (opens in new tab),” says Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “That’s because of the work that we have done, creating relationships on both sides of the aisle and showing lawmakers that there’s an alternative—they can vote their conscience, they can do the right thing, they can carry out the will of their constituents. We need every single lawmaker to be on the right side of this issue.”

Gun owners also play a critical role in the gun policy discussion. “Most gun owners are responsible and the polling shows [that] they agree with things such as background checks, red flag laws, disarming domestic abusers, and storing your guns responsibly,” explains Watts. “Many of our volunteers are gun owners or their partners are gun owners. There are 400 million guns in this country. This is simply about restoring the responsibilities that should go along with gun rights.”

You can visit GunSenseVoter.org (opens in new tab) to see where candidates on your ballot stand on the issue. Additionally, you can find a list of Moms Demand Action volunteers (opens in new tab) running for office that are endorsed by the organization for the upcoming midterm elections. 

— Rachel Epstein in What’s at Stake in the 2022 Midterm Elections

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94 COMMENTS

  1. In the interest of balance they interviewed a GOA rep as well, printed that side of the argument, provided a link to GOA, and promoted gun voter tags and provided a list of pro-second amendment candidates, right? Right?

    • Gun Control sets the pace by lumping in the criminal misuse of firearms with your Second Amendment Rights. The law abiding are caught in the middle between Gun Control drama queen so-called “moms” and between criminals who misuse bricks, bats, knives firearms, vehicles, etc.

      With the daily threats of a criminał attack I don’t have time to waste on blabbermouths like shannon watts and her ilk. Especially when History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is rooted in racism and genocide. To go along with busy body blabbermouths like shannon watts is keeping the agenda of racists and nazis alive. And for the sake of Freedom I prefer any agenda rooted in racism and genocide to be dead and buried.

      • They keep harping on ” gun violence “, they must mean criminal violence by felons using firearms. My suggestion would be to crack down on these criminals with a mandatory 10 years in prison with no parole for each offence with a firearm. Secondly, any elected official would be removed from office for participating in the passage of any ordinance or law that restricts or outlaws any constitutional right to a citizen. This would include federal, state or local.

        • Incarcerating politicians who violate our rights is a significant first step in regaining voter control of our republic. Lies and manipulations too easily sway many voters.

  2. … lawmakers … can carry out the will of their constituents.” — Shannon Watts

    Imagine that our population is collapsing–which means that our society and our nation will effectively vanish within 35 years. In response 60% of the population demands that all healthy women between the ages of 16 and 32 be immediately and forcibly impregnated–and impregnated from men who have healthy genes. (If we are facing population/societal collapse, we want the replacement generation to be as healthy as possible to maximize the survival rate of that replacement generation.) Would that be A-OK since we would be facing an existential crisis and 60% of the population would be demanding it?

    Lesson: a majority of the population wanting something does not make it right for legislators to enact into law when that something violates the rights of others.

    • Adolph’s Nazi eugenics obviously still have a place in the future of the world. The gangster corruption of the communist party of the USA doesn’t miss anything they think could work for them.

  3. From toxic makeup, suffocating corsets, whole birds on their heads to tramp stamps and silicone ass injections and infertile 40 year olds pining for the child they’ll never have women are always keeping themselves in chains with the groupthink and peer bullying.

    And it’s always some mans fault.

  4. That’s the look on Shannon’s face when TTAG’s own Dirk Diggler *un-zips* in front of her… 🙂

    • Geoff,

      Look at that photo again: not only does Shannon have the right look on her face, she is even reaching out with her hand open and palm up, as though reaching for Dirk’s member! That is truly priceless.

      Thank you for the morning chuckle.

      By the way I have not seen any comments from Dirk Diggler in several years. I wonder if he died?

      • He, or someone using his nick, posted several months back. One single solitary time. So I’ll chalk it up to someone having read the infrequent mentions of Dirk around and co-opted the name.

        Didn’t really read like the way he used to write either, but the sample size wasn’t enough to get a good handle on.

        • It *might* have been, because he used Dirk’s style of never capaitalizing sentences.

          But it was just one post, so?

        • Yeah, but many don’t capitalize on phones & tablets. And more than a few turn off auto-correct too.

          Wouldn’t read too much into it, all I’m saying. Only brought it up due to the mentioning. Wouldn’t put it past certain trolls, or spammers for that matter, testing for a preexisting IP or subnet ban either.

          Beside, if it was the real thing, you believe he would just shit and git without at least saying hi to the friendly lifers? I don’t.

      • “…she is even reaching out with her hand open and palm up, as though reaching for Dirk’s member!”

        {Shannon talking to herself} – “Is all that for *me*?

        {Dirk chuckling to himself… 🙂 } – “Oh, yeah, baby…”

        • “{Shannon talking to herself} – “Is all that for *me*?”
          Shannon is a bitch but Geoff you the man.

          Oh! I wonder why she wasn’t reaching out with both hands?
          I get it, dacian……….

  5. Hey, I have an idea. Since the Parkland murderer has been sentenced to life in prison, don’t allow him to read anything except Marie Claire.

    I give him about four issues worth of reading before he pulls the pin.

  6. “Rachel Epstein” eh?🤔

    😒 janother member of the anti-gun Schumer tribe

  7. We don’t put lawmakers in office to “vote their conscience”. We put them in office to vote they way we tell them to. Only some liberal communist bltch will try to twist that around. They can go to Hell that follow that lead.

  8. Hah, stupid ignorant liberals who say ‘vote for us, we’re going to bring nuclear war to your favorite city or town but at least none of the survivors will have an AR15’. How tone deaf and stupid does one have to be to vote for the party of war hawks, war mongers and war enablers just because some reporter is more worried about a random citizen with an AR15 in his basement than actual nuclear annihilation. Good God these people are whole universes of stupid. Thanks but no thanks. Shannon Watts will be whistling in her own private graveyard with just 6 more months of her ‘endorsed’ candidates.

    • MyPrettyAR15,

      Unless Bloomberg’s gravy train derails in 6 months (and why would it?), I suspect that Shannon Watts will be beating the civilian disarmament drum for the foreseeable future.

      The only way that I see the Bloomberg gravy train ending is if he kicks the bucket and his heirs halt gravy train service to Shannon’s depot.

      • The money doesn’t matter to me as much as it does to Shannon’s cushy lifestyle, but to highlight the colossal ignorance of it all. Imagine looking at someone and saying with a straight face “Sending arms (actual assault weapons) and money to nazis, good…You wanting to buy an AR15 bad” “Nuclear war with Russia good, you wanting a 30 round glock magazine bad”. That requires a whole level of special high grade stupid.

        • MyPrettyAR15,

          That requires a whole level of special high grade stupid.

          Correction: that requires special high-grade EVIL.

          Remember: the Ruling Class looks at the Working Class with contempt as “useless eaters” having no intrinsic value. And consistent with that mindset, several prominent members of the Ruling Class have openly stated several times how they want to significantly reduce the world’s Working Class population. (Note how the mysterious Georgia Guidestones peg the ideal WORLD population at 500 million.)

          The last 20 years have made it absolutely crystal clear that recent events are not the result of incompetence nor stupidity–they are the result of audacious and vigorous pursuits of evil desires.

  9. Am I the only one that thinks about getting a little milf action when seeing a picture of this lady?

      • Nah, there was Dirk Diggler, a regular ttager whom mysteriously disappeared after voicing similar wants and desires. Maybe she really is a witch. We could burn her…

    • Officer Bill,

      I HOPE that was sarcasm, without the /sarc tag. If you SERIOUSLY get wood looking at Shannon “Gutter Scrunt” Watts, you have issues. That slag has as much ugly on the outside as she does on the inside. I wouldn’t do her with a rented d***.

  10. Barrack Obama’s Race & Class Warfare Program is reaping a very bitter harvest. Add in Democrat’s porous border and all hell is about to break loose. Better be prepared.

  11. This article was written for readers so stupid they have to have it declared that links will open in new tabs. Keep that in mind.

  12. We all know 45,000 weren’t killed with guns last year. I am responsible gun owner and I will tell you it’s no good in the safe. Shannon you ignorant slut, more people died from medical malpractice, do you want to outlaw the practice of medicine? Will you enjoy it when the great resetters are raping you because you gave up your ability to fight back. The government is behind the shootings to get dumbasses to vote for disarmament.

    • Her numbers about how many people were killed with firearms is correct but it’s also deceptive. 70.2% of firearms deaths last year were suicides. They deliberately group suicides with other deaths caused by a bullet just to pump their numbers up. Something that they run from like the plague is breaking down deaths caused by gunshots by ZIP code. Once you do that it’s pretty eye-opening what is really happening.

      • Officer Bill,

        There is yet another way to further reveal Shannon’s deception.

        About 70% of death from firearms was suicide as you stated. That leaves about 13500 murders with firearms last year.

        And now for the really illustrative point: of those 13500 murders last year, about 80% of those–10800–were violent criminal gang members engaged in criminal activity when they met their demise. Since our general population is not violent criminal gang members, we should look at how many people in our general population are murder victims when the perpetrator used a firearm for the murder weapon: and that number is about 2700 murders last year.

        Any murder is awful and something that we should, as a society, strive to eliminate. What we should NOT do as a society is violate our inalienable right to effective self-defense (which requires firearms) in some attempt to reduce 2700 annual murders of the general population.

        Note that 2700 annual murders in our nation of 330 million people is an annual murder rate of less than 1 per 100,000 people. Those numbers make it absolutely clear: we do NOT have a firearm problem in our nation–we have a suicide and violent criminal gang problem in our nation.

        • The people who believed her in the first place didn’t believe her because of facts and they won’t stop believing her because you present other facts.

          They sit in their mental prison and act as though it’s a castel. You’re not a savior with “facts and logic” you’re an interloper attacking their castle.

      • Her schtick isn’t about facts. When she gets her claws into people one well might say “Your facts are worthless here” and be correct.

        The quicker you guys figure this out the quicker you’ll have an effective counter.

        • Yup. They are all nothing more than liars. And their willing audience, lock, stock and barrel, only exist because Darwinian evolution currently allows of it. Not a shining endorsement for human society.

    • Redneck.45lc,

      Will you [Shannon Watts] enjoy it when the great resetters are raping you because you gave up your ability to fight back.

      Shannon does not see that possibility because she aligned herself with the Ruling Class and is doing the bidding of the Ruling Class–which she believes will exempt her from the unpleasantries that Ruling Class enforcers will unleash upon the Working Class.

  13. they agree with things such as background checks, red flag laws, disarming domestic abusers, and storing your guns responsibly,” explains Watts.

    As a “gun owner” I would agree with 75% of that statement.
    (1) We already have background checks; I have undergone a federal background check on EVERY firearm I own except two handguns that I bought about 20 years ago from a friend and a couple of old shotguns my Grandfather left me AND every time I renew my CC permit, point is IF I passed ALL of those checks what would change if I bought another gun from a friend without a check (other than the govt. would not know I had it).
    (2) I agree that there is a place for “Red Flag Laws” IF there is due process, you can’t just take someone’s stuff without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves, So I DISAGREE with Red Flag Laws AS written.
    (3) I DO agree that domestic abusers should be disarmed AND locked up (male AND female), the recent incident where a woman had her abuser arrested is a prime example, asshole was immediately released without bail and went straight back and shot the woman killing her (she was even wearing a “bullet proof” vest. Any man that feels the need to beat a woman is a sick fuck, if he can’t turn around and walk out the door, he should have his man card revoked.
    (4) Responsible storage, if you have kids of your own OR small children visiting your home you SHOULD make your firearms inaccessible, BUT I also think that gun use, and safety should be taught in schools.
    Now to the heart of the matter, Watts, Bloomberg and the rest of their cohorts want a LOT more than that, they want EVERY law-abiding gun owner to be disarmed, they want a world where ONLY criminals and cops have the guns and THAT not only is counter-intuitive to the 2nd amendment but is direct conflict with the natural laws of the right to adequately defend yourself with whatever means necessary.

    • MaddMaxx,

      There are HUGE risks to universal background check requirements and “red flag” laws, even “red flag” laws with “due process” provisions.

      As for universal background checks, all it takes is for the next state or federal legislature to declare that virtually anything is a sign of mental instability and therefore disqualifies you from passing a background check. The fact that you might be able to challenge that in court and maybe prevail is of little comfort to the huge number of people who do not have the where-with-all or resources to fight it. And countless numbers of people would be unable to purchase firearms during the years-long process of the courts eventually striking down such a law. (IF the courts actually strike down such a law.)

      Regarding “red flag” laws–even with “due process” provisions–there is virtually limitless ability for nasty people to make you go through those “due process” provisions to keep your firearms. Remember the pearl of wisdom, “The process IS the punishment.” How much time and money would it take you to fend-off a “red flag” order? Probably several days and upwards of $10000 or more. There is an appalling capacity for abuse.

      And there is another simple logical and legal problem with “red flag” laws if someone submits a “red flag” order to confiscate your firearms: you have to “prove a negative” in order to prevail. Note that it is logically and legally impossible to prove a negative because you need evidence to prove something–and there is no evidence of something that does not exist. (Refuting a “red flag” order requires that you prove that you are NOT dangerous.)

      “Red flag” provisions should only exist when there is obvious and tangible evidence that someone is dangerous. And the only obvious and tangible evidence of that is when he/she actually attacks someone. At that point, that person has committed an actual crime whereby our criminal justice system will “remove their firearms” by virtue of incarcerating him/her. In other words there is no legitimate reason to have “red flag” laws.

      The huge risks of universal background checks and “red flag” laws far outweigh any supposed benefits.

      • “As for universal background checks, all it takes is for the next state or federal legislature to declare that virtually anything is a sign of mental instability and therefore disqualifies you from passing a background check.”

        A few years back, I predicted that if we won *big* on gun rights, the Leftist Scum ™ would retaliate by making as many things as possible to make someone a prohibited person (convicted felon).

        Just 2 examples –

        Speeding ticket, someone proven to not operate a motor vehicle carefully should be prohibited.

        Screaming argument at work? Someone who cannot control their temper should never have a gun.

        Ect.

        The good news is, Justice Coney-Barret has floated the idea that only those convicted of physical violence should remain prohibited of firearm possession. I believe that would be a persuasive argument if presented at the current Supreme Court…

        • “…Justice Coney-Barret has floated the idea that only those convicted of physical violence should remain prohibited of firearm possession.”

          The Breitbart crowd won’t like that at all. No, no, no that just won’t do. No lifetime bans for doing icky things like experimenting with substances is a no-go for them.

          We can’t have people actually being free. That’s not what this is about. You’re only free to do the things that are preapproved, Comrade.

    • MAXX,

      We ALREADY HAVE a judicial process for addressing people who are “a danger to themselves and/or others” – it’s called a competency hearing (or different things, depending on the jurisdiction). “A danger to yourself and/or others” is a recognized grounds for imposing court ordered therapy and/or institutionalization in all 50 states. BUT you get, i) notice, ii) representation by counsel, iii) right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, iv) presumption of innocence, v) a judicial fact-finding hearing before ANY sanction can be imposed.

      What is your beef with that? If we already have such a process (and we do) what, EXACTLY, is the point of a “Red Flag” law???? (Other than to deprive people of due process, of course!).

      Not following where you’re coming from on that one.

      • I agree that there is a place for “Red Flag Laws” IF THERE IS DUE PROCESS,

        That is exactly what I said and that would INCLUDE a competency hearing with all the legal trimmings which can only occur IF someone brings it to the attention of authorities, I do not condone Red Flag Laws as written but call it whatever the fuck you want when a person is an obvious danger to him/herself or others it is the moral obligation of those close to them to do something to protect them and the public in general. Hope that helps clear things up for you folks. Fucking clown in FL killed 17 people and gets life without parole, authorities KNEW that motherfucker was dangerous AND they knew he had guns, but they chose to ignore it because it would make the “system” look bad. I have no problem with taking shit away from a little bitch that tells the world he’s going to shoot up a school, has the means to do it AND has exhibited a propensity for violence in the past. If you or anyone else has a problem with THAT, too bad.

        • MAXX,

          I guess I come at it from another perspective. The KEY is due process. If that isn’t proper, whatever you call it, it sucks. OF COURSE relatives and/or society should step in if they feel someone is a danger to themselves or others – and PROVE that their fear is justified. Taking action against someone BEFORE that contested evidentiary hearing is many things, but “due process” ain’t one of them.

          Now, I have some experience of family members requiring (in my opinion) intervention. I have also seen, first hand, the absurd deficiencies of various parts of the “family law” and similar systems, and agree that they suck. So reform those. IF you drafted a “Red Flag” law that adequately addressed due process (as I outlined above), it . . . wouldn’t be a Red Flag law. We can take an existing process and improve it (and we should, for reasons having NOTHING to do with guns), but substituting a new process that i) doesn’t require advance notice to the victim of the process, ii) imposes penalties on such victim BEFORE there is a factual hearing, iii) basically starts with a presumption of guilt (the victim has to prove they are not a danger, as opposed to the complaining party having to prove they are), iv) doesn’t permit the victim to be present OR REPRESENTED at the order hearing, v) doesn’t permit the victim to present evidence on their own behalf before imposing a very real penalty (what is it that the Constitution says about not being deprived of “life, liberty, or property”??? – sorry, chief, taking my guns is depriving me of property), etc., is completely prostituting the US justice system.

          Now, if a “Red Flag” hearing required the presence of the victim, permitted counsel to the victim, allowed the victim or counsel to cross-examine witnesses, etc., THEN allowed an entry of a TEMPORARY protective order, with a full evidentiary hearing scheduled within a couple of weeks, and the victim were afforded the presumption of innocence in BOTH hearings? I could live with a TEMPORARY removal of guns, to be confirmed or overturned at the full hearing, and if overturned, the guns returned to the victim AT THE HEARING? I could live with that. But every single “Red Flag” law adopted to date has been a travesty of justice.

          KKKalifornia is particularly bad, allowing Red Flag petitions by co-workers, EX-spouses or lovers, and even neighbors, they get to seek a protective order WITHOUT notice to the victim, have a one-sided hearing without the presence of the victim or victim’s counsel, and the standard is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”, the standard is “good cause”. WTF????? If they get the order, the FIRST notice the victim receives of the proceeding is . . . the po-po showing up to seize the victim’s guns . . . oh, AND a court record of having a protective order entered against them. If the victim wants his/her guns back, THEY have to petition for their return, and show why the order should not have been issued. That hearing happens . . . when the spirit and the local court calendar moves them.

          Call it any damn thing you want, but NOTHING about that process is Constitutional, fair, reasonable, or sane. F*** “Red Flag” laws. If you want the ability to intervene, take the existing process, and improve it. I agree, there are people like the scumbag in Parkland who richly deserve to be incarcerated and/or executed. As you pointed out, this guy was a KNOWN threat for years – PLENTY of time to let even the existing effed up system to work. Claiming the need for urgency does NOT justify denying due process. Sorry, that one’s a hard line. Just like you can’t be “a little bit pregnant”, you can’t have your civil rights infringed “just a little”.

          Sorry, this one’s a hot-button issue for me.

        • The government is using these people to do the shootings to justify disarming us. Do you really think no one caught all the killers on nics that they were supposed to but didn’t?

        • Taking action against someone BEFORE that contested evidentiary hearing is many things, but “due process” ain’t one of them.

          And where did I say anything different? Sorry I didn’t read that whole thing, but it all comes down to the fact that WE are saying the same fucking thing.

          An Indiana teacher was taken into custody by police on Thursday after they learned she had a “kill list” of students and staff at the school where she taught.
          According to a Facebook post from the East Chicago Police Department, police were summoned to St. Stanislaus School at about 5 p.m. Wednesday in connection with comments made by teacher Angelica Carrasquillo-Torres, 25, earlier in the day.
          The post said a student informed school staff that her teacher talked about killing herself and others at the school and that she had a list.
          “The teacher was immediately escorted in to the Principal’s office to discuss the matter. While discussing the matter in the office the teacher allegedly admitted to the Principal that she did in fact make those statements to the student and confirmed that she did have a ‘kill list,’” the police post said.
          So, what would YOU do with THAT.

        • Do you really think no one caught all the killers on nics that they were supposed to but didn’t?

          Is that what I said? I believe I pointed out that authorities WERE aware of that scumbag and what he was capable of, fuck is everyones “comprehension” meter turned off today. I said what I said if Ya’ll can’t get that it is NOT my problem but I’m through explaining myself…

        • MAXX,

          That is certainly sufficient grounds to suspend the teacher without pay, pending a thorough investigation, and fire her if the investigation confirms the charge (presuming the PUBLIC teachers unions would permit that).

          Is it a sufficient basis for an “Emergency Protective Order”? I dunno, and neither do you. Has the teacher taken any actions, OTHER than ‘having a list’? How has she treated her family, students, colleagues? Any evidence of other mental instability? Sure, it’s enough to convene a hearing – an actual, contested, both-sides-represented hearing . . . where the state gets to PROVE that the teacher is “a danger to herself or others”. State’s burden.

          Sorry, MAXX, but you seem a little vague on this whole “due process” thing – an accusation is NOT proof of anything. Even an admission of a stupid-but-inherently-harmless-on-its-own attack of stupidity doesn’t justify criminal penalties. We have to deal with dangerous people WITHOUT making a mockery of our legal system. “Innocent until proven guilty”, “right to cross-examine witnesses against you”, “right to counsel”, “right to present evidence in your defense” – and all of this BEFORE penalties are imposed. PERIOD. Those aren’t platitudes, those are the very principles on which our justice system is allegedly based. Like it; don’t like it, whatever. Those are still supposedly the rules, and I prefer them to the alternative. There ARE no “Red Flag” laws which afford due process. If there were, they would . . . pretty much be the system that ALREADY EXISTS.

          That local cops and Fibbies won’t do their f***ing jobs, and take ACTION against the Nicolas Cruzes that are “on their radar” is not the fault of the justice system, it’s the fault of the people in charge of the cops and the FBI.

          I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    • “they agree with things such as background checks, red flag laws, disarming domestic abusers, and storing your guns responsibly,” explains Watts.”

      Yes, “they” do agree. The difference is you, Ms Whats, want to make them mandatory and in violation of some law if your rules/laws are not followed to the letter. “Mandatory” is the big difference!

  14. I could not care less what rating the NRA gives. I will not vote for a Democrat regardless. Any Republican that helps the Democrat party in their destruction of constitutional rights becomes equally worthless.

  15. First thing is the fact I must have extremely lazy or defective firearms. Not 1 of the firearms I’ve owned over the last 60 or so years has ever jumped out of the safe or gun cabinet, nor crawled out of the gun rack and run out and committed an act of violence or crime.
    I am willing to bet cash money every so called gun crime had the gun being held and used by a human being. So how about working on catching and incarcerating those who commit the crime rather than trying to disarm/punish the Joe Gunowner who has not committed a crime.
    Actually hold those who commit crimes responsible and make it very clear there will be harsh consequences for those who commit a violent crime no matter what weapon is chosen.

  16. Why in Hades is TTAG spewing this liberal propaganda??? I understand “fairness doctrine” as a former journalist, but the clear bias here makes it gagworthy. Few facts, mostly opinion, and one not genuinely shared (in its vagueness) by most of the folks I know or have known in my long lifetime. As usual, the tool is blamed for its misuse with no attempt to actually solve the real problem.

    • Because Liberal propaganda is the dick that’s been fucking you for decades and the only way you’re going to effectively fight it is to understand how it works.

      • By sharing it as far as wide as possible, we can ‘crowdsource’ effective counter-arguments.

        Someone may stumble upon some brilliant arguments to use against them.

        Classic Saul Alinsky – “Use the enemy’s playbook against them”…

    • And what’s a “magazine”? From the context it’s clearly not a store of ammo or a feed device.

  17. I do what to know. That way I know how to vote. Not sure she would like the way I’m using her information though.

  18. Fun Facts about people like Ms. Watts:

    “Public Relations”, aka “PR” is a term invented after WWI, by Edward Bernays, because the term “propaganda” was considered a dirty word at the end of the war. In interviews late in life, Bernays openly said that he was a “propagandist” but that he had to change the name after the term fell out of favor with the public.

    A nephew of Freud, Bernays is known for changing US advertising strategy from a “fact and need based” system to one based on “desire”, specifically through psychological manipulation of the public by using emotional cues to drive behavior. He would remain in contact with his uncle until Freud’s death and help Freud publish books in the US later on after his savings were destroyed by Weimar inflation.

    Bernays’ proof of concept was a challenge issued by George Hill, President of the American Tobacco Corporation. In the 1920’s there was an extremely strong social taboo in the US against women smoking tobacco, particularly in public. Hill basically challenged Bernays to change this as a way of proving the Bernays really could make good on his claims that he could manipulate the masses.

    Bernays strategy was to pay a bunch of young, rich, well known women in NYC to hide cigarettes under their clothes during the Easter Day Parade and light them in public when Bernays gave them a signal.

    At the same time, Bernays went to all the major papers of the day and told them that he had heard that a group of very brave, young suffragettes were going to “light torches of freedom” during the parade. Unknown to the papers, these women, of course, were the ones Bernays was paying to smoke in public.

    The result of this stunt was that the media fell for the ploy hook, line and sinker. Cigarettes were then inextricably linked to “freedom” for women and their potential political parity with men. The taboo of women smoking was broken and the sales of cigarettes skyrocketed almost immediately due to a nearly instantaneous doubling in the market of buyers for the product.

    Bernays would go on write books on PR tactics and become fabulously wealthy selling people things they didn’t need via psychological manipulation of the public on a grand scale.

    Bernays was so good at this that in 1924 with the media souring on his personality and presidency, President Coolidge contacted Bernays who arranged a special “arts” party at the White House, and of course prepped the media too. The party turned the President’s reputation with the media (which then still had considerable public trust and therefore clout) around in less 24 hours. Coolidge’s popularity saw a large bump almost immediately.

    Bernays will go on to play a major part in driving leveraged buying of stocks by the public, borrowing from banks who happen to be Bernays’ clients, to buy stock from companies also employing Bernays to sell individual stocks. This will play a large role in the Black Thursday stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression.

    Later on, Bernays’ tactics will be turned into a metacidal witch’s brew when a potent cocktail is created from a mix of emotional manipulation and the understanding of scientific polling presented to the world by George Gallup. This will be further enriched with the political philosophy of Walter Lippman who believes that people are basically dangerous morons who must be controlled. This philosophy will flourish until the Great Depression and then fall out of favor until the end of the next war.

    It will be in the post-WWII period that this toxic philosophy really starts to take shape in the United States, but in the early 1930’s this pattern of thinking and the the demonstrably successful nature of Bernays’ manipulation tactics has already caught the attention of a man who will go on to be one of the world’s best known propagandists in the 20th Century by leveraging what he has learned from Bernays; Joseph Goebbels.

    Just wait until the Pavolvians join this little party.

    Anyway, that’s a bit of the history what Shannon Watts does. I’d be willing to lay a hefty wager than she owns a copy of most of Bernays’ books. Which, by the by, are available today from booksellers pretty much everywhere and are worth a read. He had quite a few but the most relevant ones would be Public Relations, Crystallizing Public Opinion and Propaganda.

    “Any community that lives on staples has relatively few wants. The community that can be trained to desire change, to want new things even before the old have been entirely consumed, yields a market to be measured more by desires than by needs. And man’s desires can be developed so that they will greatly overshadow his needs”.

    -Paul Mazur, Lehman Bros, 1928

  19. @Lamp,
    I am solidly in your corner. I have been
    successfully deprived of a lot by those
    who are just skillful and evil liars.
    Lying WORKS.
    Grand jury foreperson worked to get
    all the men removed. Told the judge
    that “he hates women”. Three lying
    blondes against a fugly Viet Nam Vet.
    He kicked me right off the jury.
    For a total lie.
    Anybody who thinks “Red Flag” laws
    are or will be any different is living
    in Utopia. Sorry Maxx, it’s true.

    • 05Banana,

      Sorry for your trouble, and thanks for your service. Our system works to the extent that people participate in the system with a fairly consistent moral framework. People who have no compunction about lying, cheating, stealing, committing gratuitous violence (not justified by self-defense) are like sand in the gears . . . get enough sand, the gears stop working. We are dangerously close to too much sand.

  20. Wow, 300 mass shootings in 2022 and 45,222 died in 2020. I wish these “researchers” would live in the real world and not count the gunplay on TV and in movies as data. John Wick alone accounted for most of their statistics. They can fool the college kids who still live in a fantasy world but thinking adults reject their foolishness.

  21. “Gun owners play a critical role in the gun policy discussion”. Really? That’s why Sleepy Joe has EXCLUDED gun owners, firearms executives, NRA, NSSF, GOA, and other organizations from any committees dealing with gun policy. You can’t have both ways Shannon.

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