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A Look At The Anti-Gun Playbook "Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging"

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Link to the book here.

I haven't read the book, but from what I've seen it looks like a classic political strategy guide. Here's a segment:

 

 
#2: USE STATISTICS TO REINFORCE AN EMOTIONAL ARGUMENT, NOT TO REPLACE IT.
 
Statistics, properly used, can be a powerful way to make people understand the human reach and
impact of gun violence in America. But they should always be used to undergird an emotionally
persuasive case.
 
Never let a dry recitation of the facts disguise the fact that you are deeply saddened and moved by
the terrible human toll that gun violence claims.
 
#3: DON’T ASSUME THE FACTS – AND DON’T WAIT FOR THEM.
 
Experience tells us that the specific facts of a high-profile gun incident are revealed over time. If we jump to conclusions about those details, we could find ourselves at odds with reality as events unfold.
 
So, the smartest thing to do is avoid linking our message and arguments to any one set of partially-revealed facts. We shouldn’t assume the facts.
 
But, we also shouldn’t argue ourselves into inaction while we await clarity about details.
 
The clearest course is to advance our core message about preventing gun violence independent of
facts that may shift on us over time. (“While we don’t know the specifics of this tragedy, we know far
too many people are killed by weak gun laws in this country.”)
 
Of course, once a fact is clearly established, it makes sense to rely on it to advance your case.

 

 

 

The strange marriage of conviction to a decidedly non-rational (in fact, virtually anti-rational) political strategy is hardly unique - I'd wager that actually characterizes the vast majority of successful political campaigns. Despite the virtually explicit arationality of the argument, the speaker is totally convinced of their own righteousness.

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That is part of the overall playbook for those kinds of people: You are on the righteous side of a clearly black and white argument, anyone who disagrees with you is subhuman scum, the lizard brains or knuckle draggers, if you will. They do not know, because they cannot know. It is beyond their psychological capabilities.

 

We have seen this kind of behavior before, and it usually has been the instigator (or at least enabler) of genocide.

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