The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 3, 2013, 12:22 AM   #1
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,319
The Court of Public Opinion

Bruce Rogers has an interesting article over at Forbes. He takes a look at the current debate on gun control and who's wielding the most influence. There are some interesting takeaways here.

The first is that this is (perceived as) a battle between the White House and the NRA. This isn't a spat between two political parties, or between branches of government; it's between the President of the United States and Wayne LaPierre. Most politicians on our side have either been silent, or they've been ignored by the media.

Think about that for a second. The NRA doesn't use membership dues to fund their legislative battles. Despite the 4.5 million members and $220 million dollar budget, the only money they have to fight in Washington is what they get through donations to the ILA. That's about $2.5 million a year. All things said, that doesn't really make them the behemoth the media loves to claim.

And yet they're perceived to hold the same level of sway the automobile or pharmaceutical industries do in the lobbying arena.

So, how did we get here? Focus. There are many groups fighting for 2nd Amendment rights, but the NRA is seen as being a unilateral voice. On the other hand, the gun control lobby seems to be a loose and disorganized coalition without a central mouthpiece. They've got the Brady Campaign, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Piers Morgan, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and the President and Vice President, but who's really leading things on their side?

I'm hardly LaPierre's biggest cheerleader, but he's doing something very right here. While the gun control lobby rushed to capitalize on Sandy Hook, the NRA stayed silent for a week before coming out with a forceful (if not surreal) rebuttal at what appeared to be the optimum time. As such, the momentum appears to be dwindling on their side, while it's picking up on ours.
__________________
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
--Albert Camus
Tom Servo is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 08:00 AM   #2
Closing The Gap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2013
Location: Michigan/Nevada
Posts: 253
It's the lack of attention span from those in opposition/undecided that we should hope for. Maybe another "crisis" to get the media focused elsewhere and this will all blow over(as its done before) in my opinion. I'm not suggesting that we should be complacent. I just believe that those on our side are used to fighting therefore we will win the war of attrition.
__________________
Half the country hates my business, the other half my hobby.
Closing The Gap is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 08:10 AM   #3
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 1,940
Yea, if someone could catch a congressman with his or her hand on a staffer, we would be good. Right now, my phone blows up due media alerts from everytime a gun is used in a crime, in the world. The media is creating this frenzy. It never buzzed like this last summer. That is all about making every gun shot a TOP STORY.
Nathan is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 08:11 AM   #4
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
Quote:
They've got the Brady Campaign, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Piers Morgan, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and the President and Vice President, but who's really leading things on their side?
Gabby...
The "new kid on the block".

Look for her & the astronaut to emerge as a powerhouse and real force to be reckoned with.
Hal is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 08:25 AM   #5
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,775
She is a fighting an uphill battle of her own doing. She was...and still is a gun owner.

And she has her prior legislative track record to deal with. Prior to her being shot, she has been pro-gun...even signing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of overturning the Washington DC handgun prohibition.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 08:31 AM   #6
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
All of which she can dismiss w/a a stuttering speech of how she was wrong and now sees the light.
Hal is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 08:42 AM   #7
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,775
By all reports she and her husband both still own guns. Until they both rid themselves of them publicly (and the clock is ticking on this...delay makes the questions of "why" harder to dodge), I dont see her as being totally credible.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 09:28 AM   #8
Battler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2000
Posts: 1,185
Depends on how they're playing it.

They seemed to be holding up Giffords/Kelly as the "responsible" gun owners, with responsible gun ownership curiously meaning "in support of the current incremental gun control step, registration, mag bans and maybe an AW ban".

"Look, the gun banners, thoughtful politicians, and the 'responsible' gun owners all want a mag ban'".

Relating back to the Forbes article, I think they may have sought (or saw) advantage by representing multiple or diverse interests in cooperation to some obvious choice.


In practice, Giffords/Kelly will probably just end up eating into Brady's territory. At some point a Hollywood producer will be scratching his head wondering which one to write the check to now. . . .
Battler is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 09:53 AM   #9
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
Quote:
In practice, Giffords/Kelly will probably just end up eating into Brady's territory. At some point a Hollywood producer will be scratching his head wondering which one to write the check to now. .
I doubt that very much...

Bloomberg alone is worth $14 billion.

The only thing holding back him and people like him is a lack of channels to donate to,,,not money for donations..

Quote:
I dont see her as being totally credible.
I don't either - but - we aren't the ones they have to seel their story too.
I hope your right - but - I'm afraid your wrong.
Hal is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 10:15 AM   #10
teeroux
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2006
Posts: 1,492
Quote:
Gabby...
The "new kid on the block".

Look for her & the astronaut to emerge as a powerhouse and real force to be reckoned with.
Yep folks are ready to make a living martyr out of her. Its funny how she was targeted at a public event with no security.
teeroux is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 10:17 AM   #11
Willie Sutton
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066
Yea, if someone could catch a congressman with his or her hand on a staffer, we would be good.


I guess Senator Menendez of New Jersey being flown in a privately owned business jet to the Dominican Republic to have sex with underage prostitutes is not enough? (check the news). Oh, wait... he's the Dem's favorite NJ Senator (well, second favorite after the drooling old man Lautenberg, who they prop up in his chair long enough to sponsor gun legislation now and then).


I guess what we really need is a Republican congressman with his or her hand on a staffer to be a distraction....

Willie

.
Willie Sutton is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 11:19 AM   #12
silvrjeepr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2009
Posts: 213
I don't think that would help long term either. The last thing we need is for the republicans to be demonized more. A super majority in the house in two years could mean really bad things for all of us.
silvrjeepr is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 01:08 PM   #13
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,669
Forbes: NRA Winning Influence Battle

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucerog...r-gun-control/

According to this article, the NRA is the single biggest influence in the battle for gun control and is not only winning; but will continue to win because they are "persistent and unyielding." The article is especially interesting because it is written as an analysis of who is effectively selling their message and not as an oped piece on gun issues.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 01:09 PM   #14
Battler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2000
Posts: 1,185
Quote:
I doubt that very much...

Bloomberg alone is worth $14 billion.

The only thing holding back him and people like him is a lack of channels to donate to,,,not money for donations..
Bloomberg is hardcore; but that doesn't mean he wants to buy swimming pools for every bitter middle-aged woman who shrieks about guns.

Even for Bloomberg this is probably 10th on his list of concerns. Further down the chain, the Steven Spielberg types will only want to bother writing one check.

Giffords and Brady are competing for the same cheese - although it's plausible that Giffords will just take over that part of the movement.
Battler is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 01:14 PM   #15
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,377
Interesting, but not extremely comforting. I look at this graphic, and it's much too close to offer me any level of confidence.

[EDIT]Oops. I didn't realize that was all one image. The graph I find worrisome is the third one, the line graph tracking influence chronologically.

Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 05:23 PM   #16
speedrrracer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 259
Quote:
Bruce Rogers has an interesting article over at Forbes. He takes a look at the current debate on gun control and who's wielding the most influence. There are some interesting takeaways here.

The first is that this is (perceived as) a battle between the White House and the NRA. This isn't a spat between two political parties, or between branches of government; it's between the President of the United States and Wayne LaPierre. Most politicians on our side have either been silent, or they've been ignored by the media.

Think about that for a second. The NRA doesn't use membership dues to fund their legislative battles. Despite the 4.5 million members and $220 million dollar budget, the only money they have to fight in Washington is what they get through donations to the ILA. That's about $2.5 million a year. All things said, that doesn't really make them the behemoth the media loves to claim.

And yet they're perceived to hold the same level of sway the automobile or pharmaceutical industries do in the lobbying arena.

So, how did we get here? Focus. There are many groups fighting for 2nd Amendment rights, but the NRA is seen as being a unilateral voice. On the other hand, the gun control lobby seems to be a loose and disorganized coalition without a central mouthpiece. They've got the Brady Campaign, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Piers Morgan, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and the President and Vice President, but who's really leading things on their side?

I'm hardly LaPierre's biggest cheerleader, but he's doing something very right here. While the gun control lobby rushed to capitalize on Sandy Hook, the NRA stayed silent for a week before coming out with a forceful (if not surreal) rebuttal at what appeared to be the optimum time. As such, the momentum appears to be dwindling on their side, while it's picking up on ours.
Disagree on some of this and with the article.

With the article, the Forbes " Insights and Appinions" software must be badly buggy crapware, because Wayne LaPierre is not an influential voice to the people that matter -- the silent majority "on the fence" about gun control who could potentially be swayed to our side...or away from it.

No one on the fence about gun control listens to him -- he is the living personification of the bitter, furiously spittle-spraying, old, white man that the antis try to paint all gun owners as being. Heck, a significant number on our side don't listen to him -- I cringe every time he speaks, mainly because he's terrible at it and I disagree with him on everything apart from guns.

The undecided middle is listening to the voices of reason - voices like Dave Kopel of the CATO Institute, who intelligently articulate a meaningful 2A right, not run around claiming that we should be able to open carry machine guns into Federal Courtrooms.

Let's get one thing out of the way - Newtown going with armed guards. That has nothing to do with WLP. Clinton proposed it long before WLP was running the NRA, and many of the moderate voices (like Dave Kopel) also proposed it (and clearly, calmly explained why it would work, as opposed to crying about opposition to the idea), so giving credit to WLP doesn't seem to follow.

A big reason our side is winning now is because the emotion from the Newtown shooting is dying down, and people are reverting to their "normal" ways of thinking, not because WLP has won them over with his rants. America is generally in favor of private gun ownership -- that's just the way it is.

When something terrible happens, everyone says, "Well, more limitations are probably a good idea" because they're feeling emotional.
Then, the sensible voices come out, and say, "Well, remember, the last AWB didn't help, shouldn't we focus on things that might actually work instead of crap we know to be a failure?" And it takes some time, but common sense like that prevails over time with the vast undecided middle, and off we go.

OK, that's the article. The post I also disagree with on some points. The NRA isn't spending a ton this year partially because they shot their wad on the election. Something like 12 million for Romney? Also, they're not spending now because there's no point to it. If you look back to '94, the NRA spent a ton on the following midterms -- they poured money by the truckload into a serious number of elections to attack those politicians who voted for the AWB (and it worked very well). I'd say if this AWB were to have passed (no way it will pass as originally proposed), they'd have done the same thing, so the financial numbers have no real significance at this point.

That's why they're (rightly) perceived to have 'pull', 'muscle', 'sway' or whatever you want to call it. They proved it in '94. Every Congresscritter who was around then remembers it well, and the seniors are definitely educating the juniors., Heck, even Biden is backing away from the AWB lately. You can bet Harry Reid remembers -- no way does he want to give up control of the Senate -- again.

I agree focus is winning for us, but to say the NRA is the reason for or the cause of that focus is unsupported. The NRA blames things like movies & video games and no pro-gun person or 'fence-sitter' with a brain takes that seriously, because there's just no real science backing that up (at this point). So if anything, they're fracturing the focus with their silly beliefs about "why".

I think we're focused because the correct answers have come to the fore, and it's a reasonable and obvious action to rally around what's demonstrably correct -- last AWB was a failure by it's own study, there's no science suggesting mag capacity is an issue (and tons of anecdotal evidence opposing mag restrictions), registration has been a useless pile of crap in every historical implementation and lacks even so much as a theoretical benefit, and oh, by the way, there's this thing called the 2A, and with Heller + McDonald it's balls finally dropped.

These facts aren't the exclusive domain of the NRA; every sensible pro-gun voice has been trumpeting them from the treetops since this thing started.

As for the waiting 7 days thing, there's no reason to believe that was of any help, and far wiser men than me, (like Alan Gura, for example) think that was a terrible decision, giving all the initiative and air time during the crucial early days after the incident to the opposition. I agree the media ignores most voices from our side, which is one of the many reasons why the NRA is so important. Their choice to be silent then left us with no voice, and therefore no chance to influence the legions of fence-sitters, many of whose empty heads where then filled only with the voices of the antis.

However, as even Alan Gura said, after waiting far too long to respond, the NRA's response was off-target and came across as out-of-touch. This was a larger fail then we will ever know, since at that moment, the opportunity to reach a gigantic, national/global audience with a message of reason and intelligence went wasted, and the NRA cemented itself as the organization of clueless, bitter, old, white men. Subsequent attacks on the NRA (Rolling Stone, et al) are entirely rooted in that failed press conference, which should go down in firearms history as the biggest wasted opportunity of all time.
speedrrracer is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 05:38 PM   #17
L2R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 5, 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 231
Disappointed with the interview today

He talks a little too much like a politician.
I am not saying he has dumb down his speech but his rhetoric sounds like a politicians, it turns me off and wonder if it does others.


When asked if he had bodyguards he stumbled, himmed and hawd.
He was then elevated to the elite he bitterly says are hypocrites.
This is the point, they are the ones that want guns but don't want the rest of us to have them.

He had the perfect opportunity to firmly say, 'Yes I do, on occasion have bodyguards. I have had death threats. And thank God for the 2nd amendment so it's not just the government who can have protection."


Overall, his opinions and voice are appreciated. We certainly could do worse but he needs to be better prepped for questions like this and work on losing those negative buzz words.
__________________
L2R


Evil cannot be reduced thru Legislation!

Last edited by L2R; February 3, 2013 at 07:15 PM.
L2R is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 11:19 PM   #18
SVO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2009
Location: Texas Gulf Coast
Posts: 674
I hope that gun owners who read articles like this don't feel that things are going our way and they don't need to do anything.
SVO is offline  
Old February 4, 2013, 02:05 AM   #19
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
Quote:
Bloomberg is hardcore; but that doesn't mean he wants to buy swimming pools for every bitter middle-aged woman who shrieks about guns.

Even for Bloomberg this is probably 10th on his list of concerns. Further down the chain, the Steven Spielberg types will only want to bother writing one check.

Giffords and Brady are competing for the same cheese - although it's plausible that Giffords will just take over that part of the movement.
You need to do some homework on how the campaign contribution system works
Hal is offline  
Old February 4, 2013, 03:16 AM   #20
gc70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 24, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal
Bloomberg alone is worth $14 billion.

The only thing holding back him and people like him is a lack of channels to donate to,,,not money for donations..
Bloomberg is worth closer to $25 billion and the only thing holding back his money is himself. If Bloomberg really wanted to personally do something about guns, he could buy -and close- the country's largest firearms company, The Freedom Group, for about 5% of his worth. For a pittance more of his worth, he could save the jobs of the company's several thousand employees and convert the company to other businesses. But don't hold your breath - talk is cheap, even for Bloomberg.
gc70 is offline  
Old February 4, 2013, 06:29 AM   #21
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
Quote:
If Bloomberg really wanted to personally do something about guns,
he could buy a commercial during the Super Bowl....oh wait,,he already did..

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkant...running-today/

My bad on his worth. Last time I looked was a few months ago.
Still, $14 billion or $25 billion means the guy has a lot of money.
Hal is offline  
Old February 4, 2013, 10:02 AM   #22
btmj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 1, 2011
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 766
I have also cringed at Wayne LaPierre and his statements. It is a combination of what he says, and how he says it...

BUT... I have been rather pleasantly amazed at the effectiveness of his message has been with a lot of fence-sitters... I work with a lot of people, and I get a chance to speak with them and feel out their opinions. Many Moms-with-school-age-kids have bought into the idea that armed guards at schools make sense. They have bought into the idea that we use armed guards to protect airports, armored cars, etc. They have bought into the idea that banning guns will have no effect.

A well-reasoned, articulate argument appeals to me. But the NRA message has to appeal to everyone, and a lot of people turn off their brain when they hear 3-syllable words and compound sentences.
btmj is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15161 seconds with 7 queries