A New Paradigm to Beat the Gun-Grabbers
General Patton wrote of mounted swordsmanship that the best parry is a disabled opponent, and the same principle applies to political conflicts. The pro-Second Amendment side makes the mistake of "defending its Second Amendment rights," aka "preaching to the choir." Those who support the Second Amendment do not need persuasion while the Propaganda Man, the undecided or even hostile voter whom we seek to at least alienate from the enemy, does not own firearms and does not care about "our gun rights." Our goal instead should be to prove to the Propaganda Man that the enemy leaders are dishonest, manipulative, and self-serving. This offensive rather than defensive approach destroyed the anti-Second Amendment Million Mom March more than 19 years ago and will discredit its counterparts today..
The Downfall of the Million Mom March
Some of our readers who are now old enough to vote might not have even been alive in 2000 when the Million Mom March, a project of the Brady Campaign, declared war on the Second Amendment. The Million Mom March had about $5.7 million in support, along with endorsements from very influential people such as Hillary Clinton, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). It is conceivable that, had the Million Mom March lasted into November 2000, it could have gotten out a few hundred more votes in Florida to defeat George W. Bush. This massive organization was, however, disabled and discredited by a few grass-roots activists and a newspaper columnist before it could achieve this goal.
On May 10 2000, columnist J.R. Labbe exposed the Million Mom March for promoting House candidates on its web site using 501(c)(3) tax exempt money. The group was also proven to have lied to its donors and volunteers about gun violence killing 12 or 13 children a day, which is true only if you redefine 18- and 19-year-old legal adults in a very violence-prone age cohort as "children."
Asking for money while lying never goes over very well even if prospective donors agree with your cause. The same goes for trying to influence an election with tax exempt money. The MMM was so badly discredited that it liquidated in October 2001 and transferred its assets to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Readers can verify this from Schedule 1 of its 2001 Form 990 tax return, a public record. Former members complained, in fact, that their local MMM chapters disappeared and were absorbed by other anti-Second Amendment organizations.
The group's 2000 Form 990 tax return says the group spent no money on lobbying even though it said its mission was to lobby for gun control laws and bragged about doing so. There is even a photo of the group's leaders with three Democrat Left Senators.
"Senator Boxer [D-CA] listens as Debbie Watson, an organizer of the Million Mom March, calls on Congress to take immediate action on sensible gun control measures passed by the Senate. Joining them at the Capitol are Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)."
Photo credit: Office of Senator Barbara Boxer
In Part III of its 2000 Form 990 tax return, "Statements About Activities," however, the group answered "No" to "During the year, has the organization attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum?" It also declared "zero" in Part VI-A, "Lobbying Expenditures by Electing Public Charities" in Lines 36 and 37 relating to lobbying expenses related to influencing public opinion and legislative bodies.
The Million Mom March's failure therefore had nothing to do with arguments for or against the Second Amendment, and everything to do with its abuse of the trust of its own donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America cut its ties with the MMM when the 501(c)(3) issue came to light. The liquidation of the multimillion-dollar Million Mom March despite the sympathies of some of Washington's most powerful people shows that Tthe best public relations techniques therefore undermine the enemy organization not by arguing whatever issue is at hand, but rather by convincing the enemy's rank and file to walk away in disgust. The MMM's track record of lying to the public and even to its own supporters can and should be trotted out for the 2020 election.
Joe Biden's and Andrew Cuomo's Dishonest Arguments are Lies
Paltering is the telling of a literal truth with the intent to deceive, a practice the U.S. Military Academy's Honor Code defines as lying. "Cadets violate the Honor Code by lying if they deliberately deceive another by stating an untruth or by any direct form of communication to include the telling of a partial truth and the vague or ambiguous use of information or language with the intent to deceive or mislead."
Joe Biden, the Democrats' best hope to win in 2020, said, "Federal law prevents hunters from hunting migratory game birds with more than three shells in their shotgun. That means our federal law does more to protect ducks than children." New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, said similarly in a 2013 speech, "No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer." These statements are literally true but there is, in fact, no Second Amendment right to hunt. convey the deceptive implication that the Second Amendment is a right to hunt (it isn't), which in turn supports their arguments for limits on magazine sizes. Nobody ought to need more than one bullet to kill a deer—if he does, he shouldn't take the shot—but he or she may need ten or more to stop violent human assailants as discussed by this affidavit by the prominent law enforcement instructor Massad Ayoob.
Cuomo and Biden are both attorneys so they cannot plead ignorance of the Constitution, which means they lied intentionally knew they were telling a partial truth "with the intent to deceive or mislead." .Any political figure such as Cuomo who calls a semiautomatic rifle like an AR-15 an "assault rifle" tells an outright falsehood because assault rifles are, by definition, capable of fully automatic fire. Somebody who does not meet the basic standards the USMA demands of 18-year-old cadets is clearly unfit to govern a state, much less our nation. Biden also lied about a man killing Biden's wife while driving drunk (a false accusation of a crime, and therefore libelous except Biden waited until after the man was dead to vilify him). which yet again makes the Democrats' best hope for beating Donald Trump a proven liar.
Pennsylvania voters also need to know that Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who may run for Governor in 2022, tweeted, "Our coalition of AGs is fighting to defend VT's right to ban large-capacity magazines. These magazines have one, deadly purpose & that's to hold the most ammo to kill the most people. There is no reason any civilian should have access to a large capacity magazine." Shapiro is therefore incompetent (at best) regarding armed self defense because civilians need large capacity magazines for the same reason police officers need them; to stop violent assailants.
Any political figure who refers to a semiautomatic rifle like an AR-15 as an "assault rifle" is also a liar because assault rifles are, by definition, capable of fully automatic fire.
The Violence Policy Center stated meanwhile of popular semiautomatic rifles, "The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons." Read their web page, form your own conclusions and, more importantly, ask your anti-Second Amendment friends to do the sameThe VPC therefore acknowledges public confusion over the difference between assault rifles like the M-16, and semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 that are excellent civilian self-defense weapons. Other enemies of the Second Amendment now seek to add to this confusion by depicting semiautomatic rifles as "assault-style rifles," i.e. relying yet again on the rifles' appearance rather than any actual capability for fully automatic fire to mislead those to whom the communication is directed.
If the facts are on somebody's side, he or she does not need to deal in half-truths and deceptive language. The fact that the enemies of the Second Amendment need to do exactly that should tell America's voters everything they need to know in time for the 2020 election.
Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.