Propaganda 101

Articles to help you counter hoplophobic arguments.

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Propaganda 101

Postby crimefree » Tue, 2006-04-04 15:22


Published in Firearm News

The counter to propaganda is a free media but the media is never free and always presents some bias. As firearm owners and freedom loving people we need to ensure that the media does indeed remain free from influence that is harmful. That can only be done by owning part of the media or by using the channels open to individuals and organizations, letters, complaints and media releases from respected organizations. It is therefore up to everyone to protect themselves from propaganda. It is your responsibility to correct the imbalance and misperceptions created wherever you can.

We are all indoctrinated to some degree with the values of or parents and what we see and hear every day. It is the deliberate use of propaganda to forward an idea or reaction that we need to be aware of so as to examine the intent of the propagandist.

What is propaganda? Many think it is an opposing view put to them to dissuade them from some belief or reaction. An opposing view is the opposite of propaganda and propaganda is the instilling of an emotional reaction to an idea, object or condition. All propaganda appeals to the emotional sense and not to reason. Reason questions and examines information as valid or not, this is the last thing the propagandist wants.

How can this be best described? Like a fear of heights the person suffering this condition has no idea of why, as it was never reasoned. It is purely an emotional reaction. A simple statement like I hate spiders shows an irrational unreasoned fear or paranoia of spiders.

Propaganda seeks to instil the same emotional reaction by a number of techniques. Some or all of which maybe used. The most efficient distribution is the media; printed publications, radio and television. It is not possible to debate with any of these and human nature being what it is unless an array of opinions are expressed in the media the public will believe as true and valid what it sees and hears. To be successful all propaganda requires is a lack of opposing views and constant repetition of the same information. Which is why governments are so keen to control the media or a large part of it.

It is easier to appeal to the emotional response than a reasoned response. A person out of work and suffering because of that will readily believe that he has been discriminated against for some reason because it fits the circumstances and appeals to emotion. Thus "Jews have all the money and good jobs" would appeal to any person with a perceived lowly position or was out of work. This on its own is simply generating hate. Propaganda has payload, a solution, an action desired, the target of the propaganda. In Nazi Germany the solution desired was "get rid of all Jews".

    The propaganda of gun control is no different.
    Jews are bad, get rid of all Jews
    Guns are bad, get rid of all guns.

The prohibition of alcohol in the USA the second largest propaganda campaign undertaken is a good example. There are others closer to home seen on a daily basis. The Arrive Alive campaign is another example. Slogans, shocking pictures of grief and death transfer the blame to speeding. We all should know that speed is contributory factor to the severity of an accident. It does not cause them. We all should know that drunken driving is the highest cause of road deaths followed by a long list of others and right at the end is speed. However speed is easily monitored, enforced and is a great revenue source.

Who could answer a single question with authority of knowledge on any aspect presented by this campaign? Who bothered to question the validity of the media statements? A one sided view has been instilled and implanted, now may hundreds of thousand believe that speed kills.

Did the campaign work. Test it. Swing the conversation to road deaths and just say, “speed does not kill” to people and see the reaction. Or more to the point and inline with our plight state, “guns save lives”.

This is a simplification of what is probably the most powerful tool you will ever be able to comprehend. Unopposed or given control of the media it will not fail if applied for sufficient time and with the required expertise. It is used in a controlled manner in advertising. Those with an agenda for which they desire some action or a change of preceptions use it. It is imperative that you as a firearm owner know and understand why gun control works and what to do about it.

The IPAs seven basic propaganda devices are. Name-Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking and Band Wagoning.

Commie, Neanderthal, Pig. Evoke a negative image of the subject. Gun nut, gun freak, cowboy

Glittering Generality:
Sometimes the opposite of name calling; Will use a word, phrase or sentence which the target knows and apply a different meaning to it or suggest ways of upholding the image. “Democracy will be destroyed if John is elected”. “If Christian ideals are to be maintained" "A safer South Africa"

One can play with words in a number of ways. To either harden or soften the meaning and present a different image of that word. Euphemisms; “freedom fighter”, “physically challenged”. "Irresponsible gun owners".

The process that the propagandist uses to get the authority for what he would want done or accepted. As would be the case if the Church, State, Science, Medicine or respected authority approves of the program. Symbols are often used like the flag and cross. An anti-firearms speech is closed with a prayer. An “object” is pictured with the nations flag or cross. “Studies show that you are more likely to be killed with your own gun.”. "Doctors agree…."

A TV star urges you to buy a product or endorses a political candidate. This leads to false connections: “James Bigname says buy this product or donate money to...” “Judy Sport-star says vote for…”

Plain Folks:
Presentation of a person or idea as that of everybody. The presentation of Bill Gates as an ordinary person. All American presidents have been presented as plain folks even though most have been millionaires.

Card stacking
Card stacking is an extension of two-valued thinking. It is the "art" of carefully selecting and presenting ideas and data (that may be true or false) so that only the best or worst possible case is presented. Any other possibilities are either ignored or discredited. The object of all this is to get the public to react strongly "for" or "against" an idea, issue, person, or object. Much of gun control research uses card stacking and statistics manipulation to arrive at the required and desired conclusion.

Band Wagon:
Appeals to the desire to follow the crowd. With the aid of all the other propaganda devices, all of the artifices of flattery are used to harness the fears and hatreds, prejudices and biases, convictions and ideals common to a group. Thus is emotion made to push and pull us as members of a group onto a Band Wagon. "Everybody knows that guns were designed to kill." "Each day more have come to realise that…"

Some other important techniques.

Special Appeals (Fear):
Fear is a very powerful emotional response to appeal to. The propagandist warns that disaster will follow if a certain course is not followed. “Rampant crime will increase unless we drastically reduce the number of guns in our society”. “The number of people killed with firearms will increase unless we remove all guns”. "These horrific crimes were committed with guns, we have far to many guns."

Logical Fallacies:
Logic is the process of drawing a conclusion from one or more premises. It can be used to make false logic. Cats have four legs. Dogs have four legs. All dogs are cats. Guns kill more than are killed in motor vehicle accidents. See if you can figure out why it is a logical fallacy.

Logical Fallacies: (Unwarranted Extrapolation)
Prediction based on a few data points which may even be deliberately picked (Cherry picking) and extended greatly. The residents of Alexandria interviewed did not own firearms. Therefor there are no firearms in Alexandria.

Emotional appeals: All propaganda is an emotional appeals
Make South Africa safe for your children.
If just one life could be saved.

So good was the wartime propaganda effort that even today Germans bear the stigma attached.

“Guns kill”, “Cop killer bullets”, “Guns caused this death”. “Guns caused the death of sixty children.” “The country is awash with guns stolen from firearm owners and used to commit crime”

If the words do not enrage then use an atrocity. “If there were no guns then these innocent school children would still be alive.” “John X today used a gun and cold bloodily murdered four innocent school children”. Rare school shootings and mass shootings have been used with great success as the emotional trigger and media mass frenzy event to ride to public acceptance of increased restrictions on firearm ownership. Naturally legislators must be primed with the idea that gun control will reduce crime and/or government spending for a massive increase of power over the people.

Note that all are appeals to the emotional sense and not the logical sense. There is much value in words that conjure up pictures in the recipients mind. There is much value in pictures that shock with association to the words.

I hope I have been able to give a far better idea of what we are fighting and why it is so very important to counter the media statements of gun control. Public education is a very vital part of continued firearm ownership and unless the public sees and understands the good side, the safety side and the crime prevention side, firearm ownership will become a thing of the past. The choice is yours, become an ambassador for firearm ownership and fight for your right to ownership, or lose it.

Peter Moss
"Two memorials remain today at Thermoplylae. Upon the modern one is engraved his response to Xerxes' demand that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas' reply was two words, Molon Labe. 'Come and get them'."
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