–Walla Walla Washington Union-Bulletin
Right now the NRA is primarily a marketing and sales organization. Sure they do other things like offer gun safety training programs and threaten politicians to push some laws and crush others. But I believe a lot of their power comes from the development and training of their members in communication skills and providing them with the right words, phrases and concepts to achieve their current goal: guns everywhere.
If you have become pro-public safety, like I have, you’ll want to figure out ways to convince others of your views and then develop ways to reach your goals. Also, when you see the NRA for what it really is, how they make the public less safe, and can work on ways to increase public safety.
The NRA has a $300 million budget, a large portion of that goes to “education and communications.” And they are good. Very good. Tobacco industry good. In a recent LA Times Op-Ed there is a story from a former NRA trainer about the psychological and linguistic techniques used on NRA members.
Ever since reading, the brilliant and funny book by Christopher Buckley, “Thank you for Smoking.” I’ve been impressed with the tobacco industry’s communications strategies. Those of a certain age can complete this line, while singing the melody. “You can take Salem out of the country but…” If you sang the rest of the line in your head, their marketing worked. In the book the guns, alcohol and tobacco lobbyists all meet and talk about their work as “MODs” (Merchants of Death.) The tobacco industry’s savvy communications, PR, advertising and lobbying led to their primary goal. Sell more tobacco. [cont’d.]