RKBA supporters are well past the point of “pics, or it didn’t happen.”
As Sheila noted, Saturday, April 14th was was planned for pro-human/civil rights rallies across the country, with an emphasis on state capitols.
2A/RKBA supporters have effectively lost every major media battle for the past twenty years (at least). The media is actively against the right to keep and bear arms, so we need to present them with a situation so well planned and executed that they cannot ignore it.
They may probably will lie, but they wouldn’t ignore it.
So how did the media battle of coverage of Saturday’s rallies go?
- CNN: Zip
- ABC: Nada
- CBS: “Hey, let’s implement Universal Basic Income!”
- NBC: “Look! Syria!”
- MSNBC: “Russians! And you’re racist if you disagree.”
Seriously. If there’s coverage of the rallies on those sites, it’s buried enough that I didn’t find it.
But not all is lost! I scrolled down at Faux Snooze and found this:
Peaceful protesters numbering in the hundreds gathered outside statehouses from Maine to Wyoming to hear speakers warn that any restrictions on gun ownership or use could eventually lead to bans for law-abiding gun owners.
Hundreds. Total. Across the country. Thanks, Faux.
Local coverage was a little bit better. The news was forced to admit that at least 800 people turned out in Augusta, ME alone.
But unless, like me, you’re specifically looking for news of something you already know about, you weren’t going to see that. Otherwise…
A handful of locals heard that another handful of locals turned out for something, but it was probably an isolated band of loonies.
Congratulations, NCCPA. You just staged a nonexistent protest.
I’ve given advice on how to do this. Let me elaborate.
We don’t have billionaires funding us. I wish we did, because I could use some cash to get my truck working well enough to drive to the capitol. We don’t have corporate sponsors who will donate multiple planes to airlift people to protests. We don’t have government school diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars to rent buses and buy food for protesters.
Turn-Out: To get coverage, we need a turn-out that can’t be ignored. Thousands at one high profile location, and smaller protests across the country. Sound familiar? The anti-rights people did that for a reason.
Attention: People have to know about it in advance. Both protesters who have to get there, and the folks we want to hear our views, so they know to pay attention when it happens.
Both of those require time and money.
Time: Time to plan, time to arrive, time to inform a less-than-receptive media, time raise money.
Money: Money for advertising, money for outreach, money for transportation (unless you’re donating a 747) — buses, air travel, parking space — money for frickin’ bottled water for attendees. Money for trash pickup post-protest so we present a better image than the littering left.
Since we have a shortage of rich, generous folks with an interest in human/civil rights, I suggest crowd-funding. Set up a spreadsheet and crunch rally logistics numbers: permits, fees, transportation, rations, PR, and so forth. When you got a number, set up a crowd-funding account with the declared goal. This will take time (see above). Do this well in advance of the rally date.
If it has escaped your notice, that’s a lot of planning, fund-raising, and media coordination (among other things). You need people who can spend all their time on it. Volunteers to help are fantastic, but you need some full-time pros. That’s why the Marx for Your Lives folks had a formal non-profit set up for coordination. There’s only so much volunteer amateurs can do in their spare time away from the jobs that will — in the end — pay for all this.
So budget for experienced coordinators, too.
Public Relations: People to talk to the media; not just prior to the big show, but at the protest. Designated spokesmen scattered across the perimeter to home in on reporters and give a sane summary of our positions, complete with rehearsed sound bites.
PR also means keeping the crazies away from the media. There will be crazies. Every movement has some. Plan for it. Designated spokesmen team with a designated “Lunatic Interception Agent.” When the off-his-meds guy from the Mom’s Basement Brigade with 4 guns, two machetes, swastikas, and homemade body armor 3 sizes too small approaches a reporter, the LIA stops him: “That’s our TACTICAL Public Relations Operator, bro. She’s a trained operator; let her handle it.”
And let’s be realistic. We’ll be dealing with media types who value form over substance; it won’t hurt to use… photogenic spokesmen. Male and female, to target receptive reporters of whichever gender.
“There will be crazies.” I could write a column just on that. Even in the SCA, a hotbed of insanity, we did dealt with this. I spoke to a lot of reporters because I could be trusted to explain that we weren’t crazy, that it was a “learn-by-doing” history thing. I had memorized talking points. And meanwhile, someone else would be distracting the mostly naked, wanna-be Pict who’d spotted the pretty reporter and wanted to hit on her why bragging on what a greater fighter he is because he hurts people.
And no offense to the crystal power folks, who were mostly harmless, but we tried to keep them away from most reporters, too. Nice enough, but easily distracted by shiny things from what they should have been explaining.
We have a coordinated enemy. It’s time we act in a coordinated fashion to protect our constitutional human/civil rights, as well.
Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!