OCALA, Fla., August 9, 2013 — A recently unearthed Democratic Party memo reveals that the organization is capitalizing on the death of Trayvon Martin, among other gun violence-related instances, to advance firearm control.
“The debate over gun violence in America is periodically punctuated by high-profile gun violence incidents, including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, the Trayvon Martin killing, Aurora, and Oak Creek. When an incident such as these attracts sustained media attention, it creates a unique climate for our communications efforts,” the memo reads.
The memo was made public by Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner, a political news magazine serving the Washington area.
The memo later urges activists not to make assumptions about gun tragedy-related facts, but not to hold off on speaking about them, either.
“Experience tells us that the specific facts of a high-profile gun incident are revealed over time,” the memo states. “If we jump to conclusions about those details, we could find ourselves at odds with reality as events unfold.
“So, the smartest thing to do is avoid linking our message and arguments to any one set of partially-revealed facts. We shouldn’t assume the facts.
“But, we also shouldn’t argue ourselves into inaction while we await clarity about details.
“The clearest course is to advance our core message about preventing gun violence independent of facts that may shift on us over time. (‘While we don’t know the specifics of this tragedy, we know far too many people are killed by weak gun laws in this country.’)”
Facts themselves are not a core component of arguments about gun control, according to the memo, because emotion is far more effective. It emphasizes emotion as the foremost element of making a successful pitch for more stringent firearm laws.
“There can be a tendency to adopt a quiet ‘wait and see’ attitude when a high-profile gun violence incident happens. The truth is, the most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak. While we always want to be respectful of the situation, a self-imposed period of silence is never necessary,” the memo specifies.
“Clearly the president and other Democratic leaders followed the talking points in the aftermath of the horrific Newtown, Conn. shootings last December,” Bedard noted. The talking points, for example, suggest phrases politicians should use speaking about mass shootings, and at least three were adopted by the president in just one speech last March on gun violence.
“Despite the Obama led effort, during which he sometimes surrounded himself with the families of Sandy Hook victims, Congress didn’t adopt any gun control legislation.”
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