EXCLUSIVE: “Gun Control” Messages “Evolve”

Editor’s Note: We’ve expanded the size of “Rights Watch” from now through the fall as the all-important 2014 Midterm Elections heat up. Stay tuned!

Time was citizen disarmament zealots didn’t feel the need to hide their intentions. The goals of The National Coalition to Ban Handguns and Handgun Control, Inc. were pretty clear just by their names. That they now bill themselves respectively as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says much about their perceived need to mask what they’re really after. And nowhere is the need to disguise intent more apparent than the way the term “gun control” is being replaced with another term, “gun safety.” Who could be against that?

Likewise, Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns touts a name that could resonate, providing there wasn’t overwhelming evidence to show what they really want is to expand what’s declared “illegal,” including guns now owned and enjoyed by millions of Americans. And the Bloomberg-affiliated Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense for America is relying on people not understanding that when they use words like “sense,” what they really mean is they want total bans against ownership, something unmistakably demonstrated by their tantrum over a January federal court ruling that Chicago’s ordinance prohibiting gun stores was unconstitutional.

The problem for such groups is they’ve already established solid records of being flat-out anti-gun, and despite what Joe Biden calls “legitimate media” doing its best to help out with PR masked as “news,” they can’t distance themselves from their past and present allies and advocacy. Gun-grabbers, though, are nothing if not resourceful, at least in terms of being able to count on resources from foundations and elites to make up for their lack of grassroots support, and plenty of attempts to create Astroturf alternatives with the appearance of popular demand have been made.

One prominent failure was the American Hunters and Shooters Association (See Rights Watch “Beware of Moles, Jan. 2006), which billed itself as “a national grassroots organization committed to safe and responsible gun ownership” and “… a mainstream group … looking to belong to [an] association that doesn’t have a radical agenda.” Translated, that meant founding member John Rosenthal, also founder of the radically anti-gun Stop Handgun Violence, was free to posture as a voice for gun owners while pushing for increased restrictions and endorsing Barack Obama. Interestingly, despite public claims that the group had “25,000 members” (and then admitting in a 2005 deposition it “had fewer than 150 dues-paying individual members”), the AHSA website was taken down in 2010 and its president, former footballer Ray Schoenke, admitted they disbanded because of lack of membership.

A similar effort, the American Rifle and Pistol Association, also attempted to become an influence in 2013, but, per US News and World Report, gun owners took a close look and branded it a “false flag.” A quick look shows their website domain name expired in January, and they stopped updating their Facebook page in November of last year.

Still, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, and that’s precisely what those who want to con us out of our right to keep and bear arms would do when all else has failed. Enter Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly with Americans for Responsible Solutions, promising “commonsense solutions to protect our communities from gun violence.”

What Americans aren’t for responsible solutions? Besides, Capt. Kelly is a decorated former US Navy aviator and astronaut, and a self-proclaimed gun owner to boot, albeit one who stages gun purchases in an attempt to demonstrate existing laws are insufficient, and one who demands that we need to end private sales, ban standard capacity magazines, restrict locations for lawful carry and more.

Clearly what’s needed is a group that doesn’t carry such baggage, at least openly, and conveniently, one is rising to the fore, enjoying publicity from such disinterested parties as Piers Morgan and The New York Times. They call themselves Evolve Together, Inc., and they represent themselves as the “third voice … in the gun debate.” That alone should raise red flags, as the “third way” movement has its roots in “social democracy.” In other words, “compromise” means ceding to the left.

The group says it started around a kitchen table, founded after Newtown by Rebecca and Jon Bond of Greenwich Village, a “branding expert” who worked as a marketing consultant and an “advertising executive” respectively. They admit they knew nothing about guns, so who better to presume to lecture the rest of us?

It’s curious that a familiar pattern is repeating itself. Million Mom March founder Donna Dees-Thomases represented herself as just a mom who got involved, despite being a CBS publicist and the sister-in-law of a close friend and advisor to Hillary Clinton. Similarly “stay-at-home mom” Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action “had a 15-year career as a communications executive for both public relations agencies and Fortune 500 corporations.” Likewise, Brady Campaign President Dan Gross “was the youngest-ever partner at the JWT advertising agency.”

Similarly curious is Evolve’s advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, especially considering Edward Saatchi, the “scion … of the famed advertising family” was an ardent Obama volunteer and developed the management software used by the Democratic National Committee.

Still, what’s the beef with Evolve? After all, they say they do “not address legislative issues,” but then go on to say they “use the same tactics utilized by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.” For starters, MADD stumps for all kinds of enforcement legislation. Not to mention checkpoints.

Perhaps the problem is the message. Evolve’s core campaign revolves around an ad where the Founding Fathers consider adding “as long as people aren’t being dumba**es” to the text of the Second Amendment. Perhaps it’s that they devote so much of their effort showcasing negative examples of unsafe and criminal gun handling instead of providing qualified examples and lessons about safe and responsible gun ownership. Perhaps it’s the presumptuousness of people who know nothing about guns lecturing the rest of us on their responsible use and handling.

In fairness, “The Code,” a list of statements they ask gun owners to sign on to, lists many things all gun owners can agree with, most of which are hardly original and are indeed “common sense.” Valid criticisms are that it leaves out Jeff Cooper’s essential four rules of gun safety and provides a “one size fits all” admonition to keep unused guns locked away and unloaded, something those who anticipate a potential need for quick access may wish to determine for themselves and for the educated minors they care for based on their own circumstances and training levels.

As for actual knowledgeable gun ownership, that requires training and practice, not slogans and platitudes, and for that, Evolve falls short, both in programs and personnel qualified to conduct them. About the closest they come is through their affiliation with Ware, Ma., gun shop owner Mike Weisser, who does have professional credentials and certificates. He blogs as “Mike the Gun Guy” over at the “liberal/left” The Huffington Post, and he’s known for penning such proclamations of trust in his customers and fellow gun owners as, “I’m beginning to wonder whether we have any idea about what’s at stake when we give civilians the right to walk around with a gun.”

That’s some “third voice” that’s evolved.
By David Codrea

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14 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: “Gun Control” Messages “Evolve”

    1. Cory Hess

      You have already penned a response. It’s in your blog and out there for everybody to read. I went to your blog and read through several of your articles looking for any evidence that you were any different than any other gun control nazi out there. I found none. What I did find is that you identify yourself with the “gun control crowd”. Those are not my words, but yours. In your January 23, 2014 article in the second paragraph you speak about the NRA and their allies and then you speak about the “gun control crowd” and refer to said crowd as “we”. That’s as much of a response as I need.

    2. David Codrea

      Actually, I spelled it correctly in the draft I submitted–the publisher’s spell check then changed it and it wasn’t caught before the column was posted–it’s since been corrected.

      If you see any errors in what I said about or attributed to you, contact the editor–I have no authority to authorize replies. I’d encourage you to write a letter to the editor.

    3. Carlton Amlin

      “Since you mention me by name (and mis-spell my name, btw) would you allow a response? And, if so, how many words?”

      I’m sure Codrea feels bad about that. Let me give it a try:

      Q U I S L I N G

      Hey, Mikey, I’ll allow you a reply. Two words: **** ***!

      Mike the Gun Quisling wrote: “I’m beginning to wonder whether we have any idea about what’s at stake when we give civilians the right to walk around with a gun.”

      Really? I wonder if civilians in Massachusetts have any idea what’s at stake when they give their business to a traitor.

      Mike the Gun Guy. What a piece of “work”. You have contempt for civilians, you help the enemy trample the rights of your fellow citizens, and they’re supposed to bend over and give you “equal time”? Let Muffington Post give you some space.

  1. Neoconned

    Another outstanding column! Please keep running Codrea articles – I always love to read them!

    As far as the anti individual gun rights FFL whining about being able to publish a response – you have the extremely bigoted and anti gun eatalishment media that has already presented your fascist side of things, and you just can’t handle the backlash of the free information that can no longer be controlled by effeminate newspaper and tv editors who are terrified of anyone besides their own bodyguards being armed.

    Deal with it – we who actually care about all of the bill of rights see lies and distortions published bout us by clueless and evil media figures on the gun issue on an almost daily basis. We don’t whine about it – we put out the truth and educate the public; which terrifies your side of things more than anything.

  2. An AZ gunowner

    I too went over to Mr Weisser blog and found that he doesn’t provide for comments.

    Of course that is not too surprising. The “common-sense” anti-gun people really don’t want to have a conversation.

    Why he has any customers is a good question.

  3. PatriotUSA

    Mr. Weisser:

    You have no credibility and as mentioned, you have already showed your hand and it is not with us but with them. Them being the Bloomberg/Obama/Biden/Giffords/Kelley crowd. Go peddle your filth to your brainwashed comrades over at Huffy Poo or at your worthless blog.

    You have no idea what is at stake when it is only the gov’t that walks around with guns and the citizens have been disarmed and shot in the back by traitors like you.

  4. Heather Coleman

    All this focus on Moms Demand and the other anti gun groups, when will the pro gunners focus on the groups determined to help save our rights? The hell with CSGV, MDA, etc..time to refocus!

  5. Neoconned

    I finally looked around on the blog and it is hilarious that he is asking for equal time. How are his views any different from the garbage talking points stated on cable news, network news, or any major newspaper?!?!?! After it was leaked to someone in the press, we already saw the gun banner’s playbook and its talking points. His blog looks very, very similar with the exception of pretending to take Bloomberg to task over some things he said – while still essentially embracing with bloomberg’s fascist concept of civil rights.

    Great article! You have caught their latest tactic, and I am sure he hates being called out on it so he is begging for equal time – when his side already has the vast majority of time. The idea that someone who spouts off the same lies and talking points one can read on any gun related story in the regime media like the NY Times or Wa Post or network tv news or msnbc/NPR types is hilarious – that side of things has had a near monopoly of time until the advent of the Internet allowing the truth to get out to anyone. We just have the truth on our side to counter media access and lies, but as we have seen – David can defeat Goliath.

  6. Bob Marsh

    Great article, david, taking “them” to task. Re: Mr. Weisser’s stated stand on gunownership I was first amazed that he could remain in business, even in brain-washed Massachusetts. Then I realized that he is likely not dependent upon profitability of his gun shop. Does the word “front” come to mind. Could he be receiving some Bloomberg and/or other financial aid in return for a gun-shop owner agreeing with the control-advocating morons in groups like MAIG, the Joyce Foundation, the Brady “bunch”, etc.?

  7. biker6666

    Great exposé of a “social democracy” (read weasel) oriented attempt at recruiting other “reasonable” weasels.


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