Feed The Animals

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Forgive me reader, for I have sinned: I spoke to “The Media.”

Yes, those media — a national news outlet which is also well known for not being very friendly to the firearms industry. In fact, I suspect they use the terms “baby-murdering psychopath” and “firearm owner” interchangeably during interoffice conversations.

So why the heck did I return their call?

It goes back to habits learned during my days as a Public Information Officer (PIO). Yep, I was one of those people who stood in front of TV cameras groping for pleasant-sounding euphemisms to describe the condition of a dead body that had been floating in a pond for two weeks. (Who knew suppression of gagging was a public relations skill?)

One basic tenet of good PR is “feed the animals.” Of course, here we’re referring to the media, even though at least 2.5% of them don’t really deserve the pejorative. What this idea means is illustrated by a scene you’ve undoubtedly witnessed: If somebody in power doesn’t give the TV station or newspaper reporter a quote, they’ll invariably find and interview the lowest-IQ mouth-breathing numbskull in town. And, without fail, he or she won’t have anything nice to say about you.

How This Idea Could Help The Firearms Industry

We learned in law enforcement — at least smart bosses did — we could frequently short-circuit one-sided reporting by providing something the media could share. It didn’t always work, but at worse, our side of the story got heard. And at best, it set the tone for the entire report.

See how this idea could help the firearms industry?

We’re getting abused at every turn by the Fourth Estate but I still think we should publicly celebrate and defend ourselves whenever asked. We should be ready to publicly talk about the positives of firearms ownership. They might not use all of it, but a few pro-2A sentences is better than an entire news report being filled with histrionics provided by Mothers Against or Fathers Demand.

In my case, I wrote a reply via email (ensuring no argument regarding what was said) and supplied a carefully crafted statement that would be hard to bend into something bad. A reporter could always twist it somehow, but there’s much less room for fudging when done this way.

We’ll see what happens when the story appears, but I’m hopeful — wholly cynical yet retaining a tiny modicum of optimism — at least a few sentences in what I suspect is intended to be a “hit piece” might shine a positive light on firearms.

And if not, there’s always next time …