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Originally Posted HERE.

Was the national speech disguised as a press conference given by Wayne Lapierre on Friday really a mitigated PR disaster? Is it possible that after a week of silence and likely meetings with scores of media experts and pollsters that a well-funded Right Wing organization like the National Rifle Association would make such a PR blunder?

Huffington Post

Public relations professionals reached by The Huffington Post said the timing of his message, which broke a week of silence in the wake of the tragic murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, could be an irredeemable mistake for the group.

“It was worse than if the NRA had not spoken at all,” said Gene Grabowski, executive vice president of Levick Strategic Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based issues management firm that has worked with firearms manufacturers. "The same message about the culture in another time and place might have made sense, but in context of tragedy, it seemed mean-spirited, cold and misguided."

Grabowski also said the NRA made a mistake by remaining silent on its social media channels last week. After the Sandy Hook tragedy, the organization stopped activity on all of its Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

To believe that Wayne Lapierre, his organizations, and consultants did not understand how this speech would be characterized shows a level of unidirectional thinking that have allowed well-crafted messages to become a part of a new narrative. The NRA is at its most hated moment with the killing of some of America’s most precious, young innocent children.

The NRA knows that anything it says now will be listened to by the largest audience it has ever had. While everyone is now scared of the possibility of this random act occurring in any community, he introduces a solution favorable to his lobbying activities that will be given plausibility when the anxiety over this traumatic event subsides.

Make no mistake, that speech was well designed. It reminds everyone that there are legal violent games including one with the name “Kindergarten” in it. He reminds everyone of movies that make the killings at the elementary school seem like just another violent event in a violent world. He reminds everyone that what we deem precious and important is protected with guns including our President, our banks, our Congress, and much more. He then makes the callout. If we care about our children, should we not protect where they are most of their waking day?

There is no downside to his “press conference”. They are already experiencing their highest level of dislike. They are surrounded by a dysfunctional Congress and a scared population. The NRA remains in the driver’s seat lest those opposing their immoral stances think through various levels of indirection to fight them appropriately on all fronts. That no one has come out to state that we should take the British stance on guns where gun violence is almost non-existent, whether possible or not, means the NRA is still winning the long narrative.


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Comment Preferences

  •  The LaPierre speech is the low point in NRA (7+ / 0-)

    history.  The speech wasn't a mitigated sisaster. It was an unmitigated disaster comparable to throwing gasoline on a fire.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:14:08 AM PST

  •  NBC news only showed the school guard proposal. (10+ / 0-)

    They didn't show the part where he wanted them to be armed volunteers. Or the insanity about the mental health registry or blaming movies, video games, etc.

    That's one problem with the nutcase right. The media edits out the most insane soundbites, so the public never sees how nuts these guys are.

    It's similar to media treatment of G.W. Bush. If you watched BBC you would have seen his rambling, drunken sounding speeches. But national broadcasters only pcked up his brief, sane sounding soundbites.

  •  It *is* a PR disaster (7+ / 0-)

    when the press loses it's fear to speak up against you and even Republicans can only shake their heads. Cracks in the dam never turn out good in the long run...

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

    by RandomGuyFromGermany on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:27:02 AM PST

  •  He looked like the lunatic he is (7+ / 0-)

    So, no, I would say it was pretty much a disaster for them.

    "Maybe we should march on the campus of the electoral college and occupy it until they change their vote"--some wingnut, Worldnetdaily

    by chicago minx on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:32:45 AM PST

  •  Maybe not a disaster for is sales... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx

    ..but a disaster nonetheless on their credibility with the rest of the population that are NOT gun nuts.

  •  I agree, it seems to be accomplishing it's goal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, Timaeus

    of talking about anything else but gun control.  

    Now we're talking about movies and video games, pretty much a positive outcome for the NRA.

    •  Gotta disagree - all I'm seeing this morning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, Chitown Kev

      regarding the NRA speech is - "extremist" and "wants to turns our schools into armed camps" and "disastrous (for the NRA)".

      They are even dickering on right wing forums as to whether or not this was a PR disaster for the NRA.

      •  That's good! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus

        But that's still talking about the speech, not gun control laws.

      •  So the Overton window has been moved (0+ / 0-)

        Now as long as we don't arm the schools, it's  considered a "win" for America, but then nothing else needs to happen, no new restrictions, licensings or fees, but see, no  armed guards at school.  Everyone is off the hook.

        What does the NRA care if it looks bad to the public?  They're going to get what they want because compared arming teachers, everything else looks normal.  Nothing will change, unless we ignore what they say and pick up where we left off on Thursday.

        •  Not really - what's been moved/shaken up is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JR

          the idea that the NRA is a vastly powerful behemoth that represents all gun owners, and politicians had better do whatever it says.  

          That's been shattered.  I really think it has.  Maybe not in the deepest-conservative parts of the nation, but in the "purple" areas, absolutely.  

          This rant by LaPierre will become a footnote, to explain why the NRA got sidelined from the coming negotiation/discussions and action on gun law reform.  Which will happen (I predict you're wrong on that).  Obama wants it, and so do a majority of Americans.  Even some conservatives are semi-capitulating, recognizing the obvious need for reform.  This is a clear mandate to act.

  •  If not a disaster.... (0+ / 0-)

    at least a failed opportunity for them to take a leadership role in the debate. By not even holding out the hope that maybe there should be some "discussion" about magazine size etc. they have backed themselves into the irrelevance corner. With any proposal that comes up there will be no reason to even seek the NRA`s opinion as we now know they will simply be against it. If nothing else I am sure they disappointed a fair number of their membership who have been moved by this year of the massacre and are looking for some reasonable ideas. I not convinced that all 4 million members are comfortable with this stance.

    Politics is like driving.... (D) forward, (R) reverse.

    by Tribecastan on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:46:13 AM PST

  •  I'm not convinced it's a disaster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, varii, UFOH1

    In fact, I just browsed a wingnuttery forum where some were annoyed that LaPierre caved. A substantial number of gun owners in this country do blame video games and, for that matter,  magazines, liberal ideologies, lack of God Fearin-ness, anything but access to guns.

    I see this as a potential lesson in the danger of underestimating the stupidity and whackedness of a large segment of the American public.

  •  straight out of the right-wing playbook (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matthias, varii

    arrogant, whiny, tone-deaf.

    A sales pitch?  Are you fucking kidding me?  This can leave no doubt that he doesn't care one whit about the 2A, only for gun industry profits.

    He'd fit right in with the big oil/tobacco industry groups, blame everything under the sun but their own product.

    OT:  I used to have an NRA sticker next to my Obama sticker on the back of the van for irony's sake.  I put it on when doing some work for the Tom Perriello campaign, and he'd just gotten endorsed by the local chapter.

    I finally got around to scraping it off yesterday.

  •  It's not a disaster for those of us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, UFOH1

    who look at this act of violance as the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  Everyone is shocked at what happened in Newtown and calls for action.  For a week, America began to wake up to, really, how horrific our gun laws fail to protect people.

    In much anticipation, the NRA speaks.  What can they possibly say?  If anyone thought they'd say anything other than what they said, then they are in denial about what the NRA really is.  So, finally, the NRA exposed itself to everyone of what it really is!  

    Now we truly know and what was the outcome?  Outrage!  Look at the headlines this morning.  Everyone is screaming that they are tone deaf.  This didn't just happen - they have been tone deaf all along, they just finally verified it, OUT LOUD.

    This is a good thing, not a disaster.  Once their real agenda comes into the light, perhaps something can be done.  Diane Feinstein was not fooled and said she will proceed with legislation.  This is a good thing, is it not?  Let's remember, they exposed themselves.  Now, we can respond to that exposure.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:57:10 AM PST

    •  I was a little concerned that (0+ / 0-)

      the NRA may have sensed the mood of the nation, and attempted to remain relevant by conceding some modest ground as a way to prevent any real change.

      That, from their point of view, would have been the smart thing to do. If I were a sociopathic PR consultant, it is what I would have advised them to do.

      Instead, what we saw was violent rhetoric where he blamed everything and everyone except guns, in any form. He lied about protecting Banks, etc and he called for the victimisation of mental illness.

      He stood there and shat on the graves of the victims, to the point that the BBC had to keep reminding their listeners that this was not a hoax when they were reporting the story.

      If I had the entire NRA PR budget to spend on doing nothing other than trying to paint the NRA in as negative a light as possible, I could not have done better than the job LaPierre did in 20 minutes at the microphone.

      He spoke the truth about the NRA, and it was ugly!

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:21:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are so right, twigg. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        That is exactly where I was coming from.  Instead, they shunned any accountability whatsoever.  We must hold their feet to the fire.  It is up to the American people to stand up for what is right, everytime.

        being mindful and keepin' it real

        by Raggedy Ann on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:46:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A press conference with no followup (0+ / 0-)

        questions? He's not a big enough Washingtonian to pull that.

        This will be a case study in future classes. The Christine O'Donnell moment of the NRA.

        "We're not witches!"

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:18:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's how I see this going forward (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Torta, UFOH1

    A majority of The 4 million NRA members do not hold the insane beliefs and positions that were espoused during yesterday's lunatic rant.

    There will be tens and tens of thousands (or more) of NRA cards being cut up and membership resigned.

    Lapierre and the NRA in general will be marginalized, both publicly and politically for what they are.... A lobbying organization for the gun industry, not for gun owners.  

    Slowly, but surely, reasonable politicians who have lived in political fear of the NRA will begin distancing themselves from them. When looking at the cold, hard facts, they will realize that the power of the NRA is far more myth than it is might.

    Lapierre and the NRA more than jumped the shark here. Had this been in response to any of the slaughters earlier this year, or even I the past, their insanity would have gone far less noticed. But this one IS different. They drunkenly stumbled into the middle of a truly galvanizing event for the nation on this issue.

    What we saw yesterday was the end of the myth of the all-powerful NRA.

  •  I think it was a ruthlessly effective (0+ / 0-)

    speech that brilliantly deflected attention away from guns and away from the NRA.

    It wasn't a PR disaster at all.

    There will be no additional federal restrictions on guns while Republicans hold the House, and there will be an increase in the number of armed guards, not only at schools.

    For the moment, the evildoers are winning.  This is very depressing.

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