Jackson Hole Candlelight Vigil to Promote Gun Control Legislation
Gun Control Advocacy Program of the Newtown Action Alliance and affiliated churches and organizations
On December 10th 2015, the Newtown Action Alliance (NAA) (a section 501(c)4 issue advocacy organization) put on a “National Vigil to End Gun Violence.” An Episcopal church in the Jackson Hole community partnered with NAA and promoted & organized the local “candlelight vigil.”
This “vigil” was part of a national anti-gun political campaign to promote gun control legislation. This strategy is FAR better contemplated and is more strategically sound than many political campaign with which we are all familiar. In this article, I wish to illuminate the playing field and expose the techniques used by the “Reasonable gun control” movement. It is good that we have opinions and share them with others, however I do not like political trickery. As you know, this is not a “2nd Amendment” issue for me, rather it is a property rights and human rights issue.
This Anti-Gun political campaign wisely uses advanced propaganda and psychological operations techniques including getting government officials to appear to be on their side. These officials must appear to be in agreement with their audience, so they will not “out” fake events like this one as being political, even if they recognize it as such.
The Playing Field, Opponents & Goals
For thousands of years, humans have observed the world around them and come up with ways to protect themselves from perceived threats. From a man in his cave sharpening a stick into a spear to a contemporary lady purchasing and training with a a modern sporting rifle, humans yearn for safety and for the ability to protect themselves.
Governments typically and rightfully feel threatened by a well armed citizenry, and typically take steps to disarm them. This is sometimes done by physical force through legislation or otherwise and sometimes through psychological operations to bring about a cultural change. Those that control governments of all sizes necessarily participate in this disarmament of their citizens because in order to have control, one must have the power.
The highest level of “government” in the world is the United Nations, and their website is worth visiting to learn more about their efforts to disarm subjects of their small arms worldwide. They use examples (that we all share sadness over) to describe why governments should have guns, but that mere individual subjects can not be trusted with them. They do not mention the above violence perpetrated by governments.
Useful idiots the world over, also seeking power and influence voluntarily jump in to help governments with this and other agendas. I suspect that Soros & Bloomberg are among these useful idiots. Unlike the typical useful idiot, they might even be aware of the ultimate purpose and goal, but that is not relevant. The US government as well as all other members of the UN “must” follow its dictates. Regarding this topic, the entities and people mentioned above and their agents are the “Anti-Gun” players.
On the opposing team are individuals and special interest groups. I am writing from this side of the field. Many on this side of the field point to various government documents and politicians letters to one another from hundreds of years ago. This part of the team puts their confidence in the US Constitution and cares less about the philosophical and human rights angles that I am more interested in contemplating.
It is my belief that humans ought to have only a few basic rights, and none of these rights should require positive action on the part of other humans. In other words, I can not have a right to my neighbor’s money, time or other property. I do have a right for him not to punch me or prohibit me from pursuing my happiness so long as it does not include initiating force/violence or fraud against him or his property. This belief does not rely upon government documents, because if I am correct and it is a good principle, it does not rest on things written by other people. We will call the Second Amendment folks and my corner the “Gun Rights” players.
How #endgunviolence works -techniques
The NAA does what control seekers have done for many years and looks for organizations that have many leaders of small groups. Churches have historically been used as a favorite group by political powers, and with a few nods, winks and tax exemptions, a wonderful marriage is created. In this way, the ears and hearts of the organizations followers can be reached by a trusted voice – their clergymen! The clergymen can then incite fear and provide THE “solution.”
The anti-gun movement has secured the allegiance of various large religious sects, including the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians. It is then an “easy sell” for groups like NAA and many others to work within those organizations to put on political events that further their goal of disarming individuals.
The political event that spurred me to look beneath the surface and report my findings in this article was the “Nationwide Candlelight Vigil.” Origins? In 2012 a violent man killed children in Newtown Ct. As with the other 55 million people that die each year, this was a very sad incident. While the death toll was less than the number of people that die each year in the Philippines from jellyfish or that die from falling out of bed each year in the UK, THIS event was widely reported.
Politicians and special interest groups on all sides of the issue stumbled over themselves in excitement to use this tragedy for their political gain. The incident was personalized, frozen and polarized. The narrative was that, “multitudes of children are being killed by assault rifles each day, and good people must give up their freedoms to save the children’s lives.”
The anti-gun team also uses politicians as pawns. A local politician is, like a clergyman, a great mouthpiece and showpiece that is trusted in the local area. Even if the politician does not speak and simply attends an anti-gun event, they are given carrots of praise, promotion and branding when the organizers tell the public, “Thanks to Binkham Doodly for coming out to show their support this evening, I think we can all agree that sunrises can be beautiful.” in truth, most of the public naively thinks, “My late dad always liked Binkham Doodly and he clearly supports strict gun control and after all, many sunrises ARE beautiful.”
Propaganda Words & Phrases
Though billions of people the world over ‘care” about gun issues, fewer than 10 will likely ever read this entire article or a similar article written by the other team. The “public” is unfortunately not generally comprised of contemplative, philosophic truth seekers. For either “side” of any issue to get “the public” on their side, logic, reason, facts and similar are not of much use. Instead, Edward Bernays, Saul Alinsky and others have improved methods by which the masses can be communicated to in the most effective manner. This is called propaganda.
Word selection is very important in propaganda. As an example, let’s pick on the human rights side of this issue and a word we use. Consider the term, “anti-gun.” In truth, hardly anyone is truly “anti-gun. Few people have a problem with wealthy white men using their $200k matched Purdeys to shoot pheasants in Ireland. Most subjects agree that their governments should have guns, not only the military but also the police, inspectors and compliance officers. Few people want to stop farmers from rodent control with a 22 rifle. Hardly anyone is actually against guns. What governments, their agents and useful idiots ARE against is private ownership of guns by their subjects. If their stance was described in as many words, even the dim public might not like it.
Why are words powerful tools? Consider the phrase “Jewish Problem.” If a person accepts this phrase, they are legitimizing that a Jewish problem exists and are helping promote that concept. Even if I say, “I don’t believe there is a Jewish problem” I have legitimized the existence of a “Jewish problem.” The same holds true with terms like, “religious radical” and “gun violence.” All intelligent sides of an issue use propaganda, and 99.9% of us don’t even notice it. Those that DO see it, find that they see life through a different lens. We have, in effect, taken the red pill.
Those that are not aware of propaganda hear the term “gun violence” and display the conditioned response.
“…This is the construct of the term “gun violence”. When you lump all violence in which a gun is used into one category and define reducing that number as a positive good, in and of itself, you necessarily discard or negate anything positive that results from “gun violence”, and ignore violence that results from the substitution of other methods. That is the semantic trick that is being employed in this instance.” -Dean Weingarten (Read more.)
The reason that term is used is because it freezes an issue, stirs up emotion and polarizes. It is part of Saul Alinsky’s rule #13. When terms are examined with a cool head, rational & open mind with a dedication to intellectual honesty and the morality of living by the means rather than the ends, one can see life with clarity.
Consensus & compromise. This term is often used by a person or group attempting to change the current state of things. For example, consider a man that says to his neighbors, “I intend to steal $100 from each of you each week.” The neighbors would object, saying that taking their property away by force or fraud is immoral. Our protagonist might then compromise and gain consensus that he should only take $30 each week from each neighbor. Consensus and compromise are not always good or always bad, however these words are used by “anti-gun” enthusiasts with the implication that they are necessary, reasonable and good.
This term was coined by politicians to describe semi-auto rifles, most common among them is the AR15. While the thinking person knows that the term “assault rifle” is pejorative and that most shots fired through an AR15 are not done as part of an “assault” it is easier to simply “let it slide.” Why argue over a word? Even though hundreds of millions of shots are fired at steel & paper targets for fun and as self defense practice each year, and only a tiny fraction are used in “assaults” dishonest propagandists will use the absurd term. Because of John Bobbitt’s incident, is it not fair to call all knives, “Penis Amputation Daggers?” Words, like physical objects, can be used as weapons. Accepting disingenuous phrases and using them helps the team that developed them defeat YOUR team. This is why the anti-gun crowd does not use the term “anti-gun” but our team does.
“90,000 people have been killed by gun violence since the Newtown CT school incident.” This sentence is well thought out political propaganda, and is designed to shock the reader and have this thought imprinted in their memory. Later rational discussion based on evidence will not erase that mental image, or more importantly the emotion the reader feels when they first see it.
Consider a school teacher falsely accused of child molestation, he will always carry that label. The side of an issue that makes a “shock statement” does not even care to argue about it later. They will probably concede sarcastically that the numbers are not exact, and likely won’t spend much time on the 20%er-challenger that is not to be easily convinced. Their mission has already been accomplished, most in their audience have connected violence with guns and they then connect guns with huge numbers of dead bodies. Nothing said was baseless, many people DO die from gunshot wounds, the statistics show this clearly. Well played.
Consider words used, their dictionary meaning, common usage meaning and emotional connections. Examine the word “violence.” Check numerous mainstream dictionary’s definitions, read Gandhi, the Koran, the Bible, Black’s Law Dictionary and the writings of voluntaryist writers, as well as other “peace movement” writings. Compare your new understanding of violence, and see how “wide” and “general” you believe it is able to be used with intellectual honesty. Some examples:
- If a woman is being attacked by a rapist with a knife and she shoots him, were her actions “violent?” Yes. Should she be counted statistically as a perpetrator of “gun violence?” No.
- If a 94 year old man with sever heart disease and cancer decides to enjoy a final cup of coffee by the creek on his farm, then chooses to end his life with a bullet to his head, was his action “violent?” Had he instead hung himself, should he be a “rope violence” statistic?
- If a 9 year old child find his parents unsecured car keys and plays with their car, in the process driving off a cliff and being killed, is that “violence?” If he had instead played with an unsecured gun, tractor or fallen into the swimming pool, should any of those be labeled as “violence?”
Incrementalism. This campaign as well as other totalitarian and Marxist campaigns have an acceptance of patience. The Fabian Society’s logo is of a turtle. By demanding much and accepting little repeatedly, a position can cover much ground. The US government has been involved in a campaign to disarm individuals for many years, and even has strong ties with the alleged “opposite side.” It is brilliant to “own the opposition” in regards to the NRA.
Who would disagree that violent felons should not have their firearms taken away by force? Who would disagree that men who became felons by denying the First Night to their king or committed other tax crimes should not have their firearms taken away by force? Who would disagree that men who physically or mentally abuse their significant others should not have their firearms taken away by force? Who would disagree that those suffering from mental illnesses like depression, drapetomania or other diseases should not have their firearms taken away by force?
Please understand that the participating priest or rabbi at your local level is certainly a gun control advocate and is actively taking action that will prevent women from effective means of protecting themselves from rapists, robbers and their governments. Why would a religious leader not protect her flock and instead be an Uncle Tom for her parent organization? Why wouldn’t s/he speak out against his sect’s national level anti-gun proclamations of support?
S/he is weak and/or gullible. Ministers in established sects make some serious bank, and to denounce the parent church’s general assembly could mean losing their job. They then likely rationalize, “Gun control is going to happen anyway, and after all, I don’t like the multitudes of children that are “slaughtered” in “gun violence” “massacres” each day due to “gun violence.” They can then take the next step of agreeing to spread fear and misinformation with the disgusting “strategy” of promoting a Newtown Action Alliance political campaign under the guise of a “candlelight vigil.”
Why does it matter that NAA’s Nationwide Vigil and similar political events are labeled an “Anti-Gun Demonstration” versus a “Candlelight Vigil?” I believe this matters very much because 99% to 100% of the people attending these political events do not realized that it is a political event. They will even argue when they are told about the gun violence propaganda they are being fooled by, and are incredulous that their kind and slick-tongued minister would manipulate them, even if for the good. They will attack the whistle-blower and defend their church’s corporate status quo position.
They, like you and I, dislike the initiation of violence. All good humans are saddened when they hear of innocent people being harmed. They do not attack truth-tellers because they are bad at heart, their world view is just shallow, naive and simple and the possibility that their perceptions are upside down are too much to handle. They remain at heart, good hearted people.
I am very concerned about the initiation of violence, regardless of the tool used. I am also saddened by the deaths of people from auto collisions, poisoning, cancer and many other causes of death. I attended the anti-gun demonstration, not to agitate or preach, but to share concern with my neighbors about the effects of violence.
The BIG DIFFERENCE is in good people’s conclusions and concepts of making the world a better place. The anti-gun team’s propaganda is trying to establish a societal knee-jerk reaction of calling for guns to change from civilian hands to government hands anytime a bad thing involving a gun occurs. If one was not concerned with human rights, this could be a “solution” worth investigating.
Another possible “solution” is to increase the number of guns in individual’s control. This is my position. I hope that all my neighbors will investigate buying guns, training with them and carrying them to protect themselves and those they love against initiated violence. I hope they will store them in a safe manner.
Further understanding the propaganda of #endgunviolence
“Propaganda is an interesting topic, and even an elementary understanding of propaganda provides the thinking person with a lens through which the world’s communications are clearly visible. To a person without this “lens” the world looks very different. I urge all thinking persons to think rationally and learn about logic and propaganda. You will be mocked by those without this lens or “red pill,” and you will have less bliss, and it is worth it.” -Shepard Humphries
Of 100 people in your community, 80 don’t have an incredibly strong opinion about anything. The remaining 20% of folks passionately believe one way or the other to varying degrees. Political campaigns are NOT designed for those 20%. A Wyoming Gun Owners organization is not trying to convince NAA gun control campaign volunteers through rational discussion to change their view on private gun ownership.
Those that oppose human rights of choice by advocating for greater government control of private firearms are not trying to convince a gun store owner or conservative rancher that guns are bad. Both sides have as their target-market the 80% of people in the “middle.”
Unfortunately, those 80% are not the “thinkers” in society that read and contemplate scholarly articles and diverse proposed responses. They are the people that watch “news” and believe what they are told. If you are reading this article, you are NOT one of the 80%-ers. 🙂 They are playing video games, cross country skiing, relaxing at a bar or volunteering at a local dog pound. They are NOT reading articles with greater than 75 words, evaluating them critically, investigating all sides and developing a stance.
This is why long articles like this one or preaching vehemently about gun violence propaganda is almost always a waste of time and makes the “human rights radical” look crazy. This article is only appealing to the .05% that already strongly agree with human rights of self defense. If logic was taught to children, television was a 1-hour per week activity and Donald trump convinced Bill Gates to shut the Internet thing down, and if many other changes to society occurred, the common person would perhaps be a great thinker, but the effective activist knows that small shiny objects are much more fascinating and appealing, thus bikini models sell cigarettes, politicians kiss babies and religious leaders sell folks on giving up their defensive tools.
The United Nations is supported, promoted and given legitimacy through private organizations like the Rotary Club & churches and public organizations like school districts. The 80%-ers naively think that the United Nations exists to efficiently feed little children and bring peace to the world. I know that to the informed philosopher or social scientist this appears to be a moronic view, but the UN’s propaganda is very good and most people are indifferent or think favorably of the them! Those that doubt it are immediately labeled “wackos.” Well played.
Like a rapist comforting his victim during his horrible act, the UN and those acting as part of their programe of gun disarmament by putting on anti-gun events will in effect say, “Relax, this isn’t that bad, it is actually good in the long run, play along and you won’t be harmed.” Is it disgusting & inflammatory to compare a devastating one hour traumatic victimization of one person to a lifetime victimization of millions by using force to take away their most effective means of defense? I don’t think so.
If you care about the “gun” and “violence” issues …
Mises Institute: https://mises.org/blog/gun-control-fails-what-happened-england-ireland-and-canada
For a less academic summary, check out the Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership stats
Examine CDC data: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm The serious investigator must look deeply into each statistic and recognize that the numbers come from an organization that openly supports gun control legislation. It should be trusted about as much as NRA statistics.
Consider what the issue REALLY is. Can you as an individual, or can the government tell individuals what to do based on statistical likelihood of bad things happening? For example, if more women that are wearing clothing that shows cleavage are raped than those that are wearing Mennonite style dresses, should women then be forced to wear long modest dresses? If having a gun in one’s home results in a greater probability of harm than not having one, should people be forced to get rid of their guns? Of course not. The basic human right of choice is ultimately important.