The NRAs Twitter account has been silent since the mass shooting in Las Vegas part of a strategy to defer debate and wait for the news cycle to move on
On Tuesday, a leaked White House document offered instructions for staff and surrogates on addressing the massacre in Las Vegas.
Above all, the message was lag.” Let’s wait for the facts before we attain sweeping policy arguments for curtailing the second amendment”, the marching orders led off. They ended with a number of reasons that could be given for why we shouldn’t act, or even debate the questions now.
If they voiced oddly familiar, it’s because Republican politicians use the same lines all the time. This week, Mitch McConnell and sundry Republican legislators have reeled off the same arguments. And experts say this consistency is a result of the iron grip that the NRA now has on conservative minds.
” They are the NRA’s talking phases” says Dan Cassino, a political scientist and researcher of conservative media.” If you are a pro gun-rights politician, the NRA are the most experienced in get these points out there, and they are who you call on .”
The talking phases reflect the NRA’s most important goal in the wake of any mass shooting: defer discussion, and wait for the media cycle to move on. This is what they have done in the wake of every recent high-profile mass shooting, from Orlando to Oregon.
Part of that is making themselves into a small target, and allowing surrogates to muddy the waters. This is achieved by reframing the conversation around individual rights, and nominating other causes for handgun violence other than guns- like mental illness, popular culture, or terrorism.
” Currently, the NRA themselves are using the same playbook they have used in the wake of every such incident, which is silence ,” Cassino says.
Pointing to the NRA’s Twitter account, which at the time of writing had not tweeted since 29 September, Cassino says.
” There’s no way to defend gun laws in the wake of a mass shooting, so they don’t. It’s in their interest for the story to die down as quickly as is practicable, and anything they say will give the story life .”
He points to problems which have arisen in the past when the organization deviated from this strategy, like the disastrous post Sandy Hook press conference where NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre blamed rap music and video games for creating a” culture of violence” that led to the incident.
The reason that conservative politicians are prepared to carry water for the NRA is that over time, the NRA’s endeavours have ensured that they and Republicans speak with the same voice.
” The NRA’s best trick has been establishing is supportive of handguns as an essential part of being a Republican”, says Cassino.
And while their political donations help, their real strength has come from mobilizing their membership to keep politicians in line.
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com