Australian Al Jazeera reporter Rodger Muller infiltrated a meeting between the US National Rifle Association and Australia's far-right/white nationalist party One Nation, where the NRA gave party bosses advice on how to reverse Australia's tough anti-automatic/semi-automatic gun laws (passed after a 1996 mass shooting that killed 35 people) and what to do to deflect public calls for gun control when the next mass shooting happens.
In the secret recording, two One Nation officials — Chief of Staff James Ashby and Queensland party boss Steve Dickson — seek up to $20 million from the NRA's US supporters to fund their gun lobbying in Australia.
NRA PR team members Lars Dalseide and Catherine Mortensen gave the One Nation official extensive advice on managing crisis communications following mass shootings, advising them to "say nothing," and to plant stories that smear gun-control advocates by "shaming" them with statements like "how dare you use their deaths to push that forward. How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?"
The NRA flaks also described how they encourage friendly reporters to publish stories about violent crimes that suggest the victims would have been able to defend themselves if they had guns; they also described how the NRA ghost wrote op-eds in favor of looser gun laws that were published under local cops' by-lines.
The NRA also boasted about the viral "self-defense" videos they posted to social media.
The real meat of the meeting started when One Nation's Dickson asked for advice on spinning his belief that "African gangs" were "coming into the house with baseball bats to steal your car" and the NRA's Dalseide replied that "Every time there's a story there about the African gangs coming in with baseball bats, a little thing you can put out there, maybe at the top of a tweet or Facebook post or whatever, like with 'not allowed to defend their home', 'not allowed to defend their home'. Boom."
The story is fascinating as much as for what it reveals (that the NRA has no qualms about allying itself with explicitly racist overseas movements and using race-baiting to promote looser gun laws that would allow white nationalists like the man who murdered 50 people in New Zealand earlier this month to acquire arms); and for what it doesn't (that there are no hidden depths to the NRA playbook, it's literally just a bunch of obvious spin and garbage that anyone with half a brain can spot from orbit).
"Just shame them to the whole idea," said Lars Dalseide, another member of the NRA's public relations team. "If your policy, isn't good enough to stand on itself, how dare you use their deaths to push that forward. How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?"
Dickson responded: "I love that, thank you".
How to sell a massacre: NRA's playbook revealed [Peter Charley/Al Jazeera]
(via Naked Capitalism)