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How to sell a massacre: NRA's playbook, revealed | Australia News



Sydney, Australia – How do you react to a deadly mass shooter if you are a gun rights lawyer?

First, "Say nothing." If the media's queries continue, go to "offense, offense, offense". Lubricate gun control groups. "Shame on them" with statements such as: "How dare you stand on the graves of these children to make your political agenda?"

This was the advice that the most powerful pistol lobby of the United States gave Australia's One Nation party according to an Al Jazeera study, as representatives of the Australian right-wing group sought guidance from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to dislodge the Pacific's strict arms laws.

NRA's book of mass shootings was unveiled during three-year undercover stitches by Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit. Rodger Muller, an Australian undercover reporter who infiltrated the pistol lobbies in the US and Australia, used a hidden camera to record a series of meetings between NRA and One Nation representatives in Washington, DC last September.

The secretly recorded recording gives a rare insight into how the national regulatory authority is considering mass shootings and seeks to manipulate media coverage to push its pro-gun agenda.

Australia's One Nation Party, led by Senator Pauline Hanson, has long sought to relax the country's pistol laws that prohibit almost all automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. The rules, some of the toughest in the world, were introduced in 1

996 after a killer with a semi-automatic rifle killed 35 people in the city of Port Arthur.

Since then, Australia has not had mass shootings where the attackers did not know their victims. The NRA, however, has condemned Australia's laws as "not the definition of common sense".

Australia's One Nation Seeking American Lobby Assistance (3:01)

& # 39; The Tomb of These Children & # 39;

Muller, Al Jazeera's undercover reporter, who was a law enforcement lawyer, introduced a nation's chief of staff, James Ashby, and the head of his Queensland branch, Steve Dickson, to the NRA and traveled with the couple to Washington DC last year.

Ashby and Dickson hoped to secure up to $ 20 million. In political donations from supporters of the American arms lobby.

At NRA's Virginia headquarters, officials gave Ashby and Dickson tips on galvanizing public support to change Australia's gun laws and trained the couple how to respond to a mass shooter.

The best way to handle media inquiries in the wake of a massacre was to "say nothing", according to Catherine Mortensen, an NRA media liaison officer. But if inquiries continued, she recommended an offensive communication strategy.

It involved mitigating public concern by smearing gun control supporters.

"Just shame them on the whole idea," said Lars Dalseide, another member of NRA's PR team. "If your policy is not good enough to stand on your own, how dare you use their deaths to push it forward.

Dickson replied, "I love it, thank you".

Then, Darsedie explained how the national regulatory authority manipulated media coverage that a nation should exploit the service of friendly reporters.

"You have someone leaning on your side working on a newspaper, maybe he covered the town hall or was a crime reporter," said Darseide.

"We want to print stories of people who were robbed, their homes were invaded, beaten or whatever, and it could have been helped if they had a gun. stories. That's what he has to write. He has to dress two to five of them a week. "Rodger Muller, center, followed a nation's Steve Dickson, left, and James Ashby as they traveled to Washington, DC to meet the national regulatory authority [Al Jazeera]

& # 39; Foreign action of the week & # 39;

Another NRA tip was to ghost columns for law publications.

"We put guest columns in the local papers," Mortensen said.

"Many times we will write them as a local sheriff in Wisconsin or anything. And he will work it out or she will help us prepare it. We will do a lot of legwork because these people And this is our job, so we help them and they will send it with their name to it, so that it looks organic. You know it comes from that society has a role behind the scenes. "

As for social media, NRA recommended producing short videos that highlight how useful a gun is to self-defense.

"These are very popular and they are short, small excerpts. You know," Joe Blow ", cashier at the local grocery store, had his firearm with him and protected himself," Mortensen said.

"They are good because they are short and they kind of make you quarrel. We call it" the week's disgrace "."

During the same meeting, Dickson told NRA that "African gangs imported into Australia" committed rape and burglary in the country, including "entering the house with baseball bats to steal your car".

For this Dalseide advised the following: "Every time there is a story 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 anything like "not allowed to defend their home", "not allowed to defend their home". Boom. "

The national officials mentioned in this report, One Nation, Dickson and Ashby did not respond to Al Jazeera's comment requests.


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