I teased people before my presentation on the Using New Media To Advance Gun Rights panel at the 2017 GRPC that I would be talking about Kim Kardashian.
And I did.
You can read and see my whole presentation below. I do think it is important that we adopt all forms of social media to inform and persuade the Millennials and iGeneration about freedom and the Second Amendment.
Hi. I’m John Richardson.
I have the gun blog No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and I’m a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.
In past years I’ve spoken about how bloggers have worked to advance gun rights, how they’ve exposed gun walking in the Obama Administration, and also how we can use new media as a tool to fight the enemies of freedom ranging from the Mainstream Media to the well-funded gun control lobby.
This year when I was putting together my notes for this talk I thought about things like fake news, the bias of the mainstream media, how balanced in their lexicon means always quoting a gun banner in reference to crime, and how ridiculous it is that the media takes anything Gabby Giffords says seriously.
However, last Saturday morning while I was sitting in bed drinking my coffee I watched a report on CBS Saturday which encapsulated what we in the gun rights community need to do: we need to become Social Media Influencers.
Put another way, we need to become like Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian. I know you are probably saying right now that you can maybe understand Trump but a Kardashian? Really?
Think about this – you have a young woman with virtually no discernible talents, with no education past high school, and no employment history to speak of who got upwards of $1 million for merely attending a party due to the attention she draws.
That is social media influence. We may think it is absurd but it is the new reality.
Big business understands this. They have made it a $1 billion annual industry because it conveys authenticity and because it goes around the gatekeepers to put their message directly into the pockets of Millennials and Gen. Z aka the iGeneration.
The reason I care and you should care about reaching the Millennials and the iGeneration is that we are in the long war. If we don’t reach them with the message that gun rights are important, that the shooting sports are fun, and that our opponents are the enemies of freedom, then the Second Amendment will be effectively dead within our lifetimes.
The Millennials and the iGeneration don’t read newspapers. They don’t watch network news. Half the time they’ve replaced cable with Netflix and Amazon Prime. They don’t have landlines and their cell phones are more often used to text than to talk to friends. More importantly, they don’t trust traditional media and they value authenticity. This means they give greater weight to user-generated social media than virtually anything else.
The other thing to understand is that there is New Social Media and Old Social Media. The latter would include things like blogs, podcasts, Facebook, and, to some extent, Twitter. New Social Media is centered on things like Instagram, SnapChat, and Periscope with YouTube somewhere in between the two. To give you an idea of the reach of Instagram as a means of social influence, the Kardashian-Jenner daughters have 410 MILLION followers combined.
So how do you use it?
Number one – download the app to your smart phone and register an account.
Number two – start posting pictures when you take a new shooter to the range. Or alternatively, post pictures from GRPC. Just make sure to put hashtags with them. You know – those little cross-hatched number signs with a word or two after them. Stuff like “#newshooter” or “#grpc2017”.
Number three – if you feel this is beyond what you can do, enlist your kids and grandkids. Take them shooting and have THEM post the pictures to their accounts.
Finally, keep it fun and keep it light. If we need serious, we have people like Alan Gura for the legal stuff, Dr. John Lott to challenge the anti’s statistics, and my friend sociologist David Yamane for studies on GunCulture 2.0.
We can win at this because we are the real grassroots. Social media influence comes from below and not from above. But we need to start doing it NOW.
I will be posting my notes and associated video from the 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference throughout the week.