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Tom Gresham’s No Shrug Policy
A Lie Unchallenged Becomes the Truth
An Interview with Tom Gresham by Gila Hayes
It is a pleasure to welcome Tom Gresham back to our journal pages, and this time, we want to spend a few minutes discussing Tom’s No Shrug Policy.
eJournal: Most would agree that just as there is a time for compromise, there is a time to stand firm and refuse to compromise. Your No Shrug Policy has inspired many to stand up for their principles. In the interest of inspiring those who may not have had the chance to hear you speak on this topic, I’d like to learn more about your efforts. Where did the concept of the No Shrug Policy start?
Gresham: The No Shrug Policy is an outgrowth of the Gun Talk Truth Squad. Way back in the early days of the Internet, I was frustrated by news reports, and I’d say, “What they said about guns–that’s wrong!” And, just as we can’t now, then we couldn’t get positive stories or even accurate stories in the media about guns, gun owners or gun rights. So I thought, how do we get something good in the media? Letters to the editor? They’ll at least print our letters—this was back when we would still send real letters to the editor.
I thought, I’m a pretty good writer, so I can help people write. If I could get two volunteers in each state, we would have one hundred people who would be able to send letters to the editor and that would be great! We’ll call them the Truth Squad. So, I called for volunteers, and they said, “Yeah, I’ll do that!” What I found was that our people want to do something; they just need direction. You need to point them at a particular hill, and they will take that hill.
eJournal: How do you keep the Truth Squad alerted?
Gresham: I send out an email newsletter roughly once a month and I try not to email too much; I don’t want to bug people. For example, a newsletter may say, “Here’re my thoughts on some things,” or we say, “Look! Here, a Truth Squad person responded and we got a great result from it.”
eJournal: As I’ve heard you say before, the rest of us can borrow some of the verbiage from those successes, make it our own, and spread the results even wider.
Gresham: That is the idea! We tell people, “We have no pride of authorship here!” If you see a letter you like, take it, make it yours and use it somewhere else.
eJournal: By doing that, I don’t have to spend two hours searching for the facts to disprove the lies. Tom already has found facts I can quickly use to refute an error in the media instead of procrastinating because I don’t have the time to get my facts in line.
Gresham: The premise that the Truth Squad was built on is this absolute truism: A lie unchallenged becomes the truth. We hear something on TV, we see somebody saying something or we read something in the paper, when it is wrong, we always challenge it; we never let it go.