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Gresham: Exactly. I tell people to use that idea of saying, “You guys really looked foolish on this one!” It is not like saying, “You’re wrong!” or “You have an agenda.” People get their defenses up when you do that. You can’t win a fight with the media. You cannot do that. But what you can do, is say to the individual reporter, “You know, you really ought to do a little more research on that, because, you know, that one really made you look bad. I’m just tryin’ to help you.” [chuckling]

eJournal: Psy/ops?

Gresham: It is all psy/ops. The whole idea of the Truth Squad and the No Shrug Policy is that the battle is for public opinion. Congress will eventually do what the public feels should be done. The country is very evenly divided on guns and gun rights and has been for the last 30 or 40 years. We only have to move the needle a few ticks–one, two, three ticks–a little bit, just a little bit!

To do this, you always want to sound reasonable and want to appear to be normal–not like they portray us.

Understand that the goal is not to try to convince them that we’re right or that they’re wrong. The goal is to use their mechanism to reach other people who will read that and think, “Wow, the person who is writing this letter sounds like a reasonable person, and those are some pretty good points. I think maybe that’s OK.” Honestly, if you do nothing more than get the public to come away and say, “Those people sound pretty reasonable,” then that’s a win.

The whole idea of this is to move the needle of public opinion. You are not really trying to convince the media. You are using a comments section on a website or letters to the editor as a vehicle, as a megaphone, if you will, to reach everybody else.

eJournal: You have reduced the problem from changing national politics, into something that is doable–influencing opinion by just one or two degrees.

Gresham: That is my point: This IS doable. This IS winnable.

All it takes is every one of us doing it. What would it take? Five minutes to write a comment. A few minutes talking to people. Always responding. NEVER shrugging. It is an attitude you get up with every day. I am a responsible person. Part of my responsibility to the Second Amendment and to other gun owners is to adopt the No Shrug Policy. Never again will I say, “I don’t have time. That is just the way it is.” I am not going to do that anymore. That is the Truth Squad.

eJournal: That is inspirational! I hope our readers will become part of the Truth Squad.

Gresham: They can join the Truth Squad at absolutely no cost at http://www.guntalk.com/site.php?pageID=7

Additional resources:

Just the facts, Ma’am! Tom suggested visiting the website www.gunfacts.info in which the website owner makes gun facts freely available as an online app or for sale as a printed book.

In Tom’s Own Words

Listen to Tom relate a No Shrug experience at this link.

Points to remember–

  • Always contradict lies and errors.
  • State your position politely.
  • Strength comes in numbers: One complaint may be ignored; a dozen will get noticed; 50 or 100 spurs change.
  • Don’t patronize anti-gun businesses. Tell them why you can’t spend money with them. Let them know you will alert your associates.
  • You can make a difference. People change when confronted.
  • Challenge political Public Service Announcements on local radio. Send a written complaint and request that the letter go in the file for FCC review.
  • Make the commitment: You will take the time to politely correct mistakes.

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