Preaching to the Choir



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By David Codrea, February 13th 2015
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

“Good points, but you’re preaching to the choir,” I’ve been told countless times. “It’s fine and good to write for gun owners, but we already support the right to keep and bear arms. You need to reach the people being brainwashed by the mainstream media, but they’ll never give us a voice.”

So what are we to do? Admit we exist in an echo chamber, and give up?

To begin with, I reject the premise that just because someone agrees with gun rights they have earned the right to be considered choir members. That’s right, I said “earned.”

The choir is comprised of people up there performing. They put themselves on the line. To get ready for that, they practice. And study. And work. And get to the venue. And put other things on hold to fulfill their commitments to people depending on them.

And they’ll do it again next week. And the week after that.

The people listening to them sing aren’t the choir. And more often than not, getting them to bring a new person, or to put a dollar in the plate, can be like pulling teeth.

But my well-meaning advisers have a point about the mainstream media, that group I alternately call “Authorized Journalists” and “Fourth Estate Fifth Columnists,” and that Dianne Feinstein and Joe Biden refer to as “real reporters” and “legitimate news media.” They’re too busy lying and committing sins of omission to give us a fair shake, and our concerns aren’t part of their agenda anyway.

Besides, if they had their way, they’d stomp out the competition new media is giving them. Years back I wrote about how an “advocacy” lawyer was hyping “an energy tax, by making some computers, Web sites, blogs and perhaps cable TV channels too costly to maintain [to] reduce the supply of information.”

That’s right, “reduce the supply of information.” And give the old guard media its advantage back, under force of government arms.

Really. How very “progressive.”

So how do we deal with the reality that not only is the establishment media against us, they would like to stamp upstart independent content providers out for ending their role as exclusive gatekeepers, and for being a threat to their rice bowls and their continued viability?

We need to start by becoming more than mere consumers of information. The choir observers are absolutely right when they note the message needs to go beyond niche readerships.

So how is that to happen unless people take it upon themselves to share information they find unique, or useful or resonating, or new? Do you think if you don’t assume a personal role in making that happen someone else will automatically pick up the slack?

Those who don’t want the message to escape the echo chamber are counting on that.

“Are you a JPFO force multiplier?” I asked in early January. In that column, some suggestions were given on how to spread the word and recruit other gun owners to be aware of this organization and its unique message.

Did you read that column? Have you read any prior ones? If so, here you are reading another, so you must get some value from the experience. Shouldn’t value received be repaid? Did you do any of the things it recommended? Did you tell others? Did you take advantage of the powerful tool that is social media? Did you join JPFO, and make a contribution so that it can continue and even grow?

If not, why not? Do you think all the necessary things are going to happen without adding your shoulder to the wheel? Who is supposed to pick up the slack?

Why should they if you won’t?

I wish I were preaching to the choir all the time. I wish there were a million voices added to mine each time JPFO put out an alert, doing what they can to be heard, and doing the promotion work, too, to draw people in to listen. Because after this column is published, I’ll start a whole ‘nother effort telling everyone I can reach about it, posting a link on my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and supportive websites, and in each of those venues, I’ll be asking supporters to share the link with their friends. And in order to keep from being just an exploiter, I’ll need to return the favor and direct people to important works my fellow choir members are composing, producing, performing, publicizing...

Want to be part of the choir?

Grab yourself a robe and come on up.

David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. David Codrea's Archive page.

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