NRA Wants Journos to Stop Using the Word ‘Shooter’ to Describe Shooters

Here’s an unusual look at media relations efforts from an organization that uses every opportunity to brand “the media” as its enemy.

You might think that the NRA, as the nation’s largest gun owner advocacy organization, would have issued some sort of response to the latest act committed by a crazy guy with a gun. Instead, we have this piece of communications work bemoaning journalists’ supposed insistence on providing meat for their frothing-at-the-mouth anti-gun base by insisting on referring to people who kill other people with guns as “shooters” rather than “murderers.”

It’s an odd semantic complaint that reveals more than a bit of the organization’s underlying strategy: every report not created internally by the NRA itself is not to be trusted.

It’s almost like the org’s op-ed contributor is anticipating the ways in which various journalists will describe the next mass shooting and telling his listeners to ignore it as propaganda (not that he created this segment to “support a cause”).

It’s true that we may not be the world’s most receptive audience, but the NRA has a vested long-term interest in convincing the majority of Americans that its members are not the paranoid, trigger-happy caricatures the “media” seems so desperate to lead us to believe they are (according to the NRA itself).

We’re not 100% sure that this is the best way to go about it.