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Second Amendment Not Found – 404

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

Ammoland – Activist groups, policy think tanks and the media that cover them are interdependent. This is particularly true in the case of specialty media focused on a specific area or a single subject [like the Second Amendment].

The former need the latter to broadcast their message and ideas while the latter need the former to provide content for commentary.

But the relationship is more intricate than that. There is a very symbiotic relationship between Second Amendment media and Second Amendment activists and think tanks and it needs to be optimized better than ever.

This means that advocates need to consistently and frequently get their messages before the eyes and ears of Second Amendment media. Likewise, pro-gun media should just as intensively monitor advocacy groups for new ideas to cover and discuss.

More than that, we need to cooperate to facilitate the long term spread of our messaging.

From my perspective as Social Media Editor for Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership(DRGO) administering the website and social media outlets for our organization, one of the most critical needs is to ensure our work’s persistence.

Allow me a small tangent to explain why this goal is as important, as it is mutually beneficial.

This has to do with both gun media and gun activist groups needing “visual credibility”. In conventional business terms, “visual credibility” is how one presents oneself: proper attire and manner of speaking, an impressive office, the right car, snappy business cards, etc.

I use the term here to mean: demonstrable evidence that others deem your organization (articles, interviews, podcasts, etc.) worthy of mentioning, citing, referencing, recognizing or interviewing.

One way a podcast or video channel demonstrates visual credibility is by archiving its episodes. These should show smart, interesting guests saying smart, interesting things that entertain, compel and inspire. Conversely, an advocacy group establishes visual credibility is through a “brag sheet” (like a page on its website) that lists appearances on notable shows, podcasts and respected publications where they say smart, insightful things about their subjects.

This is an area where both activists and gun media can mutually benefit each other.

DRGO runs an individual brag sheet for our media representatives. ( Timothy Wheeler,John Edeen and Robert Young) where I try to embed a video or podcast link with each appearance note. It is common that our team members do spots on shows and podcasts….. and often I can’t embed them on our site because the hosting site’s code is buggy, dosen’t offer embed codes or download links, is not compatible with Word Press or just plain won’t work. At other times, a show or podcaster or Youtuber may have an archive of episodes from which I can embed a link, but it comes with a gaping memory hole that swallowed up everything published more than three months prior, erasing the show we wanted to link to. Where did all these podcasts, sound bytes and video go? Why would they delete this great content? Over time that leaves a gaping hole in our brag sheet. A similar problem occurs when podcasters switch podcasting platforms.

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Sure, this presents much more of a headache for me than the podcaster. And I realize that many who start a video blog or a podcast do so on a shoestring budget. Yet in these situations where an episode falls off the face of the internet, both we and the media venue lose valuable Second Amendment Discussions. DRGO loses an appearance where our representative said something memorable about an important issue, and the media venue loses an episode where a significant topic was discussed.

More important, the Pro Gun Movement Loses.

We see the same anti-gun tactics come up over and over, year after year. Gun prohibitionists (they are not dumb or ignorant) count on the public’s short memory and the veracity of the adage that “if at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.”

Having past discussions accessible on these often recycled attacks provides institutional memory for our movement and tools for all of us and our successors to use. Especially our successors, because they will have to continue this fight after us.

So that raises some philosophical and practical questions:

  • As a media creator, how important is it to you for people to be able to hear a show of yours from 2, 3, 5 or more years ago?
  • As a media creator, how important is it to you that people who have not heard your show can get exposed to it later?
  • If those things ARE important, what is the right investment of time and resources to ensure that your show’s episodes don’t trickle into the memory hole?
  • What archiving resources can be utilized to preserve our message for our cause into the future?
  • Are there any stable and free platforms for public archiving of past episodes which also do not restrict episode length and total storage space allowed per account?

[EDITORS NOTE: AmmoLand Shooting Sports News has a very stable web environment and will gladly archive Podcasts, Images, Articles, Documents and Video, for FREE, providing public links that you can point to years from now. Contact Editor, Fredy Riehl for more info, [email protected] (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ)]

I hope to encourage conversations about finding answers to these questions.

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No group is so big or important that its message can’t benefit from a broader audience. Thus, appearing on a show or in an interview propagates the pro-Second Amendment message.

No media outlet is so big that only some lost Amazonian tribe has never heard of them. Ensuring that past shows can be promoted by the guests who appeared on them expands your audience.

No right is so important not to try to ensure the longevity of its message. The Second Amendment is important enough to exert ourselves to keep our messaging available for us and for posterity to keep building on it.

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation. www.drgo.us

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