David Hogg, author

David Hogg has been in the news since that fateful day in February when 14 students and 3 staff members were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

In the aftermath, he and his classmates have made a name for themselves by championing gun control. You’ve seen them in interviews on major news networks and as headliners at the March for Our Lives.

Today marks another activist milestone – David and his sister have written and released a book to serve as “a guide to the #NeverAgain movement.”

This means the media will turn their attention back to the Parkland shooting and the issue of gun control, and you should prepare to answer questions about it.

Here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t attack the kids. Doing so hijacks the conversation and turns attention away from the issue we should be debating.

Here’s what to do:

  • Start by acknowledging how great it is for young people to be exercising their free speech rights, and then pivot to solutions.

It’s a simple equation, but it works. Acknowledge the kids’ involvement as a good thing before you talk facts and figures. Otherwise, you make news by attacking victims of a school shooting, and that’s never a good look on anyone. Just because we can’t imagine the horror and tragic aftermath doesn’t mean we should skip over the emotion and their efforts to deal.

B²: Gun Control

The frequency of mass shootings and terrorist attacks are increasing. Orlando is the latest, and many pray the last.

But the Obama Administration’s obvious (and very bad) case of denial is making it difficult to have the right conversation in the media about how to avoid future tragedies. Obama himself would rather cling to gun control as the best preventative measure when very real ties to Islamic terrorism are the common denominator between the San Bernardino and Orlando shooters.

With the media and administration driving the “guns are bad!” narrative, how can you change the conversation and elevate Islamic terrorism as the number one talking point?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “<Insert question about gun control>.”

B²: “Gun control laws strip citizens of their only defense in these horrific situations because criminals, and in this case an Islamic terrorist, are going to kill innocent people regardless of what the law says. This is exactly why we need to <insert talking point on defeating Islamic terrorism>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, acknowledge the senseless tragedy that happened in Orlando and then connect prevention to combating Islamic terrorism, not stricter gun laws; people want solutions, not platitudes. The “guns are bad!” narrative has been propped up for decades and yet the frequency of mass shootings and terrorist attacks have increased. It’s time to have a different conversation.

NOTE: If you are an expert on gun laws, please debate the issue rather than pivot to Islamic terrorism. There is room for this discussion, and those who are prepared to have it should have it.

B²: “But guns kill people!”

Last week’s tragedy at Umpqua Community College marked the 4th shooting at a college campus since August. Sadly, another community has been rocked by the horrific intentions of one person.

President Obama didn’t wait to politicize the tragedy. In his press conference on Thursday, he lamented the sad fact that this news story is now routine and that somehow “we’ve become numb to this.” He was visibly mad and stated that tighter gun laws are the answer.

With the narrative of more gun restrictions echoing in the news cycle, do you know how to show sympathy for those who lost loved ones while defending the right to protect yourself?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “Isn’t it time to impose stricter gun laws?”

B²: “Not at all. And while what happened at Umpqua Community College is horrific and unbearable for any family member and friend who lost a loved one, the truth is the best way to prevent future tragedies is to <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, first acknowledge the sad and appalling fact that lives were lost. Meet the emotion of the question by grieving with the Roseburg community, but then pivot to data and examples that support your argument against tighter gun laws.

In summary – start with emotion, but end with reason.

B²: Grief and Gun Control

While Charleston still mourned, President Obama used the tragedy to remind America of his gun control agenda.

At an annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Friday he said, “We have to shift how we think about this issue and we have the capacity to change…That’s how we honor those families (in Charleston). That’s how we honor the families of Newtown, and that’s how we honor the families in Aurora.”

The process of politicizing pain is increasingly familiar. “Why” and “how” questions after tragedies are natural to the human experience, as they are in media interviews. But while the nation grieves with Charleston, do you know how to answer questions about calls for urgent change? The proposed changes take our focus off viable solutions and may forever alter our right to protect ourselves.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “We have to do something. Isn’t it time to institute tighter gun control laws so that another Charleston, another Newtown, or another Aurora doesn’t happen?”

: “What’s happened in all these cities is absolutely terrible, and I can’t imagine the pain the families experience on a daily basis. But the sad reality is that tighter gun control laws wouldn’t have prevented any of these tragedies. What we should do is <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, whether to talk about the need to protect the rights of responsible gun owners so that we are all safer, or the importance of dealing with mental health issues in this country, DO meet the emotion of the question first. If you ignore the victim in the question and move straight to a talking point, you’ll sound like you don’t care.