Igor Volsky is here to warn you that there’s a method to the National Rifle Association’s madness.
“The NRA’s core message to its base is fear,” Volsky, the director of Guns Down, told Mic. “Be afraid of the press. The resistance. Immigrants. Muslims. LGBT people. Pretty much anyone who’s not a straight, white, cisgender male.”
According to Volsky, the NRA uses its massive presence on television and new media to communicate that message of fear on a daily basis.
“The NRA has had its own news outlet since 2004,” Volsky said of NRA TV, the organization’s digital video platform that produces everything from conservative analysis of daily news to self-defense tutorials for gun owners. “You can stream it online, through satellite radio or your favorite TV streaming device. And it’s full of conservative commentators attacking the press, immigrants and anyone else who doesn’t support Trump.”
In one video on the platform, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch warns Americans that schools and shopping centers have all become targets for “Jihadi killers among us.” In another video, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre argues that 2,300 convicted murderers are returning back to the same streets they terrorized — and that California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is to blame.
According to Volsky, the NRA drives home this messaging in order to bore the words into the subconsciouses of its members.
“By repeating the same words, the same arguments, the same simple message over and over and over again, the NRA inserts itself into the subconscious of its supporters,” he said. “They hear these messages so often, they begin to regurgitate them themselves, without ever questioning their validity.”
Volsky thinks the end goal of the NRA’s campaign of fear is to sell more guns.
“The images in the NRA’s ads are always designed to evoke fear in the viewer,” he said. “The kind of fear that will push members to remain loyal to the NRA and purchase another firearm, thus furthering their ‘guns everywhere and for everyone’ agenda.”
“Exposing the NRA’s constant fearmongering for what it really is — a ploy to sell more guns — is the best way to get people to leave the NRA and counteract NRA TV,” he added.
Watch Igor Volsky’s exclusive video op-ed for Mic above.