Sydney, Australia – How do you react to a deadly mass shooting if you are a proponent of gun rights?
First, do not say anything. If the media requests persist, go to "offense, offense, offense". Dirty weapon control groups. "Be ashamed" with the following statements: "How dare you stand on the graves of these children to present your political agenda?"
This was the advice of the American "One Nation" partner Al Jazeera investigation, as representatives of the Australian far-right group from the National Rifle Association (NRA) sought help in easing the stringent arms laws of the Pacific country.
The NRA's playbook about mass shootings came in the course of a trio to the light-year covert sting of Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit. Rodger Muller, an Australian undercover reporter who infiltrated the US and Australian weapons lobbies, used a hidden camera to hold a series of meetings between NRA representatives and One Nation in Washington, DC last September.
The secretly filmed footage provides a rare glimpse into the way the NRA contemplates mass shots and attempts to manipulate media coverage to advance its pro-gun agenda.
The Australian "One Nation" party, led by Senator Pauline Hanson, has long attempted to loosen the country's gun laws, which prohibit almost all automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. The rules, some of the toughest in the world, were introduced in 1
Since then, there have been no mass shootings in Australia where the attackers did not know their victims. However, the NRA has denounced the Australian laws as "not the definition of common sense."
The Australian "One Nation" Seeks Help with the Gun Lobby in the US (3:01)
"The Tombs of These Children"
Muller, Al Jazeera's undercover reporter, who claimed to be a proponent of gun rights James Ashby, One Nation Chief of Staff, and Queensland Branch Manager Steve Dickson joined the NRA and traveled with the couple to Washington, DC last year.
Ashby and Dickson hoped to receive up to $ 20 million in political donations from supporters of the US Arms Lobby.
At meetings at NRA's Virginia National Headquarters in Virginia, officials gave Ashby and Dickson tips to start public support for changing the Australian gun laws and to advise the couple on how to respond to mass shootings ,
The best way to handle mass media inquiries after a massacre was to "say nothing," said Catherine Mortensen, a NRA liaison officer. With continuing inquiries she recommended an offensive communication strategy.
This included the distraction of public concern by blurring gun controlists.
"Just be ashamed of the whole idea," said Lars Dalseide, another member of the NRA's PR team. "If your politics are not good enough to be on your own, how dare you push this with their death, how dare you stand on the graves of these children to present your political agenda?"
Dickson replied, "I love that, thanks."
Then Darsedie explained how the NRA manipulated media coverage, One Nation, to avail the services of fellow reporters.
"You have someone leaning against your side who worked on a newspaper, maybe he covered the town hall or was a crime reporter," said Darseide.
"We want to print stories about people who were robbed, who had their house invaded, beaten or whatever it was, and that could have been helped if they had a weapon the angle is your stories, that's what he has to write, he has to release two to five of them a week. "
|Rodger Muller, center, accompanied Steve Dickson of One Nation and James Ashby (right) to Washington, DC, to the NRA [Al Jazeera]|
& # 39; Outrage of the week & # 39;
to meet. Another tip of the NRB was to write columns for pro-gun law enforcement officials.
"We beat guest columns in local papers," Mortensen said.
"Many times we write them like a local sheriff in Wisconsin or whatever He will work it out or she will help us with the design We will do a lot of footwork because these people are busy and that's our job, so we help them and they enter it with their name to make it look organic, they know it's coming from that community, but we'll have a role behind the scenes. "  In terms of social media, the NRA recommended producing short videos showing how useful a self-defense rifle is.
"These are extremely popular are short little snippets. You know," Joe Blow ", cashier at the local supermarket, had his gun with him and protected himself," said Mortensen.
"They are good, because they are short and somehow make you indignant, we call it" the outrage of the week. "
During the same meeting, Dickson told the NRA that "African-imported African bands" have committed rape and burglaries in the country, including "coming in with baseball bats to steal your car."
Dalseide recommends: "Every time there's a story about African gangs coming in with baseball bats, a little thing you can exhibit there, maybe on top of a Tweet or Facebook page. Post or whatever, with about "not entitled to defend their homeland", "not to defend their homeland." Boom. "
The NRA, One Nation, Dickson and Ashby representatives mentioned in this report , did not answer Al Jazeera's request for comment.