The art of misdirection: The Left is manipulating the narrative on gun-control

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The Art of War by Sun Tzu is largely predicated on misdirection as a tactical strength in warfare. In it, he advises:

Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.

The attentive viewer, the careful listener can spot even the cleverest misdirection. It's that nagging feeling, that twinge in your gut, the suspicion that something just ain't right. You can sense a con and you don't like it. You can tell that something sinister is at play. The media has perfected an agenda-setting approach to news that is deception at its finest. They control the narrative, the framing, the output of information.

So when the media swarmed around the February 14th massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, many of us suspected that something else was going on.

Why all the focus on this killing? Why now? Why such vigor? Why didn't the Las Vegas killer provoke the same reaction? And how did the entire thing turn into a circus of protests and outrage so intense that most of us forgot where we should even be looking?

As Sun Tzu wrote, "In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity."

Politicians on the Left, along with the media, have a permanent anti-gun stance that they will move mountains to promote.

According to the media, our attention was meant to be trained on two things: Guns and the teenager victims. Politicians on the Left, along with the media, have a permanent anti-gun stance that they will move mountains to promote.

Just like we've seen lately with the media suddenly caring about children on the border when it's actually been a problem for years, for the Left, the end always justifies the means. When it comes to guns, they have their "guns are the problem" story and they stick to it religiously.

The Left is motivated on all fronts to skirt the truth and broadcast their doctrine.

In the Parkland case, the media framed a group of smart, charismatic kids, who, being kids, loved the chance to be rock stars, without ever realizing that they were tools in the whole scheme — and don't balk at the term "rock star." It's not hyperbole. The group is currently on a 70-city tour, the "March for Our Lives: Road to Change."

From the start, Hogg and his classmates proved impervious to criticism. They actually thrive on it — painting themselves as victims of gun rights advocates has become part of their foundation. Using these children as representatives, the media was able to push a gun-control narrative, and accuse critics of verbally abusing children anytime that narrative was challenged. Where, then, should we redirect our gaze?

For starters, there's the mass killer himself. Since 2010, police had been called to the killer's home 39 times. Multiple requests were sent to the Broward County Sheriff's Office to have the killer's cache of rifles taken away. Online, he posted pictures of bloodied dead frogs and said things like: "I wanna shoot people with my AR-15" and "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." In another post from his now-deleted Instagram account, the shooter posted a photo of a bullet-riddled target and the caption: "Group therapy. Sometimes it works." The killer had been expelled from the campus he would eventually terrorize and teachers were told to remain alert. Even the FBI had been warned. The agency received important information about the killer but chose not to follow up.

The school district, the Broward County Sheriff's Department, the FBI — all failed to stop the killer.

The media has portrayed the killer as a product of Trump's America when in reality, he is a shining example of incompetence at every level short of the office of the President. The school district, the Broward County Sheriff's Department, the FBI — all failed to stop the killer.

It's no secret the Broward County Sheriff's Department has conducted themselves poorly from the very start. The day of the killing, police from nearby Coral Springs arrived at the school to find officers from Broward County hunkered down behind their squad cars outside the school. According to news sources, the Coral Springs officers have expressed resentment toward the Broward Country officers "about what they perceived to be a dereliction of duty."

Then there's the car. No, not the Lamborghini (which turned out to be on loan from a local dealership, in 2014, for a Toys for Tots charity). I'm talking about this car — or, more specifically, this tweet:

The car, like most repurposed police cars, is more than likely a confiscated car, meaning the department did not spend taxpayer dollars on it. The issue here is more about how tone-deaf the tweet is. And, honestly, given the Department's record, they probably should've gone with a Prius or even a scooter. Or, better yet, they could've auctioned the car off and donated the money to a meaningful cause. Maybe even just wait until a year or so had passed, then get back to tweeting like a teenager again.

Although, in this case, a tweeting teenager, Kyle Kashuv, made far more sense of the whole ordeal with his criticism of the Broward County Sheriff's Department:

Most recently, we learned about Andrew Medina and David Taylor, two security guards at the school who could have prevented the entire killing, but chose cowardice instead. One of the guards, Medina, saw the killer approaching the school and failed to phone in a code red.

"I'm telling you I knew who the kid was," Medina told investigators. "Because we had a meeting about him last year and we said, 'If there's gonna be anybody who's gonna come to this school and shoot this school up, it's gonna be that kid.'"

Regarding the killer's threat, Taylor said the same thing: "Not only me, but all of our security personnel. I would say everybody [knew]."

Yet, upon seeing the killer approaching the school in military gear, Medina radioed Taylor, who briefly encountered the killer, then huddled to safety in a janitor's closet.

To make matters worse, Medina had previously sexually harassed Meadow Pollack, one of the victims of the killing. He'd asked her out for drinks, so aggressively that she complained to the school. A report on the matter notes that she and another student "became so uncomfortable with Mr. Medina's comments and actions, they sought out different routes to their classes in an attempt to avoid him."

Why has the media largely shrugged off or ignored new details surrounding the killing? As facts continue to emerge, we gain a fuller picture of the tragedy that occurred that day, and the myriad mistakes that brought it to life. Yet the media has chosen to depict the shooting as strictly a gun-related issue.

No one is pursuing truth — everyone is just persuing victory.

It wasn't the guns — it was the combination of a mentally disturbed teenager, with city, county and school district corruption. But in order to cover their own backsides, public officials were eager to cede the spotlight to the photogenic Parkland students, who in turn provided the media with the holy grail of anti-gun propaganda material.

In the words of Sun Tzu:

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

From gun-control to border-control, the nation's over-the-top rhetoric has reached an unsustainable level. No one is pursuing truth — everyone is just pursuing victory.

Now, outside the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, Trump supporters are throwing feces at people like monkeys. I can only say "monkeys" here because I'm talking about Republicans. I'd be a racist if I said that and it was Democrats flinging poop.

At what point does this rhetoric spill over into civil war? It would be easy to do with 400 million guns out there. Even then, God forbid, it wouldn't be guns causing the war, it would be the people. Guns didn't cause the Civil War in 1861 either.

If we're going to survive, we have to stop all the instant outrage and ground ourselves in principles and in the truth.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta was confronted at CPAC by The Federalist reporter David Marcus with a valid question: "When are you guys going to start covering Cuomo?" His answer — or, really, lack of an answer — perfectly demonstrates why he was earlier surrounded by CPAC attendees chanting, "CNN sucks!"

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere react to a video clip of the exchange with Acosta, as well as the mainstream media's double standards when it comes to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Left's latest move — canceling six Dr. Seuss books due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity. And now, school districts are jumping on board after President Joe Biden seems to have dropped Dr. Seuss from the White House's annual "Read Across America Day" proclamation.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn argued that deleting books is the perfect example of fascism, and asked when we as a country will finally realize it.

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?"

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Beck don't agree much on policy, but they're in lockstep on principles.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Tulsi spoke with Glenn about one of her last acts in Congress, introducing the "Protect Women's Sports Act," which she says would "strengthen, clarify, and uphold the intent of Title IX to provide a level playing field for girls and women in sports." But since then, the Biden administration has gone in the opposite direction, and has supported allowing biological men to compete in women's sports.

Watch the video clip below to hear why Tulsi took a stand for female athletes:


Watch the full interview with Tulsi Gabbard here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Later this week, former President Trump will attend CPAC and give his first major policy appearance since leaving office. Sources close to the President reveal he will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

The future of the GOP is a question that demands real discussion before elections in 2022 and 2024. Right now, I can see three possible answers for how you act:

  1. Those in power and senior positions will ignore the reasons behind Donald Trump winning in 2016. They will be vindicated in their minds because they outlasted him, as they view DC as a job for life. These leaders will go back to business as usual and seek forgiveness from the left, hoping for unity and acceptance in the future.
  2. The second outcome is another section of the party that is understandably very angry over the left's Presidents treatment. They still support and believe in Trump. They think it's time to take off the gloves and treat Biden/the left exactly how they treated Trump.
  3. The few policy positions offered in public will be centered solely around opposing the left. They will also make the case how the left suck, are dangerous, and how you need them in power. The next four years are merely a countdown for Trump to run again and right the wrong of 2020.
  4. The third outcome is very similar to the second, but with one key difference. While they appreciate everything Trump accomplished while in office, they feel it's time to unite behind another candidate.
Question

Which of these three positions will work best for the American people? Which helps built a political base for elections in both 2022 and 2024?

If you seek to help save America, it is critical to do some soul searching. Whether you love or hate him, Donald Trump got 75 million votes and made advancements in key demographics. What did he do well that you can develop further? In what areas was he poor, and how can you improve?

I want to raise six principled points everyone on the right should be forced to consider in the run-up to 2024.

1 - Understanding American Exceptionalism

FACT: America is an exceptional nation. If you read enough of world history, you will find ample evidence that America acted in ways that made it unique and significantly different from other countries in the past and modern times. These reasons must be understood and promoted through the culture and body politic.

One of those reasons is the layout of your Declaration of Independence. If you look around politics today, you will see people on all political sides telling you what they hate, why the other side is the enemy, and how they must be defeated.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also made that case against the English when he listed 27 grievances against the King. So how is the layout key? It took Jefferson 357 words to get to those grievances. Your Declaration is your mission statement: it tells everyone in the world what America aspires to be. It states the belief that all were created equal, all had certain rights that come directly from God, and that it is the government's job to protect rights -- not give people rights.

The left is successfully painting everyone on the right to be a terrorist who enjoyed the Capitol Hill riots. If you ever want to win another election, it will be critical to explain what you stand for to the American people.

After all, ask yourself which makes you the most passionate to vote - removing someone from office or voting for a vision and change you believe in?

2 - The Constitution

Is there a better place to start this vision than the Constitution? Yes, it is mostly ignored today by those in power and is only referenced by politicians and media when it fits a narrative.

The Constitution is a beautiful and complex document but is primarily based on a straightforward principle. The government should be extremely limited in its power, but it should be as close to the people as possible where there is a clear need for government. Who can argue with this principle?

Who wants someone they have never met, dictating how they live their life?

This is why the Constitution grants the President no real power, and gives Congress 18 clauses of power, listed under Article 1, Section 8. Any and every power not mentioned there belongs at the state level.

3 - Finances

The power structure in DC has changed many times over the last twenty years, with both parties having the opportunity to rule the different federal branches. There have been two periods where one party controlled all the power in DC:

  • 2008-2010: Obama / Dem
  • 2016-2018: Trump / GOP

Despite these changes, your government continually grows, you continue to spend money you don't have, and in ten out of the last thirteen years, you have added over $1,000,000,000,000 to your national debt, which now sits just under $28 trillion. Does this seem sustainable to you? Of course not, but sadly your finances only get worse.

America has revenue of over $3.2 trillion every year, yet DC has not passed a budget since 2008. Can you imagine any business running that way? Do you think Apple, Amazon, or Disney have a budget? It is time to get America on a path to financial sustainability, work towards a balanced budget, and explain to the American people how you will achieve it.

4 - Taxes

Do you remember discussing taxes during the Tea Party?

We used to make the simple moral case to the American people: any money you earn is yours, you should use it to plan your life, and the government has no right to take it from you. This was so successful around 2012 that Herman Cain ran for President with one primary policy: the 9-9-9 plan.

If America is to return to prosperity after Covid, lower taxes and a simpler tax code must be a central theme.

5 - Cutting Government

Look at the size of the US government in 2021. Are you happy? Can you name the numerous departments? Is it now the freedom-loving Americans' position that agencies like Education, Energy, EPA, and Commerce are constitutional bodies of government and are well-run?

How about the IRS, which targeted Tea-Party groups under President Obama? Do they deserve support, or is it time to start sharing a vision of the departments that should be abolished?

This principle used to be a big part of the Conservative platform. It played a massive role in 2012 when Rick Perry ran for President. His campaign was destroyed in 45 short seconds when he could not remember the three agencies he would abolish.

Maybe it's time to refresh this debate but change the parameters. How about we discuss the agencies that should be kept?

6 - Bill of Rights

Today, the Bill of Rights is under constant attack. The far-left/woke mob hates free speech, and they seek to cancel anyone with an opposing view. However, the attacks on the Bill of Rights don't always come from the left.

America has a second amendment that guarantees you the right to bear arms. The last time the GOP held both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they banned bump stocks - but who really NEEDS a bump stock?

As the years have passed, some have admitted they are open to red flag laws. Is this still the case?

While the second amendment may be under attack, it is clear the fourth amendment is dead. Regardless of which party holds power in DC, the NSA is given continuous ability to spy on Americans. The simple, principled case from Rand Paul of "get a warrant" always falls on deaf ears.

The Bill of Rights should be a unifying document for most Americans, as the principles are self-evident and a significant part of any freedom platform going forward.

Conclusion

America will face significant challenges over the coming years. As the government continues to grow, the far left get more hostile, and central planners seek a great reset. If you share my concern, then now is the time to forget our tribes and ignore the debate on who should be President in 2024.

It's time to work hard to build a platform by raising a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. We must share a clear vision to the American people of a bright future where they are free, prosperous, and can pursue their happiness.

When the platform is built and successful, people can identify the best candidate to run in 2024.

"First, you win the argument, and then you win the election." — Margaret Thatcher

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe