Attitude Change Propaganda: Gun Violence, a PR Executive & Whopping Lies

[Note: This article was quoted by Eric Bolling on The Five – ]

Continuing on with our attitude change propaganda series, put this one in the “how far will they go to lie to you” folder.

If one were to believe the graphic below put out by “Mom’s Demand Action” you would think that the United States is the most violent country in the world…

Moms Demand 20X
However, the hoops one must jump through to get to the 20x number is staggering. If one were to add Americans shot by police, drug gang vs drug gang violence, border violence from Mexico, and Americans killed in war we still could not get near the 20x number claimed.

Tricks such as counting the deaths of Americans by police, during war, or even on D-Day as “gun violence” (after all the Germans used 14 MG42 machine guns to defend Omaha Beach at Normandy) are commonplace when one examines the statistics put out by academics and pressure groups who are given grants to come up with such scarey numbers.

The rather long list at the bottom of this page is the number of intentional homicides per 100,000 as ranked by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. As you can see, the United States is far from the most dangerous country in the world. The United States is average when it comes to numbers that count, in this case intentional homicides. There are 104 countries that rank worse than the United States and 102 countries that rank better. It is important to point out that most of the safest countries are smaller and have a unified culture as opposed to the United States which is huge and is a “melting pot” culturally.

Tiny little Belgium has an intentional homicide rate of 1.7 per 100,000. If we were to take that number and multiply it 20x the United States allegedly should have an intentional homicide rate of 34.0 per 100,000 rather than the 4.9 we have now.

But the story doesn’t end there. The gun violence in the United States has dropped over 49 percent since 1993 (]. Assaults, robberies, and sex crimes are also down 75 percent. While at the same time gun sales have risen exponentially.

How exponential?

According to a recent investigation by The Washington Times:

“More than 21 million applications were run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last year, marking nearly an 8 percent increase and the 11th straight year that the number has risen.”

Let’s put that 21 million number in context. Each time a firearm is purchased, unless the buyer is exempt, the buyer’s name is put through the FBI National Instant Check Service (NICS) database to perform a back ground check. There is one NICS check even if the sale is for multiple guns. Also, in states such as Indiana, buyers who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon are exempt from the check. While no one knows the exact number of guns sold to civilians last year, that number may well be over 30 million in a single year.

What does all this mean? It means that while violent crime and firearm related homicide has dropped dramatically, literally hundreds of millions of guns have been bought by American civilians during the same time period. It means that any claims that civilian gun ownership is the cause of “escalating violent crime” is not supportable by any genuine examination of available data. So much so that recent data tends to suggest the opposite.

Who Is Shannon Watts?

This writer, as a student of mass media theory, is impressed by the production value, top of the line graphics and slick emotional marketing appeals generated regularly by Mom’s Demand Action. The work is impressive even by standards of a billion dollar presidential campaign, but when one looks at Mom’s Demand Action’s FaceBook they tell you that it was started by a concerned home maker from Indiana named Shannon Watts and its leaders are just a few concerned mothers. Oh really?

So who is Shannon Watts and where is she getting funds for top of the line campaign materials as well as the public relations talent to produce it?

Upon doing some digging we learned that Shannon Watt’s real name is Shannon Troughton. Her LinkedIn page shows her long career as a high dollar East Coast corporate and government public relations executive including:

Director, Global Public and Corporate Affairs at Monsanto

Freelance Senior Consultant/Counselor at Fleishman-Hillard

Founder and President at VoxPop Public Relations

Vice President, Corporate Communications at WellPoint

Director, Global Communications at GE Healthcare

Vice President, Corporate and Public Affairs at Fleishman-Hillard

Public Affairs Officer at Missouri State Government

Monsanto stands out as it has been named on multiple occasions as the company with the worst ethics record in the world. Vanity Fair even did a large investigative piece on Monsanto called “Harvest of Fear” and our sweet little home maker Shannon “Watts” Troughton was their chief spin-doctor.

[Editor’s Note: We do not have the space to outline the ethical lapses of Monsanto and quite candidly, explain just how low Monsanto will go and the lengths they will go to destroy little people just because they can. Books, and lots of them, have been written about this. Being the most unethical is not just something that happens, it is a choice and being the worst offender of all takes effort.]

At Fleishman-Hillard she directed a crisis communications team who represented Monsanto, BP Amoco, Bayer Corporation, Firestone, McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Purdue Pharma, Osco, BASF, and Hallmark. She even has a listing in PR Newswire.

In short, Shannon “Watts” Troughton is a ruthless high dollar public relations hired gun.

One does not have to look far to find people Shannon “Mom’s Demand Action” Troughton has smeared. Television and radio star Dana Loesch has been a frequent target of Troughton’s. Among other things, Troughton has falsely accused Loesch of being on the payroll of the NRA and of a gun company called Magpul simply because Loesch has stated that women should be allowed to choose to use a firearm for self defense.

Follow The Money

Shannon Watts with Micheal Bloomberg NYT

Shannon “Watts” Troughton with Micheal Bloomberg

The New York Times, Buzzfeed and others have reported that “Mom’s Demand Action” is a front group for former New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”. Bloomberg has vowed to spend $50 million of his own money to battle the National Rifle Association. NRA certified instructors train both civilians and law enforcement, as well as teach hunter’s safety courses. The NRA also advocates for civilians who choose to use a firearm for self defense.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ efforts have been hamstrung thus far as high profile members have left the organization saying about Bloomberg’s group,  “They’re not just against illegal guns, they’re against all guns.”

Delicious Irony

Dana Loesch attempted to interview Shannon “Watts” Troughton at the NRA Convention to see if she would be willing to correct the record or clarify her previous false statements. Armed guards working for Watts intervened and tried to push Loesch out of the way as Watts made her way to an up-armored SUV with a New York license plate. Erica Soto Lamb, a spokesman for Mom’s Demand Action, confirmed that they use armed guards at public events.

Erica Soto Lamb, a spokesman for Mom’s Demand Action, confirmed that they use armed guards at public events.

[Editor’s Note: Yours truly was banned from Shannon “Watts” Troughton’s Mom’s Demand Action FaceBook page within minutes of posting something challenging on of their claims. Like most hard propaganda outfits, they are not interested in any serious dialogue. Big money interests often create pressure groups designed to give the appearance of being grass roots organizations, but the decisions are always made where the money is, at the top. The creation of fake grass roots groups is often called “astroturfing“.  ]

Just yesterday Shannon “Watts” Troughton told CNN Host Victor Blackwell that “a good guy with a gun has never stopped a bad guy with a gun”. Of course that statement doesn’t pass the snicker test, but it does cause one to ask why she needs armed guards if she believes her own talking points, of course the obvious answer is that she doesn’t, but Bloomberg money spends as well as any other.

UPDATE – Shannon “Watts” Troughton’s list of school shootings includes incidents that were not school shootings (she lied) – LINK.


Intentional homicides rate per 100,000 population via UNODC murder rates most recent year (full table here).

Honduras                                  91.6
Venezuela                                 79.0
El Salvador                               69.2
Ivory Coast                               56.9
Belize                                         41.4
Jamaica                                     40.9
US Virgin Isl                             39.2
Guatemala                                38.5
St. Kitts& Nevis                       38.2
Zambia                                      38.0
Bahamas                                   36.6
Malawi                                      36.0
Lesotho                                     35.2
South Africa                             31.8
Trinidad & Tobago                  31.3
Congo                                        30.8
Colombia                                  30.8
Central African Republic      29.3
Puerto Rico                              26.2
Ethiopia                                   25.5
Saint Lucia                              25.2
Dom Republic                        25.0
Tanzania                                  24.5
Sudan                                       24.2
Mexico                                     23.7
St Vincent & Grenadines     22.9
Guinea                                     22.5
Dominica                                 22.1
Brazil                                        21.8
Congo                                       21.7
Panama                                    21.6
Equatorial Guinea                 20.7
Guinea-Bissau                       20.2
Kenya                                      20.1
Cameroon                               19.7
Montserrat                             19.7
Greenland                              19.2
Angola                                    19.0
Guyana                                   18.6
Ecuador                                  18.2
Burkina Faso                         18.0
Eritrea                                    17.8
Namibia                                 17.2
Rwanda                                  17.1
Chad                                       15.8
Ghana                                    15.7
Myanmar                              15.2
Benin                                     15.1
Sierra Leone                        14.9
Mauritania                           14.7
Botswana                             14.5
Zimbabwe                            14.3
Gabon                                   13.8
French Guiana                    13.3
Papua New Guinea            13.0
Swaziland                            12.9
Turkmenistan                     12.8
Nicaragua                            12.6
Bermuda                              12.3
Comoros                              12.2
Nigeria                                 12.2
Cape Verde                          11.6
Grenada                               11.5
Paraguay                             11.5
Barbados                             11.3
Togo                                    10.9
Gambia                               10.8
Peru                                     10.3
Liberia                                10.1
Nauru                                   9.8
Mongolia                             9.7
Russia                                  9.7
Kyrgyzstan                          9.1
Bolivia                                 8.9
Philippines                         8.8
Senegal                                8.7
Turks 7 Caicos Islands     8.7
Brit Virgin Isl                    8.6
Costa Rica                          8.5
Cayman Islands                8.4
Seychelles                          8.3
Madagascar                       8.1
Indonesia                           8.1
Mali                                     8.0
Kazakhstan                        7.8
Pakistan                             7.8
Moldova                             7.5
Kiribati                               7.3
Guadeloupe                       7.0
Haiti                                   6.9
Timor-Leste                      6.9
Anguilla                             6.8
Antigua & Barbuda         6.8
Lithuania                          6.6
Cambodia                         6.5
Uruguay                            5.9
Argentina                          5.5
North Korea                     5.2
Ukraine                             5.2
Estonia                              5.2
Cuba                                  5.0
Belarus                              4.9
USA                                   4.8

About Chuck Norton

Political issue strategist and communications professional. I write about politics, education, economics, morality and philosophy.
This entry was posted in Communications Theory, Dirty Tricks, Firearms, Propaganda, True Talking Points and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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