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Brian Anse Patrick

Thursday, July 1st, 2010
One of the main reasons the rightto carry concealed firearms movementhas become so popular andprevalent throughout the UnitedStates is because the gun communityhas learned and become adept atusing new forms of communication,maintains Brian Anse Patrick, theCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month for July.“In developing his ideas, Brianhas shown people in the gun rightsmovement how we have overcomeelitist media opposition to some ofour legislative objectives and, byimplication, how we can expandand increase this effectiveness,” saidJohn M. Snyder, CCRKBA PublicRelations Director. “He also warnsthe Second Amendment communityabout possible future pitfallswhich may befall our movementfrom elitist forces. He certainly ismost deserving of the Gun RightsDefender of the Month Award.”Patrick is Associate Professor inthe Department of Communicationat the University of Toledo inToledo, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. inCommunications Research from theUniversity of Michigan. He teachesundergraduate and graduatecourses in research methods, groupcommunication, propaganda andpersuasion. His honors seminarson “Propaganda and Social Science”and “American Gun Policy” rankas the most popular courses in theUniversity’s Honors Program.Dr. Patrick is the author of “Riseof the Anti-Media: In-Forming theAmerican Concealed WeaponsMovement.”In this study Dr. Patrick explainshis thesis regarding the developmentof communications strengthby the pro-gun movement, particularlythe right to carry concealedmovement.For years, the general distribution ofinformation and opinion on firearms,gun control and related matters hasdepended on a top-down, or verticaltransmission by classes of interpretativeexperts, or persons in control ofmass media operations, most of whomhave been part of or loyal to an elite,an anti-gun elite.In more recent years, though, withthe development of new forms ofcommunication not dominated by theanti-gun elite, such as that availablethrough the internet and throughspecial interest publications like newsletters,there have arisen a numberof horizontal interpretative communities,or special interest groups, orpro-gun communities. These communitiesare able to communicateamongst themselves and throughoutthe general public and able to displaceto a certain extent the dominance ofthe information dispersal system bythe classes of interpretative expertsoperating in the vertical manner.It is this change which has madepossible the transformation of gunrights interests from being generallyfrowned upon to being generally accepted,appreciated and even extolled.As Patrick wrote, “concealed carrysucceeded because its proponentshave largely bypassed traditionalmass media news systems. Althoughthey may employ traditional massmedia to complement their informationalstrategies, they by no means relyon them. Their victories have comeabout because they have developedtheir own formal and informal communicationsnetworks and alternativemedia, especially, more lately,computer-mediated communication.These anti-media have, in the longrun, as demonstrated by current politicalreality, proved more effectivethan the more loosely-targeted massmediated,top-down informationalstrategies of their opponents.”He warns, though, that anti-gunmedia elites “may well react withtheir own version of the College ofPropaganda. Entertainment, educationand news media may symbolicallyintertwine as never beforein vertical communications. Alreadyone can see how news media, massentertainment, and large organizationspseudomorph horizontal computer-mediated communications,creating chat rooms and web pageswith comment options and otherforms of participation that are builtto stimulate or siphon off the true associationaland conversational urge.Overorganization may indeed win;human laziness, stupidity, and cupidityall weigh in on its behalf. Elites areelites usually for good reasons, beingsmart and adaptable. But when massdemocracy relies on interpretativeelites to inform the populace, it isthese interpretive elites who reallycontrol, not the people, but alwaysin the name of the people.”Brian is a Civilian MarksmanshipProgram (CMP) distinguished pistolshot. “I just love those hardball1911s,” he says.He recalled that his father “ownedand operated a small machine shop.My father was quite the sportsman,loved to deer hunt. We spent muchtime in northern Michigan, andbuilt a house for a hunting lodge.I still hunt there and also still haveand use his rifles, and have someof my own to boot.”