Well, I hope too many more tens of thousands of people don’t have to be murdered until ‘society comes around,’ whatever that means (from what I’ve read, the influence of gun enthusiasts and the NRA on the congressional election process far outweighs their proportion of the population and doesn’t align with gun-control poll responses).
Part of the problem is that many of these proposals are flat-out stupid. Banning any assault rifle with a “pistol grip” is asinine. Unless you meant to ban just about every firearm manufactured after 1930, you’re just wasting everyone’s time. Proposals like this just fuel the idea that the gun control people don’t know what they’re talking about.
It seems to be by school district. We have a district here, mine, that allows weapons now for teachers. It happened around Sandy Hook I believe, and made news.
That’s exactly what will have to happen. Sandy Hook didn’t move the needle, at least not visibly. That means we’ll need more and perhaps worse before anything really changes (as hard as that is to imagine).
That’s fucking awful. But until we have a bunch of single issue gun control voters in this country, the NRA’s outsize influence will continue. You can’t change that by introducing bills in Congress. That only provides fodder for the NRA’s “Dems want to take your guns” fearmongering. Hell, there will be a Dana Loesch TV spot up on this bill within a week.
Whittle away with reasonable, smaller things. Don’t go full on Assault ban. For example, I think having licensing / training requirements so people know how to handle & store firearms safely would drastically reduce a lot of the accidental gun deaths that occur.
Of course this has it’s own problem because 95% of the gun owners I know don’t want any list of any guns they own because THEN THEY’LL COME FOR MY GUNS. But I think this is a reasonable place to start.
Assault Rifle type of bans are just going to be met with too much resistance and while it’s been said ad nausea, semi-automatics fall largely into this group. You’re not going to get people to give up those, so just quit trying.
The solution is to make reasonable changes once you hold power.
Don’t campaign on those issues.
It seems like so much of the sensible advice endlessly doled out to Democrats is blithely ignored by Republicans, who keep winning.
Because it’s not a symmetrical issue.
Folks on the left care about gun violence, but they aren’t going out specifically to vote based on the promise of passing gun control. You may think they should, but they don’t. Gun rights affect the everyday lives of folks on the right., who actually own firearms… it much more abstract for folks on the left, other than the folks directly touched by gun violence.
So by allowing the narrative to become that, you focus on an issue where the right wing is able to rile up their voters, while the left’s enthusiasm is muted at best.
Instead, you campaign on something like healthcare, where the rightwing is no longer really able to leverage it as a galvanizing topic, but it’s a major issue that affects peoples’ every day lives. THAT is how you get elected.
Well, sometimes you don’t know if a topic is galvanizing until you try. I wouldn’t have thought someone could surf to the presidency on the promise to build a stupid fucking wall, but here we are.
Anyway, the cognitive dissonance that occurs on the left after every high-profile shooting – a couple of days of “SOMETHING MUST BE DONE… NO MORE EMPTY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS RITUALS” followed by a subsequent chorus of “Myeh, it’s not time yet, let’s not piss off the righties too much” – is approaching Scanners-head-splode levels at this point.
But again, it’s a matter of abstraction.
For republicans, the ACA was at one point a galvanizing issue. Why? Because it impacted every person. And in 2016, it was hugely played up as the cause of things like skyrocketing premiums (even though this was false). Everyone was feeling this. This made it effective.
And now, that same issue can be leveraged by the democrats, because folks have realized that the changes the GOP said they wanted to make, would actually fuck them over bad.
This issue is powerful, because everyone deals with this, every day. It is concrete.
Gun violence simply isn’t, for the vast majority of people. That’s why the outrage surrounding a mass shooting doesn’t last. It doesn’t impact you directly. You aren’t a victim of gun violence. We generally live in an extremely safe society. Once you move beyond the abstract, there’s nothing there. There’s no concrete impact on your life. This is not a real issue.
But gun ownership? For a lot of folks on the right, they actually own guns. In rural regions, everyone owns a gun. So the idea that you’d take them away would actually impact them personally. Again, it becomes very concrete. So then it becomes a real issue.
Few things are more abstract than an impractical wall meant to keep out immigrants who aren’t actually taking the jobs Trump’s voters would like to have.
But you know what, fine. Let’s continue to play it safe so as not to upset the snowflakes and their guns, as if a single-issue gun voter would at this point vote Democrat anyway. In that case, let’s also stop talking about it. Personally I’m fucking tired of all the chatter. Let’s accept that we live in thrall to a bizarre death cult that only exists in this one developed country, and that once in a while our friends and kids will have their heads blown off, just as once in a while they’ll get catapulted through the windshield of a car.
Then Wayne LaPierre and his grisly menagerie of ghouls will have truly won, but at least the rest of us will stop having to sling bullshit around the airwaves once a month before retreating to pusillanimous ‘pragmatism.’
Death cult, indeed.
The wall wasn’t why folks voted for Trump. Some of them did, sure, but it wasn’t really what did it.
There were certainly a bunch of racists who liked that talk, and racism and xenophobia are very real things. Those are things which directly impact folks’ daily decision making.
It’s not about necessarily getting their votes… it’s more about not giving the far right an issue that they can use to motivate their voters.
And once you take power, then you can implement reasonable policy.
Railing against guns during the election GETS YOU NOTHING.
And what has the last 20 years’ supine posture accomplished?
If you’re saying that racism wins elections but appealing to the common welfare doesn’t, then we might as well just admit that
Hoo boy, Gordon, do I have some bad news for you.
Hey, if everyone wants to descend into dead-eyed despair and cynicism I’m right there with ya. Let’s just not pretend it’s hard-nosed pragmatism.
You need to appeal to the common welfare in a concrete way.
Here’s the deal… no one wants to say it, but I’m gonna say it:
Mass shooting aren’t a fucking big deal. Seriously. They don’t fucking matter.
You aren’t gonna die in a mass shooting. You aren’t gonna get shot by an AR-15. The same goes for everyone you know.
Obviously this isn’t true for literally everyone… but it’s true for damn near everyone. We live in an extremely safe society. Gun violence isn’t a thing that you are likely to encounter. It’s not a real issue.
In contrast, healthcare impacts you and every single person you know.
Appealing to the common welfare is great. Do that! But do it on a concrete issue, not an abstract one.
You aren’t gonna die in a car crash either, but somehow seatbelts became mandatory.
I know people are more passionate about guns than seatbelts, but that’s because our culture is fucked. So: how do you unfuck the culture?