After careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that we must get back to the very basics on this.
The NRA and other gun lobby organizations as well as their ardent supporters have a very simple and to date, effective strategy for dealing with any sparks of reform.
What they do is quickly snuff them out with lies and vilification, fear and intimidation. They might use one of those, or all of those too. The point being to very quickly marginalize efforts to have a rational conversation about gun policy, then turn the conversation to anything else, so long as it isn't rational with regard to gun policy.
What to do?
I have written about this before:
Let me wait here while you give that diary a quick read....
Because the current gun lobby structure is so well established and the topic completely and totally politicized, any advocate or team of advocates seeking specific reforms will face brutal and quite effective opposition.
This means we can't start that way no matter how much sense it makes. What can we do?
Personify the problem. Start to tell personal gun stories, cite undeniable life experiences and seek common ground on two core points of leverage:
1. There are no excuses. How many more people will have to get gunned down before we can start to have a rational conversation about realistic, possible, practical solutions?
2. What are the real priorities? Is the increase in violence worth preserving fundamentalist gun policy? When do people come first? It could be you or me next! Don't we all have common ground on that basis?
From there we begin to tell our stories and we get our friends to tell theirs and we begin to put up a solid wall of hurting people expressing a sincere intent to work together to find realistic, possible, practical, potent solutions to a horrible, growing problem.
Link the ugly in these stories directly to the dead end, head in the sand, gun naysayer absolutists who would die before actually coming to any real acceptance that we have a real problem and that we can work together to fix it.
SCOTUS affirmed personal gun ownership as an individual right. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
I consider this a win for advocates interested in reaching consensus on acting to find solutions to increasing gun violence in our society. For years, the primary thrust of the gun absolutists was simple: The right isn't established, so we've got to defend it tooth and nail, until it is.
Now that it is settled law, we can move to another basic idea; namely, with rights come responsibilities. Here is one sample to consider:
In my State, emergency response people (EMTs) get specialized training so that they are able to respond to emergencies. This specialized training includes access to means, methods and information most ordinary people don't have.
In return for granting people access and entitlements related to being emergency response capable, we obligate them to actually respond! In some jurisdictions, it's a criminal offense to fail to respond when the need arises.
How come we don't require concealed carry permit holders to do the same? If they are granted special training and the right to conceal carry for both their own personal protection as well as that of the society they live in, shouldn't we ask them to formally step up like we do our EMTs?
In other words, if we grant people something for the promise to help, shouldn't we ensure they actually are motivated to do that as opposed to simply taking advantage of special status?
I think so. This leads to the obvious question of how many shootings were prevented by people carrying concealed, and more importantly how many people carrying concealed didn't help, despite being in the right time and place to do so?
The primary point here is to get people thinking about common ground, the negative impact on society and begin to reinforce that rights come with responsibilities. This is true for all of us, and it's about time we start facing that reality with the shiny, new individual gun right SCOTUS handed down recently.
Finally, link the negatives to these people, framed in terms of "no excuses" and "rights and responsibilities", personifying the issue to prevent vilification from taking hold, while at the same time advancing the idea that it's time to quit avoiding responsibility and accountability.
Folks, I'm sick of this shit. If it's not actually possible for us to fix this, I submit we have a failed nation incapable of performing the basic task of protecting the citizens so governed. Since we are the government on a basic level, it is time for those of us who get this to find common ground, tell our stories and unify against those that don't.