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riottapes just posted ten good questions about gun control. Here are my answers (and the repeated questions). This started out as a comment, but became rather long.

I think this time could be different. The victims are small children, they are many, and the President has not to worry about re-election. I think gun control advocates could manage to get the national conversation going this time. But we need to not make the usual mistakes. The usual mistakes make us inefficient. They are, in no particular order:

   Selfrighteous indignation.

   Talking only amongst ourselves, not to the other side.

   Refusing to listen to the other side (we need to understand them,
   if we want to have any ability to weaken the unholy alliance)

   When talking to the other side, using arguments that do not make sense from their
   point of view.

This and much more below the orange squiggle.

1. Do you think the Sandy Hook shooting will actually result in meaningful gun control legislation?
Possible. Depends on what the gun control advocates manage to get going. See above and below.
2. Do you think the NRA will roll over for gun control advocates? Remembering, they spent $17M in 2012 alone to advocate for access to guns.
No, they will have to be fought every inch of the way.
3. Do you think Republicans politicians will be honest brokers in any gun control legislation process?
Mostly, no. Many Democrats won't be either. But you can also work with dishonest brokers. Don't harbor illusions about their honesty, don't tell them that they are dishonest (it always makes it harder to get something from someone if they are pissed), and consider their real interests (being re-elected first among them). So if we can manage to change the flavor of the national conversation, that will influence them eventually.
4. If Republicans won't negotiate meaningfully, what's to be done by Democrat lawmakers?
Find a stance which helps gun control and alienates the minimally possible number of people. Even a baby first step would be huge, because it would break a dam. Do not, repeat, do not go for the optimal policy, because I can guarantee that you will not be able to achieve that.
5. Will the White House has the actual strength of will to advocate for meaningful gun control?
Of course. However, strength of will is only decisive in the fantasies of some people here and elsewhere. The White House will do what they think they might be able to get done (that is how they handled it the past four years). It is mainly up to us and other interested parties to change the national conversation about guns in a direction favorable to our desires for stricter gun control.
6. If the White House won't risk it's political capital on gun control, what should advocates do?
Start the national conversation on guns and keep it going (again with the goal of alienating the minimal number of people). That we should do in any case, btw.
7. Why does it take a white kid shooting other white kids to make the nation discuss gun control? Remember that Sandy Hook accounts for 0.3% of handgun murders in America in 2012 (9000) and in 2008 alone, 20,000 kids were injured by guns in America.
This question is a good example of how the progressives should not frame the conversation. Make it about race, and then watch yourself losing the debate.

You do not have to convince black people that they are the disproportionate victims of gun violence. They do know that. And you do not want to get white people less involved because they think gun violence is mainly a black problem.

Also, while statistics is important and indeed essential, here you are using it to dilute the outrage about the Sandy Hook massacre. That is an 'Eigentor' in my language. A self-inflicted wound, as it were.

8. Are you willing to accept things staying the way they are? Or getting worse?
You have always to accept the way things are. Otherwise you are called delusional. You can (and should) work on changing them. But you will have very little success, if you cannot honestly assess the situation as it is. Basically you need to acknowledge the reality to have a chance for a successful path to a changed reality. Lots of people have lots of trouble with this rather simple truth, unfortunately. It makes you rather inefficient, though. And you want to be efficient, hopefully, because that means you change things, the alternative being to feel good about your very superior stance.
9. What ideas do YOU have to fix the gun problem in the US?
My idea is not to have my ideas ready. I think we progressives need to listen to the normal people who vote in the NRA sympathizers. We need to find what drives them and see, whether we can find common ground with hunters, local rednecks worried about communist takeover of the nation etc. And the reason, why we need to search for understanding is that we otherwise will not be able to peel away people from the unholy alliance that is so strong in this country.

Understanding is not accepting, btw. To many people do not understand that. If you are secure in your own values you can afford to see the situation from the other person's perspective. You do not have to be worried to lose your own values.

Finally, one idea I do admit to: Get meaningful statistics and spread them in the normal population. For example Huckabee ('more pray = less murders') can be countered nicely by pointing out that all the godless European nations have much much less homicide per capita than the USA.

OK, one more. Make lists of the usual arguments against gun control - complete with answers (non emotional, factual, easy to grasp, with links for follow up). Disseminate such lists in your community, try out the answers in your personal discussions with the other side, improve the list, rinse and repeat.

10. Should Democrats campaign on gun control in 2014?
Much to early to decide on. First you have to change/influence the national conversation about guns, then you can think about that. If gun control stances can be used to make Democrats lose elections then there is no point in having them (publicly) for a politician. Remenber, you only can influence laws or government if you get elected.

Again, statistics help you here. Who are the most and the least effective law makers in congress? Alain Grayson and Dennis Kucinich are in the second category. That should give you pause for thought.


What is the best way to reduce homicides in the US?

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| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:00:18 AM PST

  •  You can't fix a problem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain

    You can't fix a problem, without knowing what it is. And you can't keep guns out of the hands of murderers, unless you know exactly how they got their hands on those guns. Our national media is not going to report exactly where this murderer bought his guns, when and from whom exactly, for how much, and did he fill out any forms, and was he truthful in so doing? All this information is probably already known to police, or will be known in the next 24 hours, then why won't it be reported in our national media? The same question is asked of the Aurora shooter and his guns, and all the others. Think about it, how can you possibly know how to have kept these murderers from getting a gun, if you don't first know the details of how they got their guns? You have to see a problem in all its details first, before you can solve it.

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain, mommyof3

    Thanks for taking the time to engage with my questions! I really appreciate that!

    •  Hi riottapes, thanks. I feel I have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      riottapes, mommyof3

      to apologize for sort of high-jacking your questions. But I think somebody sees them in my diary and wants to answer them he can follow the link to your diary. And somebody wants to engage my answers he can do it here. So I hope that was ok with you.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:53:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  :) (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously, it's NOT my topic... it's ours... all of ours... we need to start asking hard questions and fast!

        I actually asked you a further question on my page, but can ask it again here:

        What law would you pass that would stop another Sandy Hook?

        These mass shootings are done with legal guns, and really there's nothing but prohibition that would've stopped his mom from owning these guns...?

        Or am I missing something?

        Genuine question!

  •  Following the logic of your diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain

    Let's ask some questions.

    Why would this killer's mother, a kindergarten teacher, divorced, living in a nice community with two sons, need a Bushmaster repeating rifle in her home? What made her feel that need? Or did she acquire the gun for her son or sons?

    If she acquired the gun for protection, did she know how to use it, did she keep it locked up? Was her husband or some other person a threat? From the neighbors description of the family it sounds like the 3 people that lived in the house were fairly isolated. Except for the older son who had a job and fiends. The mother worked at the school where the violence occurred. Did she talk to anyone about her thoughts regarding her safety, her need for a repeating rifle?

    If she bought the gun and made it available to her younger son by not keeping it locked up, why did she do that? Why didn't she feel a need to protect the community, never mind herself? How could a trained teacher not understand that a rifle in a household with a young man whose actions might be hard to predict was a dangerous strategy. His older brother, when informed of his mother's death by gunshot knew immediately that it was his brother.

    Either way,we have a serious mental health issue here as much as a gun violence issue. There are literally hundreds of untreated "troubled" young men and boys in this country who have easy access to high powered weapons. Do we only treat the weaponry? Or do we try to convince gun owners that it is in the interests of their own safety and the safety of their children to keep high powered weapons under some control. That might be a start.

    “The quality of owning freezes you forever in "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we.” ― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

    by Miss Pip on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:49:44 AM PST

    •  Good points. Thanks for commenting. (0+ / 0-)

      I would think that the mental health problems can be reduced, but not eliminated. There will always be undiagnosed people, also you cannot put every schizophrenic under suspicion.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:32:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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