We are all heartsick about the murder of all the young, young children yesterday and those who were taking care of them. What can we finally DO to stop this increasing carnage? YES. We need to finally DO SOMETHING. Yes. A national conversation is desperately needed. But I ask you, CAN a public discussion take place while there are groups out there determined to scream over our voices and continue to perpetrate their lies?
NO public discussion on guns and violence and appropriate control CAN take place until the NRA IS DISARMED of their stranglehold on media and legislators. NONE.
To DISARM the NRA MUST BE OUR FIRST PRIORITY.
The NRA is holding us all Hostage to their absolutist view of guns for everyone; the bigger the better. The NRA is a tool of the Rovian/Chenian/Norquist style of politics that basically employs the principles of The Shock Doctrine of creating more and more fear to enable the power grabbers to get elected to continue their plutocratic plunder of our democracy. Fear is an essential tactic in order to herd the masses into voting for the plutocrats.
We have seen in the past election how the Republicans used this tool to try to win; invoking fear in their base with screeds against homosexuals, women, people of color, Muslims, President Obama, unions, the 47% etc., etc. However the most pernicious of these campaigns of fear has been the 2nd Amendment/gun control issue.
Hysterically encouraging people to arm themselves against 'the gubbamint' and 'Obama' who is going to put them in detention camps and take away the guns has been a master ploy in keeping the base frightened enough to be controlled. And as a result contributing to public disorder with the crimes that have increased since the gun ownership 'right' has spread like a libertarian wildfire from state to Alec controlled state.
The NRA, the plutocrat's lobbying and media group, has a stranglehold on this country. It has used the 2nd Amendment to justify basically an almost unregulated possession of all types of guns and made sales of all types of guns very available and easy, regardless of the risk to citizens. Just listen to their media campaign as they employ 'doublespeak' to try to make ownership of even semi automatic weapons as benign as a smartphone. Want one for Xmas?
One of the main ways that the NRA has done this is to tightly OWN the legislators. Democrats as well as Republicans. State and Federal level.
We must confront this issue. I heard so many people yesterday say, 'call your senator, congressperson, etc..' I see the petition to Obama on this site today. Its not that I don't think that these are good things to do, because most assuredly we must have a sane, reasonable and balanced conversation about guns in this country.
But this discussion is FUTILE UNTIL WE DISARM THE STRANGLEHOLD THE NRA HAS ON LEGISLATORS. Period. Full Stop. Done. No one is going to listen to reason while they feel the GUN of the NRA at their heads. Period. Full Stop. Done.
It is a little like trying to have a sane discussion with Republicans about Tax increases for the rich, while Grover Norquist is reminding them of their pledge, with threats of being primaried or worse. No can do.
I am convinced that the most productive thing we citizen activists can do with our rage and frustration and helplessness after Newtown, Ct is to seriously form a group to DISARM THE NRA. Take away its control on this country.
How? Well I suggest that we follow the example of our great activist who has just passed on, Richard Myers (RIP.) What a wonderful example in persistent, patient activism. In my mind his passing has become linked with this issue. It would be a great honor to his memory and his tireless work to continue not only his issue, but to apply his example to a concerted effort to DISARM THE NRA. Show the beseiged legislators that we will have their back while the NRA trains their sites on them. Show President Obama that he has a LOUD populace that won't just slip back into their daily lives after this tragedy. FREE OUR LEGISLATORS.
You can think of it as OCCUPY the NRA. How can we concretely do this? I leave the logistics to those who are far more knowledgeable than I am in the mechanics of activism. Organize marches with the banner "DISARM THE NRA"? Protest in front of their offices? Find out the extent to which our legislators are receiving contributions from the NRA? Push back on their advertising with some of our own? Challenge their absolute statements such as "guns don't kill people, people do," with words that show that idiocy? Run a media campaign against them? Investigate them and all their connections to find out who is funding them and who they fund?
I am sure that there are many on this site with much better ideas than I have.
Of one thing I am certain, this national conversation CANNOT take place until we have DISARMED THE NRA and its absolutist influence. We need to be free from their control to have a balanced conversation and make decisions that are the best for this country.
For the children's sake, let us get off our asses and remove the stranglehold that the NRA HAS ON ALL OF US!
THE LIFE YOU SAVE, MAY BE ONE OF YOUR OWN.