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When Wayne Lapierre gave his “press conference” a week after the massacre, my initial reaction was that it was bizarre. I immediately wrote a blog post & videoed a CNN iReport titled “NRA’s Wayne Lapierre Press Conference–Love Your Children? Then Arm The Schools (VIDEO Commentary)” stating as much. In the post I said that

The cynic in me believes that Mr. Lapierre’s speech is intended to stoke a subliminal message in the psyche of the American citizenry, to further create armed regions, schools, hospitals, grocery stores, etc., and with that increase the gun business at large. In effect, use this tragedy to plant messages that if it pays off, will payoff big with a frightened population looking for protection at all financial or social cost.

The day after thinking about how such a powerful well-oiled machine like the NRA would have such a bizarre “press conference”, made me go back to the drawing board. I wrote a blog post titled “Experts Say NRA Wayne Lapierre Press Conference A PR Disaster–MAYBE NOT” that asked,

Was the national speech disguised as a press conference given by Wayne Lapierre on Friday really a mitigated PR disaster? Is it possible that after a week of silence and likely meetings with scores of media experts and pollsters that a well-funded Right Wing organization like the National Rifle Association would make such a PR blunder?

The NRA knew that it would have a large audience, likely the largest it would have had to date. It knew America was scared. Most importantly it knows the success of repeating a message irrespective of its validity or veracity would metastasize like an uncontrollable cancer. In fact later I described the speech as follows:

Make no mistake, that speech was well designed. It reminds everyone that there are legal violent games including one with the name “Kindergarten” in it. He reminds everyone of movies that make the killings at the elementary school seem like just another violent event in a violent world. He reminds everyone that what we deem precious and important is protected with guns including our President, our banks, our Congress, and much more. He then makes the callout. If we care about our children, should we not protect where they are most of their waking day?

In other words, he laid the ground work of an active solution, a now solution, that wild, wild , west solution we have been led  to believe would work. One would think with all the evidence out there that the armed is not generally protected from another armed killer, this thought process would be moot. The Texas DA that was killed in Kaufman, TX made it clear he was armed. He carried a gun with him at all times. Yet, it was not enough. What is shameful is that the media and politicians have failed to stress this point to educate a complacent citizenry. There is a volume of information and corroborative data to counter the NRA.

Public support has fallen for gun control by 10 points (from 57% to 47%). Those favoring strong restrictions have fallen from 52% to 43%. Many pundits are now accusing the president of not sufficiently engaging and moving quickly enough as if the president ever had the power to move Senators and congresspersons that have no care of public opinion. Judging from the fickleness of just over 50% of the population and their short memories, just maybe, Harry Reid is correct that on this issue, he should not go out on a limb. The NRA & Wayne Lapierre will likely win again.



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Originally posted to ProgressiveLiberal on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  I will not give-up n/t (9+ / 0-)

    If you are against sane gun regulations then by definition you support 30,000 deaths a year by firearms.

    by jsfox on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:13:36 PM PDT

  •  The Cynic In me KNOWS you're right... (14+ / 0-)

    but not for the reasons you state.

    They're simply shoveling more money at the right people.  The people who program the shows, and who make the polls, and who make the laws.

    The Idealist in me says:

    Fuck that.  

    I will continue to fight the NRA and their ideological proxies with all the power at my disposal.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:15:27 PM PDT

  •  Messaging has nothing to do with it. (19+ / 0-)

    The NRA is a lobbying organization backed with big money and the GOP is 100% corrupt, while our Party has to contend with a significant level of corruption.  The American people overwhelmingly want fewer guns on their streets; less powerful, less rapid-fire guns among them; and more accountability and transparency for those who choose to manufacture, buy, sell, and possess them.  If we remain committed no matter how great or how little the apparent short-term progress, we win - period.  

    Going faster miles an hour, with the radio on.

    by Troubadour on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:15:57 PM PDT

  •  Last week (5+ / 0-)

    at UCF a gunman was planning on outdoing the newton massacre. Luckly his roommate called police and they caught him right after he pulled the alarm to round up the slaughter, so he shot himself instead.

    If you think there wont be dozens more like this between now and 2016, you might be smoking from Aqua buddah bong water.

    If anything, a bill should be drafted, put on the floor and filibustered. Then when the next slaughter takes place. Pull out for a vote.

    If anything, they should just take the 1934 law, and add assault weapons to the list of automatic weapons and sawed off shotguns instead.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:19:48 PM PDT

  •  The only question is "Will we finally get through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, oldpotsmuggler

    to our elected leaders before we have another mega-tragedy that dwarfs Newtown? "
    This isn't over.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:27:44 PM PDT

  •  Whatever happens legislatively at the Federal (8+ / 0-)

    level, there are already wins in NY, Colo., and soon Conn.

    In addition, the spotlight is on the NRA and the extreme gun supporters who came out of the woodwork to show the world how out of step they are with the country. And the issue is not going away - 2014 is right around the corner and gun safety is going to drive dems to the polls.

    Already we are seeing healthcare/medical researchers begin to put out repots on gun violence and new research is sure to follow.

    I am guessing Obama has a few more tricks up his sleeve, including commissioning a Surgeon General's report on the public health crisis caused by gun violence.

    And, with the three amigos publicly forced to filibuster even a debate about gun control, there's no doubt in anyone's the GOP is joined at the hip with the NRA. That act is essentially spitting on the graves.

    •  You need to take a serious look at your definition (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robobagpiper, Canis Aureus, FrankRose

      of winning.  With the possible exception of CO, the states you routinely mention are already in your camp, having some of the most onerous and draconian gun laws in the nation.  Passing stronger laws in those regions is not a sign that your winning the hearts and minds of people nation wide.  Most pro-2A groups have written off these states along time ago and commonly refer to them as the Peoples Republics.

      CO is a bit of an anomaly, largely regarded as happening because of migration from CA into the cities of Denver and Boulder.  The legislative actions in that state have also created a real rift along the urban/rural divide that is going to present a challenge.

      Furthermore, before  you start calling victory even in places like NY, you might want to watch how the courts spin.  We've got a little over two weeks before the courts in NY strike down the safe act unless it can be proven to pass constitutional muster.

      Also consider IL, which by summer is likely going to go shall issue with very generous concealed carry laws.  Yes, (sarcasm) "the NRA was defeated" (/sarcasm) in Crook Cook county which has a slipping strangle hold on the rest of the state that has vastly different views.

      •  noway2, the simple fact that we are even having (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Friend

        this discussion is reason enough to celebrate victory.

        When we look back 10-20 years from now this period will be remembered as the beginning of the end of the NRA's hold on this issue.

        Please keep responding to these posts - that's the point, keep the discussion going.

        •  By all means, I want the conversation going (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrankRose

          My state is finally looking like it will adopt:
          1) constitutional carry
          2) eliminate prohibitions on carry in schools
          3) establish a parking lot rule
          4) allow people with permits to carry in schools
          5) removal of several other Jim Crow era prohibitions

          Had this conversation not been in the spotlight, it likely wouldn't be at the forefront of the political agenda.

          It would be better if these things were being pushed by someone other than the far right.  Unfortunately, I don't think that the D's will fully realize the importance of upholding all rights enshrined by the Constitution until they take a black eye over this issue, though, that is certainly coming.

          •  Great, so the country can have two visions (0+ / 0-)

            of America to choose from - yours and Connecticut's.

            Works for me.

          •  ... and noway, about our previous discussion (0+ / 0-)

            about forcing people to your will (what happened, you never responded?) - here's another example of how your side of the debate tries force its will on people in the crudest of fashions:

            The vast majority of people who came to testify on bills were respectful and considerate, yet there were some who were disrespectful and engaged in loud outbursts. These folks had to be gaveled down and threatened with removal. In the wee hours on the final gun bill in the Senate State Affairs Committee, the audience was downright unruly, so much so that it was only prudent to seek an escort to our vehicles late at night afterward.
            Most disturbing of all was the knowledge that many female legislators, or the daughters of male legislators, received e-mails threatening them with sexual assault by males as a result of the positions they have taken on these bills.
            We have a long way to go before intimidation of females is no longer a tool used by some males to get their way. We may think that the use of sexual assault, or threats of sexual assault, as a way to control women or their male loved ones is something that happens in Third World countries or in times of war, but we have read the e-mails and the threats, and we now know it is alive and well in Colorado. One legislator was told she didn't care about rape victims because she was not attractive enough to be raped, or "serviced."
            http://www.denverpost.com/...

            It's that vision for America v. Connecticut's vision for America.

            Good luck with that.

  •  Polls have consistently found higher support... (10+ / 0-)

    ...for specific gun-control measures than for these generic questions.

    Ask people if they favor an assault weapons ban.

    Ask if they think gun buys should all require background checks.

    When you do that, the results are not 52% against and 47% for.

    As the Center for American Progress has noted:

    One of the most consistent findings in gun polling is that support for “gun control” broadly is lower than support for specific tighter gun laws. One reason is the lack of specificity in broad “gun climate” questions. What do respondents think of when asked whether they support “gun control” or “stricter laws covering the sale of firearms”? Are they thinking about a ban on all guns, including hunting rifles? Are they thinking about preventing people accused of domestic violence from getting a gun at a gun show without a background check and then bringing that gun across state lines? We simply don’t know. This is not to say that a broad question on attitudes toward gun laws can’t be useful, but we should simply understand its limitations.
    Here are questions from that same CBS News Poll you cited:

    Do you favor or oppose a nationwide ban on semi-automatic weapons -- including some rifles, pistols, and shotguns -- that have detachable magazines, allowing them to rapidly fire a high number of rounds?"

    49% favor; 49% opposed.

    "Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?"

    90% favor; 8% oppose.

    Fox News Poll (3/17-19/13):

    "Requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, including those buying at gun shows and private sales"

    85% favor; 13% oppose

    "Banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons"

    51% favor; 47% oppose

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:12:48 PM PDT

    •  The U.S. voters are famous for being (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, jan4insight

      "conserative" until asked actual detailed, issue oriented questions. Then the progressive nature of our society is clearly revealed. And so it has been for decades, but Dems nearly always tend to move to the right at election time.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:33:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Three decades ago... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis, killjoy

        ...we commissioned a poll at my all alma mater to see if it was true that incoming freshmen there were trending conservative. When they were asked to label themselves, they did label themselves more conservative or moderate than students had done 15 years previously in 1970. But when we asked specific questions on abortion, on religion, on race, etc., a large majority gave answers that we classified as slightly to very liberal.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:44:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You know, it seems to me that we disagree on (0+ / 0-)

          this, but that is actually the reason that I've worked (well, off and on, at least) for over thrity years at trying to see a Con-Con happen. Properly done, the final work product will reflect the underlieing politics of the society, and the votes will be there, as should be the case, to effect ratification.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:15:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but the problem is, look at what (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kickemout, noway2, johnel, FrankRose

      got pushed to the front of the line: the ban on assault weapons, the question that got the most tepid response of all of them, "51% favor/47% oppose".

      The universal background checks had massive support, even among gun owners, but the loudest voices (certainly the ones here) wanted the AWB and wouldn't settle for anything less.

      A vast amount of political capital got spent on pushing a new version of the AWB and anyone who questioned the wisdom of this was shouted down as a "gun nut". Good, useful laws got sacrificed so that deck chairs could be re-arranged on the Titanic.

      Now the momentum has shifted. By clinging to something that had almost no chance, and by trying to re-issue an old law that had already been easily defeated by the NRA, now it appears to observers that the gun-control crowd has nothing new to offer but the "same old failed policies of before", so now people are looking at... armed guards in schools, just like the NRA proposed in the first place.

      And the thing that staggers me here is, people are honestly scratching their heads here wondering how this happened.

      The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

      by Canis Aureus on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:28:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I completely agree about AWB and said so... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Canis Aureus

        ...the minute Feinstein stepped up to the microphone. Big mistake. And she was (I've been told) warned to wait until other bills were presented. But DiFi is notorious for not listening to anybody.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 12:44:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Of course the NRA is winning. (4+ / 0-)

    It's not as if it had any opposition inside the Beltway, mind you.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:16:48 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, they are winning (0+ / 0-)

    I knew this was the wrong time. We have a black President. A lot of political capital was already spent on the ACA. Half the country is in full crazyville mode. Don't believe me. . .go to some of the Conservative sites and take a gander. It's sobering, even downright scary.

    Guns are an important issue. Our side is gaining ground. Young people are overwhelmingly Democratic or, at the very least, not Republican. By the next Presidential election, the time will be right.

  •  The NRA may win, but we don't have to lose (0+ / 0-)

    Call the bluff.

    When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

    by Patrick Costighan on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:47:05 PM PDT

    •  Your proposal is an interesting one but NRA won't (0+ / 0-)

      take it. They already won most of what they want anyway. And there are no other gun rights groups with any prominence to replace NRA.

      •  I'll take that bet. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Canis Aureus, FG

        Not only will they take it, but they may actually propose it if they can score a win against the President and Senate Dems.  Perhaps not exactly as I've described it, but they will not pass up a chance to secure for a generation all transfer records beyond the veil of the Fourth Amendment.  That's a Superbowl ring for gun rights activists, period.  If the NRA could come back with this proposal on their terms, and demand more concessions.  One of the reasons I dislike them so much is I expect they're much more interested in grinding an axe with Democrats in 2014 than actually going for gold.  If I were in charge, I'd give an immediate A+ rating to any legislator who voted for all of the following

        1. Mandatory liability insurance
        2. Universal background check
        3. Fourth Amendment protection for transfer records, to remain in physical custody of private concerns (say, for example, your insurer).
        4. National gun and ammunition permitting
        5. Traceable ammunition
        6. Universal reciprocity
        7. Federal preemption of state and municipal law on the manufacture and sale of firearms.

        We could negotiate from there, but as time goes by my list may get longer.

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:58:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do have a problem with federal preemption (0+ / 0-)

          but the rest seems reasonable. I just don't believe that grand bargains like this are possible in the current political environment. I don't see anti-NRA people giving up federal preemption and I don't see how some states will make their permitting system tight enough to fit federal standards required for universal reciprocity. Although that can be dealt with by having two types of permits.

          •  I don't think I'd get federal preemption (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            But it's worth a shot.  I'll certainly trade a minimum standard of fitness for preemption on firearm product regulation and a shall-issue guarantee.

            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

            by Patrick Costighan on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 12:20:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe that a smaller bargain on UBC combined (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Patrick Costighan

              with protection for background check records is possible. The rest is probably too much of a reach for both sides. Unlike with immigration, there is no serious broad-based political pressure to reach a bargain.

  •  What is the end game? (6+ / 0-)

    The Assault Weapons Ban is dead in the Senate. The magazine restriction provision is also dead in the Senate. The Universal Background Check provision is dead in the Senate. All three are DOA in the House. Even if some form of gun control legislation makes it out of the Senate, the House will not even look at it. I do not understand the wishful, magical, thinking that's going on here. Everything even pertaining to gun control is DOA in the House.

    This legislation never had a chance. And no amount of pissing and moaning (or hating me) is going to change that. But continuing this debate will obliterate the Democratic Party in rural America. In the future, we may be able to elect Presidents without rural America, but control of the House and the Senate will always require the rural vote, and the Democrats who live in "the fly over places" believe a bunch of city people are trying to permanently destroy the Democratic Party in every corner of the country outside of a city.

    Let’s be crystal clear on this: Continuing this debate will make rural Republican incumbents bullet-proof (pun intended) at home, and it will crush rural Democrats trying to retain their seats. We are killing the Democratic Party in rural America over a debate that has a ZERO (0) chance of ever becoming law.

    If this keeps up, there is going to be another 1994-style, Democratic House disaster where we lost 52 seats. The Democratic Senators of Alaska, Louisiana, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and North Carolina are toast, regardless of how they vote on the universal background check bill. They are toast because they have not been vocal enough about killing this bill. Stop complaining about Harry Reid. He has been trying to preserve Democratic control of the Senate. But that's a deal undone now, control of the Senate will go to Republicans in 2014.

    I keep asking: what is the end game? Because pissing and moaning on the Daily Kos about how people are stubbornly refusing to surrender what the Supreme Court has said is their Constitutional rights is not a plan.

    •  You have read it correctly (5+ / 0-)

      I too smell another 1994 coming on.  Or at least a mini 1994.  There's no doubt we'll lose the Senate.  So much potential policy work that could have been accomplished has now effectively been sacrificed for terrified and magical beliefs that in the real world would fail miserably in solving the problem of human violence.  I've been a member of this board since early 2004, and I've never seen more palpable, irrational fear-- and its secondary emotion, hatred-- than what's been shown since mid December.  

      Sandy Hook ripped at the heart of all of us.  So did 9/11.  Post 9/11 fear was used by King George and his comrades to take this nation into an illegal and unjust war that killed many hundreds of thousands of people and set the stage for a much wider Middle East conflict yet to come.  Similarly, what has transpired over the past few months has been a strategic political error of immense proportions.

      Democrats, including most members of this blog, will have justly earned their 2014 Waterloo.  What a waste this has been, all to feed destructive fear.  There is no consolation prize for stupidity.

      "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

      by rangemaster on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 01:47:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  2014 will likely be a 1994 moment because of this (4+ / 0-)

      You can poll till the cows come home and despite any polling when you threaten people's liberties, perceived or real, you will get a negative reaction.

      How many people are there, across the nation, a group that is undoubtedly highly underrepresented here in DK land, would consider siding with Team Blue over a whole host of issues go the other way because of this one issue?  One thing that this latest push has done is ensure that remaining silent on gun rights issues is not going to be enough to get support.  Anyone who values the 2A will be very wary.  

      The way forward is obvious.  We need an affirmative recognition of 2A rights for citizens and we need to clearly assert understanding and recognition that citizens with guns do not equal criminals.  The rights of gun owners need to be stipulated clearly, explicitly, and protected.  Part of this process would be obtaining any changes to things like background check requirements, etc.  Things that are punitive in nature, e.g. bans, limits, criminal liability, etc, which will never fly, should never even be mentioned.   Once this is done, the push on gun control / restrictions needs to stop - period.  

      Once the gun control issue has been settled, then perhaps, we can begin to work towards a whole host of other things.  Unfortunately, as long as this one issue is hanging over people's heads, there are a lot of people who won't give the D's the time of day.  

  •  I'm sorry, but I've said it before and (5+ / 0-)

    will get griped at again for saying it one more time-- but the gun control reaction was the same stuff they'd seen before, same stuff they'd defeated before, and same stuff they already knew how to counter.

    Support was high for universal background checks. Magazine limits. Safe-storage requirements. Straw purchase felonies. Those were there for the taking.

    But no, everyone just had to put their money on Black 13, the Assault Weapons Ban.

    The same AWB that was known to fail in the past, was easy to circumnavigate, and was an object of ridicule. The same ignorant clowns who know nothing about guns argued the same talking points and made fools of themselves again. And when everything got tied to the AWB, and it dropped like the turd it was, everyone stood around in the same poses of shock and horror as before: how could it be?

    Conclusion? People are more concerned with outrageous posing than progress.

    Whatevs.

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:21:06 PM PDT

  •  If only we could do like French protesters... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    and throw blood on Lapierre as he walks by.  I'm only slightly joking here.  I'm getting to the point where I've about given up and decided that you just can't fight these bigwigs and win.  When we can't even get universal background checks passed, there's something very wrong.

    Lapierre mentioned making a public registry of the mentally ill, but refuses to do that on gun owners.  It's pretty clear that he cares about no one's rights but gun owners.

  •  Too soon to concede, the polls are not with them (0+ / 0-)

    Just because the media gives them so much attention and declares them "winners" does not make it true.

    They are on the side of death and destruction so why should we let them win?

  •  use their power against them. (0+ / 0-)

    1). Use a blue state with tough gun laws, that still allows citizens the RKBA.

    -Illinois will have concealed carry by June 9th.  Why?  because if they don't they get constitutional carry.  NRA will, not surprisingly, herald the falling of last state without a legal carry option as a win.  Well, maybe not...

    -The Illinois concealed carry legislation is being driven by downstate Democrats.  We can chose to highlight Democrats as defenders of all civil liberties, and try to change the popular conception that democrats are after your guns.  Illinois is weird this way, the party politics in Illinois are the Chicago machine democrats vs the rest of the state democratic party at large.

    -Illinois has has a successful FOID card program since 1968.  This can be used as a federal example of how democrats want to be tough on crime and criminals, but not tough on law-abiding citizens.

    2). steal their thunder.  
    -Beat the NRA to the punch, congratulating Illinois on authoring a carry bill which balances the RKBA with safety concerns by requiring classroom and range instruction.
    -Offer up Illinois 'total package' of gun control as a national standard (universal background checks, the foid card closes the gunshow loophole, and a national registry of owners, and shall-issue carry if you have a clean background check).

    The current rhetoric isn't working.  Polls show it, the history of gun control efforts over the past 30 years show it.  Offer a alternative narrative to the NRA, where a law-abiding citizen's RKBA is safe as long as they are not a felon, domestic abuser, subject of a restraining order, or mentally Ill.  Frame the NRA as, instead, the protector of felons, domestic abusers, and unstable persons RKBA.  

    In short, make them irrelevant. by showing the nation that Democrats 'get it' and want to protect law abiding citizens.

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