There can be only topic this week. Guns.
Of course, that’s not true – there’s also the Mueller Russian interference indictments, Trumps continued exposure as a Greek morality play, the current real Swamp of Washington newbies, the fall from core beliefs as a nation of immigrants, DACA, America’s decline as a world leader in climate change initiatives…. And the list goes on and on. Yet, there’s really only one BIG issue that we must find a way to keep at the forefront while not reneging on other fronts.
There are already blogs and pundits out there stating that a ban on assault weapons won’t stop mass killings. That’s likely true but is a false argument. Sure, people can still be killed en masse with grenades, nuclear strikes, bombs dropped from airplanes probably even with assault bows and evenually with one well trained Jedi with a light sabor. The point is not to stop any one thing ever, but to decrease it substantially, make it far less rather than more likely to happen, and to have sanity in policy making.
Let’s be honest.
- The flu vaccine doesn’t stop all outbreaks of flu. It’s still recommended for people with heart disease or the elderly
- Free public education doesn’t result in all kids graduating from grade 12. It just makes it more likely.
- Providing sex education doesn’t decrease all incidents of unwanted teen pregnancies, but it decreases the incidences.
- And, decreasing access to assault weapons will save lives. Not all, but many. One life saved would be worth it. Many is worth it even more
The key to the debate is to stay on topic, not assume nothing will ever change and stay focused well past each crazy, horrible event. There are so many who question that if nothing changed after Newtown, when would it ever? Now.
One New York Times headline has already dubbed this the Mass Shooting Generation. This generation is only 0-4 years away from voting. Keep calling them that and ask yourself how you expect them to vote each next time around.
- Thinking With a Mother’s Heart and The Core of Ambitious Change on The Crone Diary
- Gun Control: Why The Domino Theory Doesn’t Apply, an older post on this blog.
- A Mother’s Fear Post-Sandy on The Atlantic.com
In the 2004 book What’s The Matter With Kansas, state native Thomas Frank discusses why working class America so frequently votes against its own best interests. Sadly and telling — in Europe, the book was retitled What’s The Matter With America?
I’m betting today’s Mass Shooting Generation is smarter and wiser, and I trust they will vote quite differently both in state and federal elections – both the kids of Parkland, Florida and the also aging-ever-closer-to-voting age kids from the 2012 Newtown Elementary shooting.
Don’t get dissuaded by the discussions on the need for increased mental health care. That goes without saying, but is an ancillary point of fact. The real need is for a reinstatement of mental sanity in public policy – on the macro level – sane gun policies and yes let’s start funding individual micro-level mental health services as well.
10 Little Hinge Action Suggestions (way more than normal, but more is required):
- Join RegulateAssaultWeapons.org, a pro-Second Amendment group that believes assault weapons deserve a category of their own.
- Check out WAGV.org – Women Against Gun Violence
- Read up on the successful policy changes in Australia. After Australia’s Port Arthur massacre in 1996, policies changed and not only have mass shootings disappeared, but homicide and suicide rates have also declined.
- Watch your language and learn from the Pro-Life debates. Don’t be against gun control. Be for sensible gun legislation or assault weapon sanity. Don’t be for gun regulation. Be against gun violence. It’s all the same, but words matter in changing the debate.
- Get the book The Second Amendment: A Biography written by the president of the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU’s law school. It details the history of what is considered the most misunderstood section of the Bill of Rights.
- Write your congressional legislators to reinstate the Federal Ban on Assault Weapons that lapsed in 2004. Let them know you don’t want them to have any more “lapses” in judgement.
- Check your state’s gun laws and, if needed, write and lobby local state legislators, governors and officials. The link takes you to a quick Wikipedia review state-by-state of current laws.
- Create tipping points: Use the #endgunviolence anywhere you desire and keep it trending.
- Adopt the term Mass Shooting Generation whenever it makes sense.