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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 08:37 AM

The DUer asked - "How, specifically?" As in - What Can We DO (to force changes in gun laws)?

The answer goes back to Perception Management. Managing public opinion so it can be harnessed for genuine change, for the benefit of the greater good. The time is NOW to act. To do something ("DU something!"). To turn a terrible national tragedy into something positive for the greater good - of the entire country. Yes, even for the gun nuts. The time is NOW to build an historic and eternal legacy for all those souls lost in that Connecticut school massacre on Friday. NOW is the time to ensure that those beloved victims did NOT die a senseless death. Their loss will not be in vain if we do this in their memory. For the good of ALL of us.

NOW is the time to storm Congress - AND YOUR REPS' REGIONAL OFFICES - with emails, tweets, Facebook posts, cards, letters, phone calls - WHATEVER KIND OF COMMUNICATION YOU CAN COME UP WITH. Get. The. Word. OUT. THERE.

NOW is the time to do likewise with your Senators. BOTH of them. I don't care which party. As Michael Moore and others here have pointed out - the NRA and gun apologists are on the defensive at this moment, and you're not hearing squat outta them. They're temporarily in hiding. All those voices speaking up now and mewling that "now is not the time," including that jackass White House Press Secretary, couldn't be more wrong.

NOW is the time to do likewise with the White House, and storm the switchboard and the mail room and the email and website contact points.

NOW is the time to storm the newspapers - print and online - and news magazines and online outlets with comments urging change.

NOW is the time to try to call in or tweet or text on talk shows.

NOW is the time to post on the MSNBC website, the individual shows, their Twitter pages and their Facebook pages.

NOW is the time to overrun and outshout the NRA and all gun-apologists, and push against them HARD. We may never have another opportunity to make a dent in this problem! Hell, we regulate CHURCHES before we even begin to touch gun "rights."

NOW is the time to put them on the defensive. And hit 'em HARD, RUTHLESSLY, AND WITHOUT MERCY. For example, anyone who speaks up about how their precious fucking gun rights can't be compromised, then it should be put straight into their faces the following framing: "SO. You're saying that YOUR right to have unfettered, unrestricted, free-and-easy access to your precious guns is MORE important than those innocent children's lives and keeping them safe." "SO. Your right to have free and unlimited access to murder devices overrides the right of our kids to go to school in the morning and be safe and assured they're gonna be alive by the end of the school day." (SERIOUSLY. Go draconian! Go outlandish! Go to extremes!) "So basically, if you're insisting that we can't possibly toughen gun restrictions, then, YOU'RE SAYING YOU'RE OKAY WITH THIS. YOU'RE SAYING THAT THESE MASSACRES ARE OKAY AND NO BIG DEAL. That IS what you're saying when you're clinging to your gun 'rights'. You're saying that it's NO BIG DEAL IF THESE MASSACRES KEEP HAPPENING. So what is it, then, just 'the cost of doing business? Is THAT it????" SERIOUSLY. Put them on the defensive. Make them have to defend this shit. Make them have to explain how their precious gun worship is more sacrosanct than those children's lives - demand that they explain themselves to some of those grieving mothers and fathers!!!

NOW. The time is NOW. If we wait - yet again, for the umpteenth time after umpteen gun massacres and murders - until emotions quiet down and the mourning period is past (yeah? When is THAT???) - then you start getting eaten by ants.

Then the naysayers come out and start chipping away at the resolve that had built up to make definitive changes.

Then the "yeah, but" crowd steps up and takes over and sucks all the oxygen out of the public discussion.

Then the folks with all the "well, you really can't... blah-blah-blah fill in the blank here" concerns, like this woman I know who kept coming up with this "devil's advocate" shit about how you can't do this or you can't do that or this won't be possible or that will be unworkable start rearing their ugly heads. Then you're drowning in talking points and counter-arguments and hand-wringing that's designed to shoot down and defeat any zeal toward addressing this stuff and getting something done, once and for all.

It's a multi-pronged approach. I say we rub their noses in it. REPEATEDLY and RELENTLESSLY. Put them on defense. Force them to defend their attitude that their fucking guns are more important than keeping our children safe in their own schools! Force the cheapskate tax haters and avoiders to explain why they must keep taxes low and continue cutting mental health programs and the funding thereof. This is really broad-based. There are MANY MANY aspects to this issue, and many directions from which to come at it, and many different solutions to the multiple aspects of it. And we have to look to them all.

But most important? TIMING. SEIZING THE TIME WHEN IT COMES. SEIZING the opportunity. Put this tragedy to use - so that we actually might have a chance to prevent them from happening again. I have yet to meet or hear or read the comments of ANY mom or dad of a murdered child who DOESN'T say some version of "I want to do everything I can to make sure this never happens again - to ANY other mother and father!" Let's ALL take up that mantle and wear it like body armor.

And if we don't gain any ground on one part of it, then go find a weak spot in another aspect of it and tackle THAT. I REFUSE to believe that all doors are closed, all windows are barred, all gates are locked, and all minds are shut regarding conquering this issue.

Basically, WE have to become like the radical right-to-lifers, or the ALEC people, or the network of schemers hellbent on ANY way to destroy unions or the right to vote. Notice how many different ways they've gone about their objectives? Notice how many different ways they find to attack and undermine? WE HAVE TO START DOING THAT, TOO!!!

I keep thinking back to the sensei at our neighborhood karate school. He was a champion kickboxer and sparring ace, and he constantly told us - "keep 'em busy. Keep 'em busy." Never stop jabbing. Never stop looking for an opening. Never let up. Keep 'em busy. He even told us about one fighter he knew who injured his arm in a match. All he could do was jab. His opponent was uninjured and could throw kicks and punches of all kinds. But this guy wouldn't give up. If all he could do is jab, he just kept on jabbing. Never let up. Kept 'em coming. Kept 'em coming. Unrelenting. He rained jabs down upon the opponent. They just kept coming and coming one on top of the other, as fast as possible. And he actually won the match.

That's the approach we have to take. Because we're up against an opponent with UNBELIEVABLE capability to throw kicks and punches of all kinds.

It's LONG past time.

(From original thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022006557 )

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Reply The DUer asked - "How, specifically?" As in - What Can We DO (to force changes in gun laws)? (Original post)
calimary Dec 2012 OP
calimary Dec 2012 #1
calimary Dec 2012 #2
calimary Dec 2012 #3
Savannahmann Dec 2012 #4
yellerpup Dec 2012 #5
calimary Dec 2012 #11
yellerpup Dec 2012 #12
Jeff In Milwaukee Dec 2012 #20
calimary Dec 2012 #21
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #6
Bake Dec 2012 #7
calimary Dec 2012 #10
Bake Dec 2012 #13
calimary Dec 2012 #15
ellisonz Dec 2012 #8
calimary Dec 2012 #9
Canuckistanian Dec 2012 #14
calimary Dec 2012 #16
calimary Dec 2012 #17
duwizrd Dec 2012 #18
calimary Dec 2012 #19
calimary Dec 2012 #22

Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 01:48 PM

4. Kick now, will kick again later


Pfui on the nonsense that we can't change the laws. I eschew the idea that change is impossible. We must change, if we are to survive as a people. It's past time we joined the civilized world in banning the damned guns.

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:04 PM

5. We have to go BIG with this issue.

Let's take scrap guns and turn them into the metal that will rebuild our bridges. Let's hire lots of workers on at a foundry to melt down the guns and turn them into things we need and can really use.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:14 PM

11. I also wonder about some sort of imbedded electronic tracker.

I mean - we microchip our dogs and cats, don't we? We Lojack our cars, don't we? WHY can't there be something imbedded during the manufacture of guns (which, unfortunately we will not be able to stop) - something that can't be located, can't be ground or filed or chipped off, something where you can't find it on the gun, but that allows that gun to be trackable. What about that? I've found that when people think somebody's watching them or keeping track of them or some such thing, they're often a little less apt to be up to something.

ANY deterrent is better than nothing at all.

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Response to calimary (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:28 PM

12. That seems reasonable to me.

Don't think you could get the arms manufacturers to do it voluntarily, but it would be a chip in the armor.

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Response to calimary (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 05:04 PM

20. I recall several years ago...

There was a technology that basically rendered the gun useless unless it was in the hands of its owner. Something like a ring that the owner wore that, when in proximity to the firearm, allowed it to fire.

Did I really read that or was in a movie?

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:03 PM

21. I don't know if stuff like this is real or you saw it in a movie, but it's still a most interesting

Last edited Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:42 PM - Edit history (1)

idea. WHY NOT? Hasn't there been much discussion about cars that won't start if the person who gets in behind the wheel has been drinking? I don't know how far that technology has gone, either. But why not? This is a multi-pronged problem that requires - and DEMANDS - a multi-pronged solution. You have to come at it from multiple directions, using multiple approaches. So by all means bring the electronics into it. Maybe install MULTIPLE fail-safes in every gun. Lojack 'em so nobody's sure where they are to locate and disable them. Vary their electronics so a different defeat process is needed for each one.

YES I KNOW: you won't stop a really determined bad guy. But you sure will slow him down. And you'll utterly defeat somebody else who's a random loose cannon. Would this kid on Friday have been inclined to stop and have to disassemble every gun in the house to find all the little nanos (no-no's?) or whatever. Nobody can know his state of mind in the hours before he did what he did. But I'd guess he might have gotten pissed off and given up. Maybe thrown the guns at the window or the mirror and broken a bunch of glass. What he's reported to have done with his computer, messing it up so badly the professional experts are having trouble recovering any information at all. He didn't want us to know his state of mind, seems to me. But maybe it would slow him down. Maybe it would have rendered him less deadly. Maybe he'd even go to that school and try to get in and then punch a few people, or drive his car through a wall. Would 20 children and six adults be dead now?

The city finally put a stop sign up on a very goofy corner on our street. We neighbors were pushing for it FOR YEARS. People speed like idiots up and down our street. The stop sign doesn't make them stop. But at least they do slow down. Even if only a little! That means maybe an extra second or two that some slow-moving pedestrian or little old lady or kid with a dog will have to spot and evade oncoming traffic. That's all we can realistically ask. It's really an itty-bitty change but it can make a BIG difference over the alternative. It was routine for fast cars to go barrelling up or down the road, too fast to react if some kid runs out into the street after his baseball and forcing moms and babysitters with strollers to almost literally dive into the ivy between curb and sidewalk to get out of the way.

Why can't we apply the same approaches to the gun crisis? AND WHY DO WE FAIL, OR HESITATE, ON GOING AT LEAST THAT FAR? Why should we still have to hear the mewlings of gun apologists with their various objections and complaints? Fortunately, only the few, the proud, and the berzerk can still be heard, like the disgraceful louie gohmert and the reckless rick perry and all their willfully-ignorant friends.

I think we may be starting, FINALLY, to break through that part of it. I've had CNN and MSNBC on while I'm working, and I'm watching the crack slowly widening, and starting to separate some of the more redeemable of the wrong wing and the GOP and the NRA members. Joe Manchin is one (he's a Dem). scarborough. Now this fellow Hogan Gidley, who was with the santorum campaign forcryingoutloud! Talking about how his colleagues need to go forward to discuss things, and be open to change. As though he really had had a knocked-off-your-horse-on-the-way-to Damascus moment and he was now seeing things very differently. He referred to the Friday morning school massacre as a pivotal point that led directly to his own personal change of heart. AMAZING. Just AMAZING.

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:10 PM

6. K & R. Also...

Cool Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/446541958741931/

PM me if you'd like to be added. Sounds a little hippie-ish, but we've been posting petitions, suggestions, and ideas. Very active.

ETA: Consider "liking" Occupy The NRA. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-the-NRA/570721479608299
The Occupy people were *incredible* in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, going into the un-sexy neighborhoods where poor people were trapped without power, water, access to food for weeks. They organized pumps, generators, food, transportation. They get shit done.

The idea is to take this HUGE. And we can, but we have to communicate.

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:43 PM

7. You said, "unfettered, unrestricted, free-and-easy access to your precious guns "

Straw man and you know it. We don't have that NOW. Nobody here is arguing for "unfettered, unrestricted, free-and-easy access."

If you want to win the argument, argue honestly.


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Response to Bake (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:55 PM

10. No, Bake, actually I don't know that. From every conversation I've had with

gun apologists - this is inevitably where they go. Absolute insistence that their access to firearms is sacrosanct - granted by the 2nd Amendment and shalt not be impinged upon, in any way. No compromise, but a lot of "...from my cold dead hands" stuff. Slippery slope, and all that. It's no straw man at all. It's the default position they always go to, at least from my own personal experience. They'll support regulating churches, and among the males, regulating their own penises, before they'll even consider accepting any such thing for guns. As a matter of fact, they tend to go WAY overboard and start down the road of "if there'd been MORE guns, we wouldn't have had this carnage 'cause the bad-gun-guy would have been stopped by all the good-gun-guys." Which most realistic people would see is just completely nonsensical.

I don't think many people HERE would argue for unrestricted access to guns. You're quite correct about that. But beyond DU, it's out there. Perhaps I've just found myself in arguments with people you're fortunate not to have to deal with or stumble over too much, Bake. And more power to you! But I've found that I might as well be talking to a bunch of M.C. Hammers - all singing "You Can't Touch This."

But I intend to fight for this from EVERY and ANY point of departure I can think of. I'm going at this from every way I can think of.

Blessings to you, my friend!

The best thing is that we're all talking about it actively again, not just here but all across the country. This issue has come back to life after a long period of dormancy because nobody thought there was any point in bringing it up because restricting access to guns was always a nonstarter. Not anymore!!! This issue is back on ACTIVE, HIGH-PRIORITY mode.

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Response to calimary (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:43 PM

13. Oh, yes, I know there are people out there who argue for NO restrictions.

But the fact is, we have restrictions now, and we're certainly not going to go backwards on that. I thought you were referring to the argument here on DU. My apologies for misunderstanding.

I suspect you and I disagree on what's needed in re: gun control. But I still count you a friend and hope you do likewise!


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Response to Bake (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 07:27 PM

15. Oh yeah!

We probably do disagree. I'm turning fairly draconian on this issue, I'm afraid. But I still love you!

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:44 PM

8. To echo Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln: NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 06:55 PM

14. K&R

Enough is enough. There are no more excuses.

Great post.

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:36 PM

18. We must stop acting on symptoms and deal with the root cause ~

~ and purge them from our society.

Sure, we can play the skull and crossbones game of pitting one person's politics against another but that just continues the game that's already afoot instead of changing the rules and playing field to create a new game. That root cause is FEAR which must be replaced by COMPASSION for our society and our world to have a sustainable future. FEAR cannot stand in a heart with COMPASSION. So, start teaching compassion in your schools asap and in a dozen years produce a new generation of humanity. State of the art programs exist for making it a required and teachable competency.

http://goo.gl/8q3QC Stanford program on teaching compassion
http://goo.gl/EEvMK National Institute for Health on compassion

FEAR is just another way to say GREED (fear or lack and losing) vs faith and reliance on ABUNDANCE (sufficient to all needs). FEAR drives the many gun purchases, i.e. the more guns I have and the more powerful they are the safer I am from intruders, invaders, zombies, etc. Arms give me power so I can exercise control and dominion, exact revenge and retribution, and offer protection to those who cannot protect themselves. FEAR also drives all efforts for protection, power and control. Using fear to fight fear just continues building a fear society. So, fighting the gun lobby in the legislature is not the solution. It's like wrestling a pig. you and the pig may enjoy it, but you just get dirty and the pig is always ready to go another round. This is a pig that must be put to rest or the wrestling will go on forever.

With state of the art systems, compassion can soon be measured with no less accuracy than a lie detector, suggesting it could be used as a requirement for purchase of a firearm. Perhaps we'll see licenses issued at AAA after a brief sit-down with a resident representative of the NRA volunteer who acts as a responsible co-signer.

For more insight see the full post on this topic, here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022009691#post43

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Response to duwizrd (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 05:01 PM

19. Welcome to DU, duwizrd!

Glad you're here. You reinforce a good point: this is a MULTI-pronged problem and demands MULTIPLE solutions. We have to approach this crisis from a few hundred different directions. This is definitely one of those, but it's more systemic. I was going to say it's longterm as though this is the only angle that's longterm. Quite the opposite! ALL of these solutions and approaches are important for the longterm. I see no need to build sunsets into a lot of the legislation that's being proposed. Maybe all of it, but it depends on the individual bill. This is a more profound aspect of the problem, and it's going to take many decades to refine to the point where most of us (at least within DU and others of like mind) would prefer. You describe a very necessary wholesale change of mindset, a shift in the national zeitgeist if you will (and if you wish to sound excruciatingly pompous! ) .

There's a whole revolution in mindset that needs to happen. Maybe THIS is the kind of thing the Mayans were talking about. This SHIFT. This tilt. I've heard some pro and amateur analysts and speculators hypothesize about the upcoming 12/21/12 date is a shift of the Earth's axis, a magnetic shift. Maybe it's a whole mindset shift. A paradigm shift. In which case I believe we're living it at this very moment. Maybe it's all vibrational, or metaphysical, or some such thing.

Look at what's going on around us. Did any of us actually envision a day like this - when talk of gun control - as in the NEED for gun control - is THE subject of the day? When despite an avalanche of money and a media/propaganda machine mightier than any we've ever seen, we kept the black guy in the White House, four states went for legalizing or otherwise protecting marriage equality, two states went for pop legalization, and California voted to increase taxes for education. And then a month later, we're talking about the need and indeed the DESIRABILITY of gun control. When did any of us realistically expect the tide of public opinion to turn the way it has? I'm just stunned. Good stunned, that is. Not bad stunned. Hell, just a couple of days ago I saw some graphic on Facebook, or maybe it was here, too, with a slogan-type message that ended with "the 'hippies' were right." As I said, good-stunned.

We've had a generation or two who've been spoon-fed on the concept that the liberal worldview was wrong in every way and with every label and adjective. That becomes what they believe when they reach adulthood. It's what they see as their mission if they go into public service. I'm looking at government officials who may be my age or a few years younger - who are having their eyes opened almost forcibly by the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. That Joe Manchin guy is speaking about it as though he just never even dreamed that easy access to guns would lead to stuff like this, stuff this bad. Joe Manchin wouldn't even have entertained such a notion before last Friday.

It is VERY dreadful that it took an epic catastrophe like the gun-massacre of 20 children and their teachers to provoke this change of mindset, this awakening, this shift in the conventional wisdom and status quo. It's a seismic shift, for sure. I think we're honor- and duty-bound to make it a good shift, a positive one for the greater good. There are 20 innocent children and teachers/school administrators who paid for this, in advance, with their lives. And they're OWED. BIG-TIME. We owe it to them so that their lives, their sacrifice, won't be wasted.

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Response to calimary (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:31 PM

22. Another idea to throw in, too: Full disclosure, linkage, and accountability.

My husband came up with this one. In gun and bullet manufacture, serial-number everything. At the manufacturers' level. EVERYTHING. EVERY part of every gun and rifle of every sort, make, and model. And all accessories and every component and part and particle therein. Let that allow for traceability - back to where that gun or rifle or bullet or component or accessory was sold. Doesn't matter how long the chain of custody was, or whether it was stolen. Trace it back to the gun shop or broker or gun show booth. Do we not also hold bar owners and bartenders and party hosts responsible if somebody drinks too much on their premises or at their gathering and then goes out, drives drunk, and injures or kills somebody? Don't we have that law in place? If it's localized, then to hell with "states' rights." It needs to go NATIONAL. ALL 50 STATES. NO WIGGLE ROOM. Same rules for EVERYBODY across-the-board. NO EXCEPTIONS. On an issue like this, we can't allow for a legislative crazy quilt. Those guns, devices of death, do cross state lines, after all.

The objector or "devil's advocate" will say - Oh, but you'd have to find and replace ALL THE GUNS EVERYWHERE and that just won't happen, totally impractical, can't be done, so why even start down that road and blah-blah-blah. Well, being ruthlessly realistic about it, that's correct. You won't get everybody to get in line and hand in their guns out of the goodness of their hearts, just because it's the right and moral and noble and selfless thing to do. A few might, because their consciences and/or their small children started bothering them about it. But the majority won't so why even go there. In other words, do nothing and just give up, shut up, and go away. And pay no attention to that gunman behind the curtain. We're not set up to be able to achieve the whole pie.

But how 'bout a piece of it? Could be small, but it could also be big. Big enough to make a dent and a difference maybe? Or perhaps you'd rather see nothing done at all? Perhaps an empty pan with scattered crumbs in the bottom is good enough?

So maybe you start with a gun swap, or gun trade-in for some other such thing of value or a no-questions-asked dispensation. Then you're apt to get a LOT of guns manufactured before this new serial-number law was implemented. No, of course you won't get them all, but you'll get a LOT of 'em. You play the odds here and you gain more than you lose. There'd be that many fewer guns out there in circulation that couldn't be seriously tracked.

A deterrent, perhaps. And I think that's a good thing. The sales and brokerage and acquisition of guns 'n' ammo is taken far too lightly. THESE ARE NOT TOYS, OR COOL THINGS TO HAVE AROUND THE HOUSE OR SHOW OFF TO YOUR FRIENDS. THEY ARE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH. DEVICES DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO CAUSE MURDER AND MAYHEM. You shouldn't be able to just walk up to your local Walmart counter or gun show and casually point at the merchandise you want. It should be a far more serious business and treated as such, with all kinds of heavy penalties hanging over heads on all sides of the transactions, all the time.

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