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Sat Nov 16, 2019, 07:42 PM

Here's a playbook for defeating the NRA in the wake of the Saugus shooting

The location, Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, is new. But we've been here many, many times before. We've heard the initial spotty reports of a mass shooting. Followed the developments as the victim toll climbs. Absorbed the heart-breaking stories of lives cut short and families devastated. Waited for police to identify the shooter, how that person obtained a gun and what warning signs were ignored.

And we've been here before as politicians mix platitudes with inaction, as they ignore obvious and seemingly apolitical policy recommendations and instead demonstrate fealty to the special interests of gun manufacturers and advocates as people continue to die from preventable massacres.

But we've also been here before: a place of collective outrage that turns the tide, where the toll to public health from some long-accepted practice is so appalling that even the most weak-willed among our congressional leaders (see: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) push forward legislation to keep special interests from killing more Americans.

The country today feels close to the mood of the mid-20th century when attitudes and then regulations transformed the landscape to restrain tobacco companies and polluting factories. Now change will come again, this time to the National Rifle Association and similar forces that have impeded common-sense approaches to ending our debilitating epidemic of gun violence.


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