Skip to main content

Pundits and politicians -- who seem to live in a bubble without contact with ordinary people -- are at a loss for ways to stem the epidemic of gun violence in the US.  It's time for ordinary people -- people who go to the movies, work in federal office buildings, and attend schools and colleges -- to put pressure on them to control guns in a serious way.  We have to stop thinking of bandaids and start thinking of real solutions and real ways to apply political pressure.

We need  some creative thinking here.  A few suggestions:

1.  Publicize the number of guns.   There are 312 million people in the US and, according to the Small Arms Survey, 270 million firearms -- almost one for every man, woman and child in the US.

The federal government prescribes standards for signs on the interstate highway system.  Why can't the Department of Transportation mandate signs at every state border saying something like "You are entering Colorado.  There are an estimated _ million privately owned guns in this state"?  That would make people appropriately careful when approaching a citizen of that state.  It would also, of course, call attention to the size of the gun problem.

2.  Go after private armies.  Blackwater (now known as Academi) has a boatload of paramilitary training sites inside the US, stockpiled with weapons.  What's to keep them from turning on their own government if they don't like something it does?  Push the government to revoke their licenses and terminate private security contracts.  The founding fathers may have feared standing government armies, but these privateers are far more scary.  They don't have the right to use taxpayer money to build up their arsenals.

3.  Keep on the offensive.  So what that the US Supreme Court overturned 70 years of precedent and held that the Second Amendment confers a right to buy and own weapons?  

Since when are we powerless in the face of Supreme Court decisions?  The "pro-life" movement doesn't think so.  Let's take a page from their book.  If your state legislature feels strongly about gun control, enact a tough gun ban anyway, and let the NRA spend money challenging it in court.  If it's overturned, appeal.  Then enact the same law again.  Keep doing it until the Supremes get the message.

4.  Attack the real problem.  If the Second Amendment is going to put every citizen at the mercy of extremists and nuts every time they go to school or go to the mall, the Second Amendment is the problem.  It can be repealed, and if nothing else will work, it should be.  I feel bad for sportsmen who would have to establish eligibility to own the one or two hunting rifles they'd like to own, but their hobby can't take precedence over the lives of thousands of Americans who die each year for no good reason.  The Brits got rid of fox hunting; we can get rid of guns and confiscate the ones that are here now.

5.  Go after the NRA.  Although they are tax exempt, they get to engage in lobbying thanks to an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code.  It's time to close this loophole and end taxpayer subsidies for what has become a political adjunct of domestic terrorism.

6.  Presidential leadership.  Yes, Democrats are afraid of being blasted by Fox News every time they speak out on guns, but it's time to stop being afraid.  When a tragedy like the Aurora shootings takes place, the President should treat it like a natural disaster and visit the scene to see the victims for himself. Bonus points if he can persuade Justice Scalia to join him.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site