More on Guns

More thoughts on guns from TPM Reader BF

A new gun shop just opened in my neighborhood. There was apparently a protest there one day, though I only heard about it afterwards, and there has been no activity there since. I’m a registered Democrat, a liberal voter, a donor to all sorts of liberal causes, yet no one bothered to reach out to me and ask for support in protesting this new store, or invite me to come out picket. There may be national groups doing something, but at least in my neighborhood there is no grassroots gun control movement at all.

If people really wanted to shut this store down, we probably could. We’d need an organized and persistent presence. Like the anti-abortion folks, we could picket and harass. We could surround the store with gory images of shooting victims. We could badger the store’s owners and employees at work and home. We could protest and shame the landlord. And so on. Even a small percentage of these things could make a difference. But no one does any of them.

I drive by the NRA headquarters every couple of weeks. There is another symbol, and yet, when is the last time there was any loud protest there either? Even if we don’t want to adopt the tactics of extremists and harass individual stores and employees, how is it that the NRA isn’t constantly surrounded by loud protests? How is it that even in the aftermath of shootings, we don’t see marches there, candlelight vigils, etc.

We can’t expect the politicians to act without any pressure from below. And right now, there is basically none.

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