OxFam’s Twitter Campaign for Gun Control

I noticed last night that OxFam has been on a big gun control kick on Twitter, complete with a hashtag and a petition fundraising page. The last few days have averaged about two tweets a day on the subject, and they get retweets in the range of 6-50+ per post. Of the posts I checked, most were retweeted by international folks or those who are professionals in organizations related to OxFam.

There’s nothing too exciting about the Twitter push, other than the fact that it is rooted in an effort designed to put pressure on President Obama to support more arms and ammunition control from the United Nations. They are creating snazzy little graphics to attract users on Pinterest. There is decidedly less interest on the predominantly female social network, garnering only 2-8 repins, with individual response rates significantly lower than their Twitter efforts. In fact, their attempt to use rather bloody imagery isn’t going over well on a site mostly known for crafting, recipe sharing, and wedding planning. (To be fair, their attempt to use heartstring-tugging imagery isn’t going over well, either.)

One of the OxFam talking points on the subject kind of made me laugh. They claim that arms “keep people in poverty.” Really? I do believe that my guns have managed to keep people gainfully employed. In fact, NSSF even released a study looking at the number of jobs offered by the firearms industry – that seems to be quite the opposite of keeping people in poverty. NSSF’s study should even make OxFam happy to see how much tax revenue the gun industry is generating since they are all about taxing the hell out of the American economy to fund domestic projects of other countries.

The funny thing about the efforts of OxFam and other gun control groups is how they are both demonizing NRA to build support while also saying that domestic gun rights groups simply don’t comprehend the UN arms treaty efforts. Take, for instance, this highlight from an article (emphasis added):

Predictably, the UN negotiations have attracted the attention of gun rights organizations. And that in turn has got some folks on Capitol Hill engaged. For the most part, the fears articulated by these voices are untethered from the actual substance of the negotiations, which will not include domestic arms productions and transfer. …

At the New York roundtable, I had an exchange with Jeff Abramson, who coordinates the civil society effort on the issue. While insisting that NGOs would not support a deeply flawed treaty, he argued that even an imperfect document may change international norms and facilitate domestic steps against dangerous arms transfers.

Got that? Gun rights groups are wrong because it isn’t about trying to control domestic transfers of firearms. However, the hope is that even a weak treaty will create a slippery slope to control domestic transfers.

The sad thing is that just like domestic gun control groups selling false promises of a crime-free society if we would only pass one more anti-gun law, the international groups are handing out false promises to gather names and contact information they will no doubt ultimately use for fundraising. One group has a setup that allows people to auto tweet their “signature” for the petition with a claim that their online click “just set a child soldier free.” No, it didn’t.

It’s all really quite sad in some ways, but far more interesting to observe than the email chains that often transmit the pro-rights information to pro-gun networks.

One thought on “OxFam’s Twitter Campaign for Gun Control”

  1. OxFam is in a position to know better than anyone that most famines are caused not by natural disasters but by governments, usually governments that have disarmed the civilian population. Stalin’s handiwork in the Ukraine is one famous example, but a more recent one is the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s, in which OxFam was involved in relief work. Ethiopia exported food every year during the famine and the relief supplies that were sent by the world were selectively distributed–or not, as the case turned out–to supporters of the Mariam regime. Elsewhere in Africa, I can guarantee you that the victims of war crimes in places like Sierra Leone would have preferred a UN declaration making access to arms for self-defense a universal human right over the belated punishment of the mass murderers and mass amputators we’ve seen in the last couple weeks.

    (Not that it’s entirely connected, but the US would have been much better served in Afghanistan by passing out AKs to local farmers instead of helping the government confiscate them, too, and we’d have a lot more help on hand to stand up to the Taliban.) OxFam’s patronizing attitude towards the people they help makes you wonder if they have any desire or intention of ever creating a world were annual charity relief isn’t the economic basis of many countries.

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