Article on Gun Control Activists in WaPo

This is a pretty decent article by Eli Saslow in the Washington Post that I would recommend everyone read. In any kind of political struggle, you have to be able to put yourself in the mind of your opponents and understand them. You can’t really easily counter your opponents tactics with your own if you don’t understand how they think, and more importantly understand what they are doing wrong. There’s a lot of lessons in here for our side, and the chief lesson is that the tactics you find emotionally satisfying are not always (really not usually) the ones that matter in terms of gaining desired political outcome. Emotional blackmail is similar to open carry in at least one way: it’s a tactic, not a strategy. Waving the bloody shirt will only get you so far.

9 thoughts on “Article on Gun Control Activists in WaPo”

  1. “Emotional blackmail is similar to open carry in at least one way: it’s a tactic, not a strategy. Waving the bloody shirt will only get you so far.”

    By the same token you have to have the common sense not to disparage the emotions of people who are motivated by such arguments, or worse yet, personal experiences. Emotions as motivators are what they are, no matter how much we disparage them as being counter to common sense or reason.

    Anecdotally, a female friend of mine was active with SAS around the time of its founding, but was put off by, and left the group because of, their attitude of (privately?) ridiculing mothers who had lost children to gang violence, etc. My friend correctly observed that a mother’s loss is a mother’s loss, and blaming that mother and dismissing her emotions as beneath respect is not a sympathy-winning strategy with the majority of our population.

  2. I agree that the personal tragedy these folks have experienced should not be discounted. There also comes a time when every death, murder, accident or injury should not result in an additional law, rule, or government mandate.

    That time is now.

    There are thousands of people that will be affected by the deaths of those in car accidents that occur this week. I am guessing that you will not see them trying to make others feel ill, or using emotional blackmail on the steps of capitol buildings in an effort to get the speed limit lowered to 35 everywhere.

    –Matt R.

  3. As an aside…I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child in Newtown. Those parents get a free pass and are off limits for criticism as far as I am concerned. The only thing they are guilty of is trying make some sense, give some meaning to their child’s death.

    Blame Brady and Bloomberg for manipulating them, but there is no need to go after them. (like some bloggers did a few months ago after it was discovered one of the fathers had some legal problems. Who cares?)

  4. I disagree. These relatives are libeling us gun owners with the blood of the victims. WE DID NOT KILL THEM. This is blood libel. I will not give up my freedoms because of the deaths of others. That includes those who died in 911 attacks.

    Many people have died to ensure we can enjoy these freedoms so the attempt to use murder victims to take away the freedoms is disgusting.

    Their grief is understandable but gives them no moral authority to take way m liberty.

    Already my state has instituted treating gun purchasers as criminal requiring us to get fingerprinted to enjoy a right that we had prior to the founding of this country.

    There will be more blood that these murder victims if these gun grabbers continue. Many of us have drawn our red lines. These gun grabbers are approaching that line and creating a situation where others will die to make them feel morally superior.

    That is despicable.

  5. We can certainly feel for their loss, and respect them as human beings. But they need to understand that we didn’t kill their loved ones. We are not responsible. Violating our rights would not have saved them. And it will mean that our loved ones will be in more danger. That’s unacceptable.

    1. I think that’s the attitude yo have to take. These people are grieving. Granted they are doing it in a public way that I don’t really understand, but it’s still the case. If we bring down the war hammer on them, we’re going to look like jerks. They do have to be opposed, but we have to be very careful about how we go about it.

    2. I think we just need to continue addressing the problem objectively, neither disparaging their grief nor conceding anything to it. Acknowledge it respectfully and then move forward with our pragmatic arguments.

  6. I’ve always thought that politicians who champion gun control do it because they are afraid of losing their jobs. It’s simple logic.

    Gun owners tend to vote for republicans
    Young and/or female voters tend to vote for democrats
    Currently, the number of young and/or female gun owners is rapidly increasing
    Therefore, as they start owning more guns, there is a possibility that young and/or female voters will start voting for republicans.
    So, democrats (not being idiots), want to keep young and/or female voters away from guns.
    What’s the best way of doing that? Ban them where you can, demonize their owners and instill fear where you can’t. Which is exactly what they’re doing.

    They don’t push gun control to keep you safe. They push gun control to keep their jobs safe.

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