Dear Mrs. Watts,
You don’t know me. While I routinely engage you on social media, I have yet to get a response. In all honesty, that is fine. I do, however, have two suggestions for you. The first is related to your group’s members, and the second is related to your group’s disorganized message . . .
#Gunsense… That’s an interesting word. I’m not really sure what it means. I doubt even you could provide a partisan-free definition. The only definition your website provides is a laundry-list of every failed gun control proposal that was put forward following the Sandy Hook shooting. But it doesn’t really matter what it means, I guess, as long as you get your hordes of motherly minions (read: 10,200 followers) to press the re-tweet button and express their digital outrage (something I’m sure you learned from your time as the Public Outreach Director at Monsanto).
The social scientists say that the utility of social media in political activism can’t be understated. As you well know, these platforms allow activists across the globe to unite and turn digital outrage into tangible results. Some believe that the platforms’ limitations (character limits, single pictures, 6-sec. videos, etc) produce a sort of brevity that can actually hurt constructive political dialogue. While these limitations might be a hindrance to other organizations, you’ve found a way to actually harness them for your own benefit.
You see, when you represent a group that is as riddled with ignorance as Moms Demand Action, 140 character limits and witty little hashtags provide a nice safety net for your fatuous followers. After spending much of the summer visiting your Lemonade Stands and talking to many of these “Moms,” it became plainly obvious that the vast majority of your members know absolutely nothing about firearms.
To the average ‘Mom’ in your group, firearms are something to be feared. Just like cavemen feared fire and the explorers feared the world being flat, your members are dreadfully afraid of firearms. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly reasons to fear guns. Others might mock hoplophobia as an irrational fear, yet I am sure that there are people in your ranks who probably have first-hand experience to legitimize their fears. Their fear is completely rational and thought out. But to go back to the lightning analogy: just because someone got struck by lightning doesn’t make them a meteorologist, nor does it teach them the science behind fabricating lightning rods.
Over the course of the summer, I attended a few of your group’s Lemonade Stand protests. By attended, I mean I stood out in the heat for a few hours, trying to reeducate the public after the hefty dose of #nonsense that they got after visiting your table. Each time I did this, I was met with your organization moving mountains to try and get me arrested for distributing patriotic literature in public.
It seems that your illogical lemmings have an insatiable hatred of the Second Amendment that is only surpassed by their hatred of the First. Your cronies borrowed one of your social media tactics and tried to “block” anyone who disagreed with them and tried to get them removed. But unlike the rules of an internet message board, you can’t silence your critics in real life.
That’s another one of those pesky ‘constitutional rights’ we’ve been enjoying for the last 266 years.
When your ‘Moms’ were informed by the police that the first amendment afforded us the right to free speech in public, your members took advantage of this newly discovered liberty and reminded gun rights supporters that they “hope [our] children get shot.” Between these ill-wishes and the repeated chants to repeal the second amendment, it was obvious that I wasn’t going to make any friends at one of your protests.
The calls for the death of my unborn children notwithstanding, I still felt compelled to engage your group’s members in dialogue to try and understand their positions. Unfortunately for me, I left many of these conversations feeling dumber than when I entered them.
If you are going to have your ‘Moms’ protesting for universal background checks, you should, at the very least, teach them what exactly a straw-purchase is.
When I described the process in depth to one of the Moms, explaining how these illegal transactions are done behind closed doors, she responded, “that is why we need more background checks.” I then tried to use the manufacturing of methamphetamine as an example, showing her how purchase limits on cold syrup do not stop drug dealers from hiring “Smurfs” to go from store to store and inconspicuously buy the cold medicine anyway. This analogy only served to confuse her more. Your members make so many illogical leaps, it is impossible to have a substantive conversation.
Whether you know it or not, you have some extremely vile members in your ranks. It is very bad for your public image to try to get your opposition arrested for exercising constitutional rights. I know that respect of the constitution isn’t your organization’s forte, but it would be beneficial to, at the very least, teach your group about the First Amendment. We can work on respecting the Second Amendment later…
When your members do learn about their constitutionally protected right to free speech, you should inform them that while they might be permitted to do so, it is counter-productive and callous to wish death and disfigurement on the born and/or unborn children of the opposition.
I would suggest that you ask your members to take a look at the anger they harbor within their own hearts. Contrary to what President Obama might say, disagreeing with you does not mean that we want more children to die. For some reason there is a prevailing notion in both parties that political disagreement somehow legitimizes personal hatred. Within your organization, there is an understanding among your members that anyone who supports gun owners’ rights is a despicable person.
For the sake of our political system, this hatred needs to be stamped out.
My second suggestion for you is to hone your message. As someone who follows your organization on Facebook and Twitter, it is plainly obvious that Moms Demand Action has a serious message problem. While you advocate “Gunsense,” every one of your posts seems to belie your anti-gun agenda. Make no mistake, your ideal America is one without guns.
One of your group’s greatest “successes” is convincing Starbucks to change its stance on gun possession within stores. Really? You are claiming victory for convincing one of the most liberal companies in America to adopt a liberal point of view? Quite frankly, I was surprised to learn that Starbucks allowed concealed and open carry for so long. While you may be surrounded by ignoramuses (seems misspelled, but it’s right), I know that you know exactly what you’re doing.
I disagree with you on all fronts, but there is no doubt that your organization has seen limited successes. Having your benighted followers regurgitate sciolistic soundbytes was able to convince Starbucks, one of the most liberal-leaning corporations in the country, to ask customers to pretty-please not bring guns into the stores. You can call it a huge victory all you want, but the fact remains that you convinced a liberal company to adopt a liberal policy. Not a huge victory there… ( read Starbucks Still Neutral On Guns )
Putting aside the Starbucks campaign, there is only one general theme for your organization’s message: you hate guns. That’s your prerogative, but I think it is wrong to blame an inanimate object for decades of failed policies and societal decay.
Your most recent media campaign is related to the statistic that 9 women are killed every week by intimate partners. That is certainly an unfortunate statistic, but the only solutions you seem to promote are 1) more background checks and 2) less guns in the home. Granted, stricter background checks might weed out potentially abusive significant-others, but without a history of abuse, these checks will do nothing to stem the tide. Also do not forget that Women are responsible for 40% of all spousal murders. No amount of background checks can stop a wife from murdering her husband.
Your call for less guns in the home is equally ridiculous. You are correct to mention that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Ironically, October is also National Home Security Month. This is important because every week, over 5126 Americans are victimized by violent home invasions. While alarm systems and guard dogs are useful tools in protecting one’s home, there is nothing better than meeting a home invasion with the threat of force. For every woman killed by an intimate partner, there are 570 other victims of violent home invasions. Anyone who suggests that those home invasion victims would be safer without the means to defend themselves is a damn fool.
Your problem is that you are so driven by a fear of guns that you will use any story or statistic to prove your agenda. Every headline represents another opportunity to push for gun control. But you must realize that our world is not worse-off because of guns. Our world is riddled with violence because evil and hatred is an unfortunate part of the human experience. You can ban guns all you want, but you cannot ban the evil that drives deranged individuals to inflict massive amounts of harm on innocent people.
If you are willing to cease your crusade against inanimate objects, I would be more than happy to discuss viable ways to combat the violence epidemic plaguing our society. Decades of democratic policies focusing on dependency over independence, societal decay, a failing War on Drugs, and the destruction of the traditional family structure are all elements that are contributing to violence in our society. But fixing these problems would require original rational thought.
Unfortunately, you have instead chosen to repeat Mayor Bloomberg’s talking point’s and blame an inanimate object for the actions of animate individuals. That’s a shame.
About Max Mcguire [via ammoland.com]:
Max McGuire is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Villanova University. He graduated from Boston College, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Arabic Studies. Follow him on Twitter @SanityPolitics