Guest post: Let’s politicize the shit out of this

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on No politics, please, we’re here to solicit $$$$.

Here’s what I want someone (well, someone other than me, someone with actual influence) to say after the next mass shooting:

The NRA and its lackeys don’t want us to talk about guns now. They say that would be “politicizing” this tragedy. And I say: yes, it would, and that’s exactly why we should do it.

“Politics” has come to be a dirty word, that brings to mind petty bickering and disingenuous posturing. But that’s not all that politics is. Politics is the means by which we, as a society, decide how to govern ourselves. It’s how we make changes that might prevent or reduce the frequency or severity of these tragedies that have become all too common.

Simply put, politics is the way we can come together to address this problem. The gun lobby knows this. While they’re telling us how wrong it is to “politicize” this issue, they’re busy politicking hard. Already they’re emailing their membership lists, scaremongering their supporters about how any discussion of reasonable gun control means that those crazy liberals are a-coming for your guns, so you better buy some more, and donate to us, and warn your government representatives that you won’t stand for it.

And that’s how they keep winning. Polling data consistently shows that reasonable gun control legislation has broad majority support. Most responsible gun owners don’t object to background checks and prohibitions on dangerous individuals owning firearms. But what the gun lobby counts on is that this broad majority doesn’t vote on this issue. That most people won’t make noise with their elected representatives about it, or donate or volunteer or otherwise get active about it. Meanwhile, their side is showing up. They’re voting, they’re donating, they’re making noise, they’re scaring their elected officials into believing that the safe thing to do is to either do the gun lobby’s bidding, or avoid the issue entirely, which amounts to much the same thing.

Even though they’re outnumbered, they keep winning, because their side shows up for the fight, and they’ve persuaded too many of us that’s it’s wrong or vulgar or undignified for us to show up and fight back.

Let’s stop being fooled or intimidated by this. Let’s put an end to not showing up for the fight and then wondering why we don’t win. Like it or not, “politics” is the battlefield on which this issue will be fought, the weapons are your vote and your voice, and the reasonable, sensible majority has disarmed itself for too long. So let’s politicize the shit out of this. Write or phone your Congressperson, your Senator, your state representatives and Governor to demand action. Attend rallies. Vote for, volunteer for, and donate to candidates who are willing to do more than shrug and offer “thoughts and prayers.” And if you can’t find one, than run yourself or encourage others to.

And when the gun lobby cries foul and demands that you stop “politicizing” this issue, you say: you first!

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