it's ez to see why it's possible:

the NRA tells a good story with heros and villains.

it's a story everyone knows; it's in every fucking western ever made. btw ever notice how we made like ten thousand westerns and only one or two easterns?

anyhoo, here it is: owning a gun makes you like clint eastwood, you can put down Bad Guys attacking your home, wife and children.

owning a gun makes you like the Founding Fathers, you can fight for liberty if tyranny comes.

this makes you a Man and a Real American.

furthermore, they're top political organizers registering and listing and contacting their adherents at every chance and stirring up THREATS to their members which hav ea basis in reality; in reality many of us, me included, DO want to take away all the guns, obviously.

it's an emotional world and all the facts, ratiocination and wonky wonky policy talk about death rates, japan, accident rates, Australia buy back plan whatever, none of that is effective in loosening the strong dramatic emotive hold this story has on the NRA member.

own a gun, you're an American pioneer. never know when the red man, the black man, the threat may emerge. and there is a historical basis for this story as in fact in many places American pioneers and colonialists were attacked and were in wars with native americans, bad guys, brits and whatnot.

you want it to change, you got to start telling more stories with simple hero villain storylines that make gun owners feel ashamed, what incredible in all this isn't the NRA success but the liberals' inability to understand it -- it's classic politics. the liberals are so irrational thinking that rational appeals should work, how much fucking evidence do we need to see to learn that they do not?

thus guy being nominated is a threat. nra mobilizes, nra delivers, their members feel their cojones, big time. repeat repeat repeat. too bad the liberals don't even try this, for example, they could initiative an immediate raise to $11 an hour right now just about anywhere and simply DON'T FUCKING DO IT. then they could do it again to 13, then 13 etc. and build their own fucking lists but they JUST DON'T DO IT.
#2 makes some valid points, y'all should read if you keep unregistered comments hidden.

To add to that: My red-state in-laws go to their Podunk town's NRA banquet every month. That's where the NRA's political power comes from, and we need to think about that. Every dang month they get the pro-gun folks together and offer them tangible, entertaining things: cheap food, raffles, door prizes, and social fun. You go, and most of your friends are there. And (it sure seems like) nearly everyone wins a door prize of some sort. And they're pretty cool-- the big one is often a gun, or a giant gas barbecue. Stuff that appeals to the rural NRA members.

And this happens EVERY MONTH as far as I can tell. NRA members are welcome to correct me if I'm wrong on the frequency.

Now here's my point: How often do pro- gun safety folks meet to socialize, get energized, and map out strategy?

Do they have the budget to give out door prizes and hold raffles?

Do they reach out monthly and get members, and friends of members, and others to attend?

How often does the northwest Democratic Party membership meet? How many people attend? How many even care?

See my point? The NRA is a populist juggernaut and there's nothing that even comes close to it on the pro- gun safety side. Nothing.

Fix that and you have a chance at steering the debate.
Wayne LaPierre is a terrorist.
It never ceases to amaze me how delusional people are on the SLOG with their gun owner stereotypes.

In my entire life, I'm having a hard time even remembering anyone who fits the description of #2 and #3.

It is true, though, that liberals haven't been getting their gun control utopia because gun owners vote.
They're armed. Cowardly, but armed.
Their power comes primarily from the fact that a lot of voting Americans agree with them. Add that to the cowardly nature of democrat politicians and the successful wedge politics of conservatives, and this type of situation is almost obvious.

Sad but true.
The ironic thing is that members of the NRA, those pillars of independence, are being played by the gun manufacturers. No other industry has carte blanche to make a crappy product without any consumer recourse. My gun fanatic friends are constantly posting messages about avoiding this firearm or that one because of shoddy construction. Once they take your money there is no consumer recourse other than giving them a bad internet review.

With that kind of product liability protection you can virtually sell any piece of crap you want. It mis-fires? So what! It jams? Tough!

But that is how the NRA likes it....
The passion of the modern gun fetishists is astounding. I personally have several friends who will sacrifice almost all other values they possess, political religious left right center, if there is a conflict with the tenets of the cult. There is no interest in compromise of any kind, because not compromising is a core tenet. Conversations sometimes take surreal turns.
Their power comes from the fact that a lot of voting Americans are fucking stupid, willfully ignorant, barely paying attention to facts, scared of their own shadows, and drunk on their biases.
A ban on "assault weapons" is a ban on magazine fed semi-automatics, and that is way out of the mainstream. AR/AK platforms are here to stay friends.
Tl;DR: The majority of Americans support the NRA's position on guns. We've won; you've lost. Deal with it.
#5: The reason why people think all that about gun owners is because gun nuts (not enthusiasts, nuts) say that kind of shit all the time. Go to a conservative online gun forum and you'll see non-stop rhetoric exactly like what they're describing. Maybe if there weren't so many loudmouths proclaiming exactly these beliefs, people wouldn't think all gun owners were like that. It would take me five minutes to dredge up some survivalist nuts talking about their need for protection from criminal dirtbags and statist pigs. I mean hell, even the NRA uses overblown rhetoric all the time.
@5 (CPN) what, specifically, was I delusional about?

I only reported that the NRA holds monthly meetings/banquets and the content appeals to their core membership. Winning door prizes is fun. The swag is good.

I can show you my in-laws' house. There's probably at least one NRA-branded knickknack or tool in every room. Flashlights, holsters, mp3 players, you name it. That shit didn't fall from the sky, either.

Note also, CPN, I used neutral terms. Pro-gun. Pro-gun safety. You started with the 'gun nuts' stuff, and calling me delusional.

So you are the one coming off as unhinged and nuts. Care to continue?
#12: I take great joy in that actually. Anytime a mass shooting happens I can say to myself "ah you stupid fucking Americans reaping what you sow." I love the fact that a serious public health issue can't be addressed because of some abstract amendment in the constitution has taken on religious ramifications with the US public. If there's ever been proof of the obstinate dumbness of the average American citizen, the love affair with guns is it. Yeah, you're right. We lost. The idiots got exactly what they wanted, and the rest of the country just has to deal with mass murder and random accidents/gun violence. The idiots frequently win.
@12: but why should the Senate reject this surgeon general nominee for having opinions that a significant minority of Americans hold? for having the opinion that 80K firearm injuries/year and 30K firearm deaths/year IS a public health crisis? its not like he's advocating confiscation. he's being rejected for the same reason Jocelyn Elders resigned: he's stating an obvious truth that "the majority of Americans" prefer not to hear out loud, because it hurts their precious feewings.

the surgeon general is not the head of the ATF.
This just proves that the gun nuts do not, in fact, give a shit about reducing gun deaths. They're totally fine with gun deaths; in fact, they often celebrate them. Killing is just another fun side benefit of their hobby.

The fact is that the public health approach IS the compromise position. It WORKS; it's worked on seat belts and cigarettes and a hundred other things. But the gun nuts don't want it to work, even though their rights would not be harmed in any significant way.

Ask any gun nut and he has a dozen vague ideas on how to deal with the problem of gun violence, but these ideas are either lies ("do something about mental illness!' they cry, knowing perfectly well that we spend a hundred billion dollars on mental health issues already) or, in secret, deeply racist (kill all the niggers and the problem goes away"). NO GUN NUT HAS EVER BEEN SERIOUS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE, EVER.

This is why gun nuts are accessories to murder.
@12: What? I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the ~80% of Americans who support universal background checks for gun sales. (source)
So, if you oppose assault weapons, should this be legal…

but not this?…
Gun control advocates cannot offer what gun manufacturers offer: immediate access to the visceral thrill of power. A gun makes anyone into a super hero, that is to say a person at overmatch with their social environment. This is exactly why I am in favor of gun control; I don't believe everyday joes ought to be invested with that sort of power. What do gun control advocates offer in place of the thrill of power? Safety? To people in areas that are already safe, relatively speaking (becausr the guns are so often bought in the burbs and used and the city)? What can they do with more of what they already think they have too much of?
It really is a winning argument to consistently say that your opponents are stupid, racist, fantasists and that their beliefs are obsolete and a backward figment of the past.

That approach will surely win them over to your side.
@21: I don't think "winning them over to your side" is an option with 2nd Am. Absolutists, any more than convincing Ken Ham to accept the fact of evolution is an option.

So why not acknowledge the reality of the situation? Dumb, obstinate people are the biggest obstacle this planet has to solving our massive backlog of problems.

People who support gun control are the *majority*. The issue is that they're not riled up enough to make a stink over it. I'd hazard a guess that most Americans also didn't give much of a shit about Joycelyn Elders' statement (I'll bet that most never even heard about it), but the nuts went crazy, like they do, so she had to resign.
@21 you have a very good point. Calling the other side nasty names doesn't win hearts and minds.

While I don't believe the NRA to be the devil incarnate or have the "astonishing power" as some claim, they have large sway as a lobby as some other lobbies have with Congress. Indeed, Murthy is a casualty. I disagree with some of the NRA agenda. I do support some restrictions on assault rifles, background checks and safety training. So, I'm not too far from Murthy's position. I do believe firearm deaths a public health issue.
I love the sound of SLOG Gun Death Fetish Cultists heads exploding on a Sunday afternoon.
21: I have no interest to winning gun nuts over to my side. I've more or less given up on democracy producing rational outcomes. It's not like the hardcore gun fanatics are rational people arguing in good faith.
21: I have no interest in winning gun nuts over to my side. I've more or less given up on democracy producing rational outcomes. It's not like the hardcore gun fanatics are rational people arguing in good faith.

I wasn't referring to your post specifically as delusional, although I've never known of anyone in my life who goes to monthly NRA banquets. I was referring to the collective delusional stereotypes of gun owners on the SLOG. There's a hell of a lot of groupthink arounf here that is sadly, and even willfully, ignorant of reality.

Violent crime has decreased 50% in the United States in the last 20 years and the vast majority of gun crime takes place in certain urban pockets around the country, yet these facts don't seem to matter.

Instead, many of my liberal brethren insist that feel-good bullshit like limiting magazine capacity and banning scary-looking rifles will somehow prevent criminals from committing crime. Then my liberal bretheren are incredulous when they get their asses handed to them at the polls by law-abiding gun owners.

I also might add that being catagorically demonized as baby-murdering slack-jawed psychopaths by the so-called liberal elite isn't actually conducive to a constructive dialog. Such stereotypes make it awfully easy to take a 'fuck you' attitude and dig in one's heels for a lifetime of no-compromise political battles.
@29: the decrease in violent crime is welcome (and many gun control advocates are indeed aware of it as it is constantly cited by 2nd amendment advocates as a reason to maintain the status quo, or deregulate further), but it is correlated, not caused by the buildup of gun denisity in the nation. and importantly, gun crime is not the only source of gun violence. suicides, negligence, and accidents no doubt comprise the majority of the 80K shootings/year. i'm glad people aren't regularly being shot in muggings like the dude in greenwood, but i'm not please when toddlers find their idiot father/uncle's handgun under a cushion and blow their own brains out. that price is too high.

to me, it's still a public health crisis until the level of shootings in America puts us closer to the level in Canada or W. Europe, versus the Dominican Republic or Afghanistan.

and I could give a fuck about the assault weapons ban.
Gun safety? Like car safety, right? We require cars to be equipped safely. That's why when someone gets caught with an unsafe car they go to prison for a couple years and are never again allowed to own a car. Or even be near a unlocked car.
Gun control comes down to one thing: throwing people in prison who have not harmed anyone, merely for possessing a tool.
@31, 32: It's illegal to sell (and presumably own/operate) a car that doesn't meet standards for safety. It's illegal to drive a car dangerously. The harm already done is not the sole basis for legislation; it is vital also to consider the potential for harm. (This is why attempted murder is a crime.)
Guns are not tools. Guns are weapons.
@21 Actually, the radical beliefs about guns held by the modern Gun Fetishists are fairly recent, and the complaint is not about "beliefs are obsolete and a backward figment of the past." If the NRA was advocating for the 2nd Amendment values held by the 95% of the gun owners in the U.S. in 1955, I don't think we'd be having these futile exchanges. Gun owners then for the most part saw guns as more utilitarian, primarily for hunting. A man with a closet full of sleek black semi-automatics, with shelves of accessories, was seen as a very weird scary dude. You guys think you are the natural heirs of Daniel Boone and Davey Crocket, but you are actually your own specialized NRA/gun manufacturer test tube species, raised to see the flooding of the world with non-hunting firearms as the normal state of things - the ideal state of things...
"from the fact that a lot of voting Americans are fucking stupid, willfully ignorant, barely paying attention to facts, scared of their own shadows, and drunk on their biases. "
dude. these are the voters we got. can't change em learn to play the game. why can't liberals tell a fucking dramatic story with heros and villains? WHY?

they don't because they're scared to. you have to turn the gun loving crowd into the monster and the threat, and liberals are afraid to do so, preferring little namby pamby laws like gun checks at gun shows. you need a big law to solve a big problem to provide the level of dramatic threat, the monster, that us, the heros who saved the town and get the girl, have to fight.

iow you can't win I politics without a story of heros and villains or monsters, and if your proposals are always tiny steps toward eventual real change they're just too small to be dramatic at all; and also, they really don't work. passing gun checks at gun shows isn't going to reduce gun violence. banning assault weapons, and limiting gun ownership to the 5% of the public with actual super duper training from military or cops or actual need for guns (marijuana growers who can't use banks, maybe) would do it. full on UK style gun control. Australian style buy backs. something big. THEN you can paint the opponents as the monsters enabling the felonious gun users. it takes fucking balls and liberals used to have 'em -- now they don't. instead, they whine that the voters aren't smart like liberals. they then give up and leave the arena. it's fucking cowardly conduct, you need to propose real gun control and go have that argument and yes it may take 15 years to win it but if you don't argue it you don't win and without proposing real reform you're not even having the argument you want to have!

@35: You're absolutely right. I encourage all liberals to bring it on and go for the balls-to-the-walls craziness. By doing so, you'll ensure that there will be no more anti-gun legislation for the next 100 years (forget about 15 years).

After all, look how well being crazy has worked out for the Tea Partiers.

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