It’s impossible to tuck our kids in tonight, seeing the complete and utter excitement in their eyes about their futures (my daughter, age 2, said “I need to eat more foods so I can get tall and be allowed to go on the bus with my brother to school!”), without understanding that it is our responsibility as the adults to DO something to make them safer. Enough already with the childish fear of the NRA! The tobacco lobby was once all-powerful too. Then we woke up and realized cigarettes were killing us all, and we put a stop to it. Smoking is way down, including among teens. The tide can turn. It’s on us to make it happen.
Wherever there’s a powerful lobby there are powerful wealthy backers. The strength of the NRA lies not in the many average fools who think that having guns in their homes makes them safer (tell that to the gun-toting mama whose boy killed her before shooting those 20 children in Connecticut), but in the obscene wealth possessed by the gun manufacturers. Who are these people, and how have they managed to twist the 2nd amendment into some rationale for the right for regular people to bear assault rifles?
I’m far from an expert on this topic, but what I do know is that social movements require individuals that get informed enough to be smart, inspired actors. And since I can’t stomach sending my kids off to school even one more day without knowing that I DID SOMETHING to try and make them even a little bit safer, well, I’ll take this one on. And I hope you will too.
The tiniest bit of research tonight led me to learn a few things I had no idea about:
(1) Gun stocks are on the rise. Smith & Wesson, among other gun manufacturers, is more profitable than ever. At a growth rate of 10% per year on average, and much higher for the top sellers, business is booming.
(2) The industry is promoting gun use successfully among women and children. Just like cigarette manufacturers, this mature industry is constantly seeking to expand its market and thus has encouraged an explosion of so-called shooting shows, including for audiences at the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. The number of “shotgun” and “rifle” badges given to the Boy Scouts of America is up nearly 30 percent in the last decade, and the participation of women in shooting shows has experienced similar growth.
(3) Manufacturers of “high-capacity clips” — which should remind you of extra-nicotine added cigarettes times 10 — are major donors to the NRA and hold two board seats. Why these high volume clips are considered requisite for self-defense is beyond me. What I do know is that each of the 20 six and seven-year-old children in Connecticut was riddled by between 3 and 10 bullets.
Guns and cigarettes go hand in hand. It took America nearly a century to stand up to tobacco, but it happened. The time is now for guns. Call it what it is– profitting on the backs of dead children. And put a stop to it. Join us.