May 30, 2022
work from home for justice
The shock and grief of last week’s shooting in Texas have not worn off. Thousands of people protested outside the NRA’s Leadership Convention in Houston this weekend.
An important piece I read recently focused on messaging; the writer lambasts those who have failed to place the blame for the proliferation of guns and mass shootings squarely on Republicans.
The writer heard an interview with Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, in which she used the passive voice to describe the expiration of the assault weapons ban and the increase of mass shootings.
NO. NO. NO. Please let me fix this for you Senator Duckworth …
“ … in 2006 Republican President George Bush and the Republican led Congress under the disgraced Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert who was convicted for sexual abuse and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell allowed the assault weapons ban to expire and mass murders increased ...
Which statement gives much more context?
Our words matter. Context matters. Repetition matters. We can and must do better in calling out Republicans and stop “speaking in code.”
A dear friend who is a communications consultant frequently remarks on the superior framing done by Republicans, who are ruthlessly on message. It is easier to get extremists to toe a party line than to do so in a large, diverse party with a big range of views.
AND surely, we who vote for Democrats can agree that the problem is that Republicans continue to obstruct restrictions on weapons and high-capacity ammunition.
Keep it simple. Practice blaming the Republicans who accept carnage as the price of freedom.
One of the commentators who has gotten this most right is Ruth Conniff, Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She is raising a red flag this Memorial Day:
If the price of “liberty” is that we must tolerate the periodic massacre of elementary school children in their classrooms and grandmothers at the supermarket, that’s OK with the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
In its platform, the GOP further resolves to do away with the current state system for issuing permits for guns and make Wisconsin a “constitutional carry” state, allowing the legal, public carrying of handguns, either concealed or out in the open, without a license or permit.
Wisconsin Republicans’ obsession with increasing the proliferation of guns has reached the point where they don’t even justify it in practical terms anymore. It’s just a matter of faith, impervious to reason.
Conniff examines the notion of patriotism as conceived by Republicans who cling to white supremacy and perpetuate the lie that they are being replaced. She observes that we are falling apart, and that we need to unite around better ideas.
On Memorial Day, we need people of all political persuasions to stand up against this deeply distorted view of American patriotism. Violent racism is woven into our country’s history — even if Republicans don’t want kids to learn about it in school — but we can’t allow it to define our future. Nor can we accept that periodic bloodbaths in our communities are the price of freedom.
We have to find a way to come together again around a shared set of ideals – freedom from fear, freedom from hate and violence, the optimism that we can make a better life for our children. We owe them that.
Some action is in order.
Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws are designed to give family members, law enforcement, and sometimes other individuals like health professionals or school administrators, a pathway for petitioning courts to temporarily deny access to guns to people at risk of harm to themselves or others.
ERPO laws prevent school shootings and suicides.
Legislation can encourage states to pass ERPO laws that meet minimum standards in order to be eligible for federal funding.
Sign this petition to Congress from Moms Rising to call for ERPO laws.
You probably don’t need to be convinced that the trauma of shootings extends well beyond the people who are themselves victimized, witness to the events, and close to people in either group.
Tell Congress to Support the Counselors Not Criminalization Act. This is another 15-second action from Moms Rising.
When Ruth Conniff writes that we owe our children a better life, I know that she is thinking of her three beautiful children (full disclosure: their grandparents are friends of mine). It is impossible not to think of the children in your own life and the unspeakable losses that families and friends must contend with.
Three days after
the attack in Christchurch
they banned guns
World record soul search
I am reminded of something I read recently, "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."