The more things change the more they stay the same. Whether in a church outside San Antonio where the silence of prayer was suddenly broken by heartache this week or at a concert in Las Vegas where thousands danced before ducking for cover and their lives. Violence and death. Rhetoric and inaction. And guns.
Those on both sides of the gun reform equation put forth compelling messages and arguments. How about my Second Amendment right to bear arms? But how about my right to live and breath without being shot at by assault rifles? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But guns make it a hell of a lot easier to kill one or many in an instant. The debate goes back and forth and to and fro with, it seems, little room for compromise or resolution. Many blame the deep pockets of the NRA and the politicians they hypnotize. Others blame the desensitization of our youth through video games and violent movies. Our society, divided like never before on the left and the right, does not allow for much room in the middle.
Is there a possible solution? A course of action that would affect some type of change – be it banning assault rifles (a no brainer), banning bump stocks (ditto) and more stringent screening processes and waiting periods? Bad guys will get illegal guns regardless you say? Let’s try something – anything – and find out.
Here’s a potential starting point: Have all of the gun reform non-profits and special interest groups band together to try to even the playing field of fire with the mega-giant NRA. In our work with various nonprofits over the years we have seen it time and time again – an unwillingness by one group to work with another in the same space. Sometimes it’s ego. Sometimes it’s territory. More often than not, it’s personal. After all, many special interest groups (ala anti-gun advocates) are born out of tragedy surrounding loved ones. And so one group does one thing and another does another. They may both seek the same end goal but their messages instead compete and clutter and confuse – and fizzle.
Perhaps the time has come for all such groups to finally organize and band together toward a common purpose and course of action. There’s strength in numbers. Unite and seek to conquer – with coordinated petitions and asks and threats of litigation our legislators will be forced to consider alongside the money and power of the NRA. It’s time for a new approach. It’s time to fight fire with more firepower. It’s time for lawmakers to stop handing out hollow condolences to victims’ families and start doing their jobs. It’s time to save lives, not celebrate them post-mortem.