Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


After Massacres, US Gun Debate Moves into the Marketplace

After Massacres, US Gun Debate Moves into the Marketplace

by Martha Rosenberg
September 19, 2013

There are few things more extreme than US gun rights advocates. Because gun rights is a 100 percent issue for advocates, driving to state capitals, heckling town meetings and pelting lawmakers with gun paranoia “patriotism” is their fulltime job. By contrast, the majority of American citizens who want sane gun laws also care about the economy, the environment, health care and geopolitics. The result is politicians bought by and afraid, of the gun lobby because that's who they get their most vehement communiqués from.

The power of a few gun extremists was demonstrated last week when Democratic Colorado state senators Angela Giron of Pueblo and John Morse of Colorado Springs were recalled by voters because they backed a package of state gun restrictions. Gun rights advocates were outraged about laws requiring background checks on private gun sales and restricting the size of ammunition magazines even though two of the nation's biggest massacres, which both occurred in Colorado, featured high capacity magazines and lack of background checks.

In Missouri, gun rights advocates almost passed a bill that would nullify federal gun laws and actually create misdemeanor charges against federal authorities enforcing them, also subjecting police and prosecutors to lawsuits. The bill also lowered the age for concealed gun permits to 19 from 21, allowed concealed guns on certain teachers and criminalized publishing the identity of a gun owner. (US gun owners are so afraid to be identified, they issued death threats to employees of a New York newspaper that published public records of their addresses. Don't they say a gun in the house keeps them safe?) Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the clearly unconstitutional law, but lawmakers came close to overriding his veto.

The recalls in Colorado, reactionary Missouri bill and federal lawmakers' refusal to institute universal background checks after 20 first-graders were killed in December have sparked a movement to circumvent lawmakers who are largely seen as gun lobby toadies. This week Starbucks, the US' largest coffee chain, assented to a boycott by National Gun Victims Action Council, begun last year, and "dis-invited" guns in its stores--a huge private sector victory. Other corporate players are following the populist trend because, while the "bark" of US gun rights advocates is loud, their buying power and numbers aren’t.

Join the thousands making the TELL AND COMPEL™ pledge.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women In Public Life

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Harry/Meghan Affair, And Iran

Those “Meghzit” headlines seem apt, given how closely Britain’s January 31 exit from the European Union resembles the imminent departure from the Royal Family’s top team of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. For young Iranians, the accidental downing of the Ukrainian airliner is just the latest example of the deadly incompetence and dishonesty of their leaders... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. Given the massive outpouring of public grief in Iran over the murder of Qassem Soleimani, some reciprocal action by Iran was necessary, but (so far) it has been almost entirely symbolic in nature... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Bush Fires And Suleimani

In popular culture, Australia is often portrayed as Western civilisation’s last unspoiled frontier, or as its final refuge from planetary disaster. In Nevil Shute’s best-selling 1950s novel On The Beach for instance, Melbourne served as the backdrop ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Best Music Of 2019

This was a year where so many of the highlights came from female musicians. But amid all that richness, there was one standout album... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Scotland’s Renewed Independence Battle

Brexit has always been very much an English obsession... So while it isn’t surprising that Boris Johnson won the election, he might also have lost the United Kingdom in the process. More>>