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 The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. No doubt, Russia and its allies in the US shale industry probably glimpsed an opportunity to undercut OPEC and seize some of its customers. Bad move. In reply, Saudi Arabia has smashed the oil market by hugely ramping up production, signing up customers and drastically cutting the oil price in a fashion designed to knock Russia and other oil suppliers right out of contention. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics. In the months ahead, it will be fascinating to see if the real Joe Biden can live up to the idea of Joe Biden that people voted for yesterday – namely, the wise old guy who can save the country from the political extremism of the right and the left... More>>

Gordon Campbell On Shane Jones: A Liability No-One Needs To Bear

New Zealand First has needed a diversion after weeks of bad coverage over its dodgy handling of donations, but it really, really doesn’t need what Shane Jones has chosen to provide. According to Jones, New Zealand has ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>


  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog