Re: MEDIA/POLITICS/GUNS "The changing politics of Guns"

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Aug 13 2001 - 11:29:22 MDT

Brian D Williams wrote:
> "The Changing Politics of Guns"
> Democrats back off on firearms
> An interesting article on the front page of todays "USA Today"
> (
> According to the article the NRA is now considered the nations most
> powerfull lobby, surpassing the AARP.
> The rest of the article is your basic extremocrat tabloid anti-gun
> bias.
> Extropian Angle? Grassroots organizations can be effective.

Yes, they can, but they also need to have their arguments very well
grounded, beyond large membership and massive funding. The grassroots
groups on the anti-gun side have failed miserably despite greater
funding and greater media support simply because their ideology is bad.
Both the HCI, which has renamed itself to remove the 'handgun control'
label from itself. It's now camouflaged as the 'Brady Campaign'. Its
primary funder, founder Andrew McKelvey, who was on its
board of directors, has gone off and started his own group, Americans
for Gun Safety, with an initial $16 million in funding...

Both have acknowledged in internal memos and surveys that their focus on
registration, gun bans, and restrictions against law abiding citizens
owning guns has badly backfired on them, and acknowledge that the vast
majority of the populace believes that there is an individual right to
keep and bear arms that these groups want to confiscate. Additionally,
the Democratic Party is removing gun control planks from its party
platform, and is trying to shake the reputation it has acquired that the
party is "against religious people, gun owners, veterans and the
military, business people, and white people in general, especially white

All three groups are now refocusing on 'responsible use' policies, like
firearms safety training. At the same time they are pushing states to
eliminate century old NRA crafted safety courses as acceptable for
concealed carry license requirements, they are crafting their own safety
courses, that are essentially rip-offs of the NRA courses, and getting
states to require that their courses be taught for license requirements
(and charging far higher fees than the NRA ever did). This is part of a
'reclaiming the middle' strategy: by establishing their groups in the
eyes of the public as 'the authority' on gun safety, they can redefine
the middle ground and the terms of debate to a greater extent than they
have be able to in the past. Only then, they say, can they expect to
make headway with gun registration and licensing on a nationwide basis.

Notice this strategy of claiming and redefining the middle. We
extropians should pay heed to this, because at this moment, we are
significantly behind in the media and public perceptions, despite a
majority being in support of things like stem cell research, there is
not such a majority of support for cloning, which would be necessary to
make stem cell cures for Parkinsons and other diseases work.

Similarly, the movie AI seriously creeped out a significant percent of
the population. Anti-AI memes have been injected into the populace and
are now laying dormant. Furthermore, other anti-tech memes, like the
"Moon landing hoax" meme, are continually being promulgated even among
the major media.

I am very glad we have ProAct going, but we need to find some angel
donors to endow it with a multi-million dollar annual budget so it can
hire staff to operate as a real lobbying group, not just a hobby for a
few people. The longer we wait to get this going, the further behind in
the game we get. If we could get just a few hundred thousand dollars in
seed money, I could put together a fund raising mailing campaign to
raise millions from the science and technology community.

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