by Shelton Bumgarner
Sometimes, it seems as though the NRA is so powerful that the average person can’t do anything. I disagree. As history has shown us with what happened with the Anti-Masonic Party in the early 1800s, if the electorate decides collectively to do something, change can happen.
The party was founded in the aftermath of the disappearance of William Morgan, a former Mason who had become a prominent critic of the organization. Many believed that the Masons had murdered Morgan for speaking out against Masonry, and many churches and other groups condemned masonry. As many Masons were prominent businessmen and politicians, the backlash against the Masons was also a form of anti-elitism. Mass opposition to Masonry eventually coalesced into a political party. Before and during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, the United States endured a period of political realignment, and the Anti-Masons emerged as an important third party alternative to Andrew Jackson’s Democrats and Adams’s National Republicans. In New York, the Anti-Masons supplanted the National Republicans as the primary opposition to the Democrats.
Really, the closest modern thing I can compare what I suggest to is what MADD was able to do in the 1980s, but that was a lot easier for various reasons. I live in Virginia and the NRA ran attack ads against the Democratic gubernatorial candidate saying he had an “F” rating with them. I was like, “Wow, I’m voting for that guy!” So, if you really want to do something about the NRA, if you want to combat their power, vow to yourself you will never vote for anyone with an A Rating from the NRA. It’s a small, but powerful decision.
You’re going to have to kind of ignore the enormous power of the NRA propaganda. You’re going to have to say fuck that. Nothing they say or do will get you to vote for someone they support. Absolutely. It doesn’t matter where you live, if enough people take this pledge, eventually things will change.
I guess the point is, we have to take things into our own hands. Politicians live off the vote and enough people, on principle, refuse to vote for someone with an A Rating from the NRA eventually after a lot of bitching and moaning, Washington will get the picture.
But this won’t come easy. The NRA has a lot of power and the Trump Administration seems hell bent on imposing some sort of weird dystopia on America. But I still believe in American democracy, I still believe that we ARE a democracy.
I would also suggest you try to support the efforts of the teens protesting the NRA by not giving your kids grief if they walk out of school. But that is maybe a bit much for some people.
It’s times like these when I wish John Lennon was still alive. We really need him right now.