Everyone underestimated how much Bloomberg’s money would make a difference for the gun control movement. It’s made a huge difference. Our biggest asset historically has been our ability to self-organize. There have always been a sizable number of people who would support gun control, but the movement won’t organically provide the money and organizing talent to make them a force. But with Bloomberg’s money, and the money from other elites he’s bringing along, that’s no longer an issue for them. With the money a given, it will buy them a movement.
We surrendered the “horizontal interpretive communities” that got us where we are to top-down social media which are centrally controlled. I can remember seasoned activists from the 80s and 90s tell me they got their message out using informal fax networks to organize back when that was a new technology. We’ve always been on the bleeding edge of self-organization. But our community doesn’t have an answer yet for the problems being caused by Google and Facebook, who would rather see us disappear and largely have the power to accomplish that if they really wanted.
Too many people insisted on bringing unrelated culture war issues along with gun rights, which has made it difficult to expand our base, and has completely removed us as a force in one of the two major parties. I’m not saying that means we support anti-gun Dems: the damage has already been done. Our only hope is keeping the Dems confined to a minority of states to keep them from power until they come to their senses. There is some hope we can accomplish this with the Senate.
The issue of communication is easier to fix but it won’t be sexy: We go back to mail lists and Forums. It is amazing the power of the Forward button.
Money? We need to figure out how do we get several million gun owners to cough up at least $100 a year. I reckon 5 million NRA members filling the coffers with half a billion dollars will make a hurt of difference in Congress.
On the third item: Can we please get the effing Libertarian shit out of Gun Rights? I don’t care for your “right” to go pew-pew with a big fat doobie attached to your lips or any other nonsensical shit that is not 100% directly gun related. Narrow the focus.
Other things: State organizations, support them but also participate. Tell them what you think, give ideas, criticize if they are fucking up.