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"The sky is falling..."

Discussion in 'Activism' started by badkarmamib, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    This works both ways. Unfortunately, in my area the vast majority of the voters are antigun. This is why the politicians are antigun. They don't lead, but follow. I could give you examples of local politicians that used to have "A" ratings from the NRA, but switched 180 degrees when they started getting antigun feedback from their voters.
     
  2. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Then vote for Trump in 2020 for the court appointments.
     
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  3. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    You probably don't want to campaign-- once you open it up, you might not like what you hear.
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I have and I've helped them question their original position. I've also met people who won't budge a micron, but I think that's about personality.
     
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  5. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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  6. SKILCZ

    SKILCZ Member

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    A few points worth noting in light of what keeps being proposed:
    1. We tried an "assault weapons ban" for a decade, studied its effects, and found it didn't work.
    2. Most of the mass shooters passed background checks, so background checks wouldn't have prevented the shootings and are not a "common sense" response to them.
    3. Background checks have been repeatedly shown to not work, as recently as October 2018 in the Annals of Epidemiology.
    4. "Red flag" laws circumvent due process. Depending on how such laws are worded, a person could have his/her guns confiscated in a SWAT raid at 3 a.m. at gun point on nothing more than the unsubstantiated accusation of another person, such as a disgruntled ex. Such raids have involved pets and people being killed in the chaos, and sometimes they raid the wrong address.
    Gun control for anti-gun individuals and for those who are indifferent and often ignorant on the subject are basically an emotional issue. They want the government to "do something" when a mass shooting occurs--even when that something wouldn't have prevented the mass shooting to which they are responding. It is an uncomfortable notion for many people to accept that if a person wants to do other people harm, there's not much anyone can do to prevent it. Police are called during or after a violent crime, not usually before. Training in self-defense is one thing you can do in advance, with or without a firearm, to protect yourself and your loved ones, but ultimately it's during the crime that you might have to do use that training. It is not comfortable for people to realize that they are responsible for their own safety and that laws can't protect them.
     
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  7. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

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    Perfect!
     
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  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I like the points, but may I suggest some slight wording changes.

    We tried an "assault weapons ban" for a decade, studied its effects over that time and the decades since, and found that the homicide rates fell on their own after the ban and that rifles didn't play any significant role in homicide rates.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  9. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    "They want government to do something"
    And government has and will continue to do the same 'something' over and over expecting improved results. The problem, their 'something' only affects folks that never had malicious intentions to begin with.
    Time to try a different tact?
     
  10. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    FAXING! What a great idea! Thank you so much! :)
     
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  11. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    And, the poster ''feels good'' , thinking they accomplished something.

    Easiest & most effective is a phone call IMHO
     
  12. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    For many legislators, emails are the best way to get through if they're done right.

    Honestly, Senator Hornswaggle probably doesn't care what one constituent thinks of Proposition 19. But he does care what 400 or his constituents think if it looks like it might hurt or help him in November. To that end, he has a staffer who reviews this stuff. She's paid a pittance, if at all, and she's going to ignore anything that starts with "you're a commie who hates the 2nd Ammenmant and I hope you lose to the other guy." She's not going to read anything that goes on for sixteen paragraphs before getting to the point.

    However, she's going to keep a tally of how many people write in supporting or opposing the bill. To that end, a clear, concise email helps.
    • put "I oppose Proposition 19" right in the subject line
    • keep it short. "I oppose Proposition 19 because raising the speed limit on Route 19 will cause more traffic accidents."
    • be nice. Use words like "please" and "thank you," and avoid threats. Even threats like, "I'll send someone to primary you in November."
    • leave clear contact information. Sign it with your real name, your town, and a good phone number.
    Your individual email might not be brought to his attention, but if enough clear correspondence is received in opposition, Senator Hornswaggle will take notice.
     
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  13. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    The major issue with emails and why is at the bottom to me of communicating with congressional offices is that it offices cannot distinguish between constituents and increasingly organized email campaigns of interest groups that may even be getting emails from around the world or hired spam agents filling the inbox. Going through emails will be assigned or not to the lowest level grunt or not at all. Often interest groups spoil everything as the bussing of out of district folks to target lawmakers using townhalls has led to less public access for example. Politicians consider their voters' opinions important, others not so much.

    Snail mail, or even to some extent, faxes or phone calls communicate location (address or area code) which is important to be able to track for offices as most simply do not care what out of district or out of state folks communicate as they are not their voters. While interest groups could probably fake letters to congress critters, just as you may receive fake junkmail disguised as a personal note or thank you, it is expensive when applied to politics. Faxes are given special protection under the law from "junk faxes" and can be more quickly identified as a source via a phone number than can an email.

    Phone calls have the area code indicator as well as some offices ask for address of the caller so that their call is routed to the proper congress critter for notification (also as a screen for voters). Today, most congress critters have access either through their own political campaigns or via congressional party committees of their constitutents' feelings on old perennial issues like gun control in their district from polling and focus groups. Phone calls, emails, letters, personal contacts, etc. are mainly used then to confirm or disconfirm that polling/other type information. These local sources can perhaps also indicate, absent national type campaigns, newly arising policy issues and problems if they care to look--this temperament varies by office as many are uninterested in policy.

    Congress critters have been subjected to increasing bombardment by so called astro turf campaigns (playing off the grass-roots politics ideal) where a certain sub-species of political operatives put together a complete package for a price to persuade congress critters with faux emails, paid scripted letters to the editor/congress critter, spam type drafted letters/postcards with premarked labels, phone calls directed through national switching banks, paid protesters, etc. All to persuade them that their constituency wants "action". Just like most of us now have to screen our calls and emails from spammers, these offices have had to develop spamming screens to separate the good information about voters in their home districts and spamming type activities from political/policy operatives.

    This is not to discourage people from sending emails especially if the option is to do nothing else or it is an emergency. My post was to indicate the time and trouble might be better spent by cultivating a long term personal relationship with these folks. A phone call for example can lead to a brief discussion with the staffer and proper id that you are in the congress critter's district or state. A fax can do something similar and will stick out nowadays as that is not the preferred way of spammers or national interest groups. Social media is pretty new and I do not have a good feel for congressional offices usage to keep tabs as my contacts on Capitol Hill have mostly moved on to other things. I'll try to ask one of my remaining friends with recent contacts and experience there when I catch up with him/her and update the THR when I do.

    Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill once said that all politics is local. He meant that politicians that want to retain their seats must accede to local opinion over the long run. Interest groups and many of the organized political organizations work at the national level and may have different incentive structures than does the individual officeholder. So a good politician, particularly in a competitive district, quickly learns that developing a personal relationship with the district's voters is crucial to keep one's seat. Getting good information about the district's preferences and expanding the number of personal "friends" in the district can make a difference in primaries and general elections. Strom Thurmond's office was famous for the personal touch and Lindsay Graham kept many of these folks on when he took office. On average, a good constituency relationship office can add up to 5-10 percent more votes which makes a difference in a competitive seat. Al D'Amato was famous as Senator Pot Hole for his attention to NY State voters and survived several elections in a Democratically dominated state.

    So, one route to regular screened access to politicians is through regular un-paid party work as a volunteer if you do a good job. Another is simply to develop relationships with the folks in the local or national office where they see you as a straight shooter with no paid affiliations. This can happen through regular phone calls, letters, and better yet personal visits either on the same issue over time or a variety of issues.

    If you are on your best behavior and not lecture them, but genuinely discuss the issues with the staffers, it will get back in some form to the congress critter. To do so, you need more than media bullet points but a genuine knowledge of the issues at stake in a policy. If you wait until a crisis arrives on a policy, which is usually does, to communicate then you are behind the curve because everyone else who waited to the last minute is also trying to bend their ear. If you wanted a reasoned discussion on the problems with red flag laws, the best time would have been when there was not a political crisis involved.

    Want to know what the secret is behind successful lobbyists, it is long term personal relationships and providing good information, not so much the money and secret handshakes. I know for a fact that many politicians secretly despise some interest groups or donors because of the belief that the congress critter is "owned" by them. Most despise policy windbags as well and self-appointed zealots. Thus, lobbyists or anyone else who try to use fear and control over a congress critter are usually less effective than someone who present their positions fairly, admits weaknesses to their approach, and is personable, friendly, etc.
     
  14. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    The homicide rate actually began falling prior to the awb, from what I recall.
     
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  15. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    It depends on which study you want to believe.

    John Lott did more damage to us than any four senators.

    Integrity, intellectual honesty and character all matter in every walk of life. Those attributes are amplified beyond belief in academia.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  16. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I'm sorry, but you're going to have to explain that. The LOTT MUSTARD, aka, "University of Chicago" study was a landmark study revealing how guns are really used in America, despite the generalistic, alarmist rhetoric of the media and political class. There is also Gary Keck's (University of Florida) study.

    Just what did John Lott do that was so bad? Inquiring minds want to know.:scrutiny:
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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