I never thought I'd say this, but I'd like to thank the NRA. That's right, the national gun lobbying group did something I like: They published the names of organizations, companies, and celebrities who have supported increased gun regulation in some way.
Well, they didn't exactly put it that way, of course. Considering the list was re-posted on conservative blog The Daily Caller, this was probably meant to be more of a blacklist. They called it "The Big List of Who Hates Guns." But I think that blacklist is going to backfire. Once again, the NRA is showing how tone-deaf they are to how Americans really feel about gun ownership.
We have mixed feelings about guns. We use them for hunting, we pass them down generations, and we like saying we want to protect our right to own guns. But especially after a year of horrific gun slayings culminating in the most heartbreaking bloodbath we've ever seen, we think some better gun regulation is long overdue.
In the wake of Newtown, 57 percent of Americans said they support stricter gun control. This is up from just 39 percent in April. You could say Newtown was a bit of a wake-up call for a lot of us. Still, only 42 percent said they believe stricter gun control could have prevented the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.
Of course, it all depends on what kind of gun regulation you're talking about. A whopping 95 percent of people support background checks, 92 percent believe certain people (convicted felons and mentally ill people) shouldn't be allowed to own guns, 78 percent believe gun owners should have to register their guns with the local government, and 62 percent believe there should be a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault guns and high-capacity ammunition clips.
We're still deeply divided over what's more important -- protecting gun ownership or protecting people from being killed by guns. But there's a lot of common consensus when it comes to how we feel about gun ownership. There's a lot we could work on together.
Weeks ago I was naively hopeful when the NRA announced they would make a "meaningful contribution" to preventing another attack like Newtown. And I was beyond disgusted when I heard what "meaningful contribution" the NRA proposed. As far as I'm concerned, they've lost any remaining credibility.
But I do want to know who is going to be fighting alongside me for saner gun regulation. So thanks for letting me know who my allies are. I'll be doing everything I can to make sure I support them. These are people willing to stick their necks out for a safer world, and I think they deserve some credit. Realistically, though, I think most people will see how long this list is and think "huh, whatever" -- and it won't have much effect on anyone either way.
Do you think people will care much about who and what's on the Big List?
Image via permanently scatterbrained/Flickr