“Stand and Fight” reads the new NRA ad. It even gives a website, nrastandandfight.com, where you can pledge to stand and fight with the NRA (and give them money). I have to admit, my first reaction was anger over their choice of words and for featuring the First Daughters in the ad.
On reflection, I think those of us who want to see rational gun regulation need to take the ad’s advice. Surveys show that a majority of Americans (and even NRA members) do want some form of regulation, yet we have not shown ourselves to be a powerful enough counterweight to the gun lobby. For far too long, most of us have sat down and allowed the NRA to roll over any attempts at instituting sensible regulations for firearms. We allowed the NRA to control the conversation after Columbine, Virginia Tech, Rep. Giffords' shooting, and the Aurora theater, but I do think Newtown changed the dynamic. A sleeping giant, America's parents, has been horribly shaken awake. We are realizing we outnumber the gun lobbyists. It is time we make ourselves heard.
Note well: I am not advocating eliminating guns or gun ownership. I respect the rights of those who want to hunt or want a handgun for personal protection. Assault rifles and high capacity magazines are not necessary for either. I want a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. I want comprehensive background checks and training certification required for all gun sales, public and private. I want guns to be subject to the same level of regulation as my automobile, and I want ammunition purchases to be subject to the same requirements as the Sudafed for my sinus headaches.
So I do pledge to “Stand and Fight,” just not as the ad's makers intended. I pledge to stand up at rallies and meetings in support of gun regulation. I pledge to call and write letters to my legislators, to the newspapers and blogs, and to talk to my friends about what we can do to enact legislation regulating guns and ammunition. I have my “Mom card” and I intend to use it.
It is said the pen is mightier than the sword. I am hopeful my words and actions will be mightier than the NRA’s gun money. Augmented by the words and actions of like-minded parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters, they can be.
I am ready to “Stand and Fight” for gun control. Are you?