Gun control campaigners are making greater use of social media to organise their supporters across the US, in an effort to digitally disrupt better-funded pro-gun lobbying groups like the NRA.
Three groups – Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – came together at the SXSW conference in Austin to discuss their digital strategies.
The first two of those groups may have well-known figureheads – politicians Michael Bloomberg and Gabrielle Giffords respectively – but they are also working hard to spark grassroots online campaigns for supporters to press for changes to state and federal gun laws.
“The problem here is that there are more guns in the United States than there are people. That’s not necessarily a problem in itself, but our laws are letting far too many of those guns fall into the wrong hands,” said Glaze, setting the scene for the groups’ digital efforts.
Glaze pointed to the twin powers of lobbying organisation the NRA and the gun industry itself as reasons why “the politics are fundamentally screwed up” around gun control in the US. “You can’t get an issue that is a 90:10 issue resolved in the right way,” he said.
One of MAIG’s key demands is for background checks to become standard for anyone buying a gun in the US, wherever they buy it from – including closing loopholes that are enabling people to buy firearms privately or online with no checks.
“The percentage of people who don’t think you should get a background check is the same percentage of people who think Elvis is still alive,” added Glaze.
He added that when MAIG started, it discovered there was no grassroots organisation around campaigning for gun control, in stark comparison to the tens of millions of members of the NRA throughout the country.
“I think we’re getting there, because there is now a grassroots on the issue that is being run by various smart people doing this in cutting-edge ways,” he said.
Ambler started working for congresswoman Giffords five days before she was shot in the head in a surprise attack at a political event, but it was the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 that spurred the creation of Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS).
“The first thing that we did was we put an op-ed in USA Today announcing what we were going to do, and we sent an email on some cheap digital letterhead to Gabby’s campaign list of 20,000 people,” he said. “We had no idea how integral the digital space was going to be to our efforts.”
Ambler said ARS is using digital technology in four ways to disrupt the NRA and other elements of the gun lobby. First, with funding: it has raised more than $18.1m to date from more than 218,000 contributions, with more than half of it coming from people donating online in amounts of less than $200.
Second, ARS is excited about measuring online interactions: analytics. Ambler cited elections in Virginia where the body carefully targeted its spending.
“Increasingly we’re able to figure out who the most receptive people in the electorate are, and target them based on a gun violence message,” he said. “We’re disrupting this idea that’s been perpetrated by the gun lobby and the media for far too long that you support gun violence legislation at your own political peril.”
Third, ARS uses digital to show that groups traditionally thought of as strongly pro-gun – veterans, for example – are not so monolithic in their views. Again, targeting and analytics have been important, as has been signing up 6,000 people for its Veterans for Responsible Solutions movemebt.
And fourth, ARS uses social media to give supporters an insight into the daily lives of its founders Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly: a direct communication channel rather than having to rely just on traditional media outlets.
Watts talked about how Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDAGSA) uses digital technology and social media to build its movement.
“When you talk about digital organising, who better to do that than moms? We are a major social media presence,” she said. “For us, email, Twitter, Facebook has become a major way to organise.”
MDAGSA’s first digital campaign pitted the organisation against Starbucks, pushing the company to change its policy against guns being allowed in its stores.
The campaign included Skip Starbucks Saturdays, encouraging mothers to make coffee at home then take photos of themselves drinking it outside Starbucks outlets, sharing them on social media. They were also asked to share photos of people carrying guns in Starbucks.
“This was happening, and we made that public. It really just took three months, and Starbucks changed their policies, saying guns were no longer welcome in their stores,” she said.
A month ago, MDAGSA started a new campaign asking Facebook and Instagram to crack down on people using the social networks to promote their willingness to sell guns or help people evade the law.
The campaign included spoofing Facebook’s “Look Back” videos to highlight groups on the social network advertising guns for sale, as well as personal status updates boasting about not requiring background checks. The video has been watched more than 400,000 times, and it sparked action quickly.
“Last week, Facebook and Instagram announced nine new policies that they were putting in place in response to our campaign,” she said. “We are going to continue this. We are only 15 months old, and we have had major wins. But obviously there is a lot more work to do.”
She suggested that the traditional NRA strategy of stimulating fear among its members that their guns will be taken away by the government can be matched by mothers’ fear that their children will be taken away – i.e. killed in shootings.
“At the end of the day that emotion is what will enable us to go toe-to-toe with he gun lobby, and achieve change quickly,” she said. Social media will continue to be a key way MDAGSA’s members express this emotion.
Glaze said that MAIG now has a grassroots membership of 1.5m people across the US, and is now working with like-minded organisations to make the best use of it, and continue growing.
Ambler returned to the theme of digital’s capacity to target and measure, and then raise money, citing the example of a gun control bill that failed after a filibuster in the US Senate. “In just the 30 minutes after the filibuster occurred and the bill went down, we raised $100,000 from 2,822 people,” he said.
“48 hours after, as more people learned about what happened, and learned that the Senate had continue to be in the gun lobby’s pocket, we raised nearly $1m from 22,000 people. For the large part what we raised was online, from people getting angry, going online and pitching in a couple of bucks.”
Watts said that MDAGSA is less focused on funding, and more about keeping its members active. “It’s not just about Liking on Facebook,” she said. It has focused on creating a social media network where members will get involved in email and Twitter campaigns regularly, as well as calling their members of Congress.
“If we need people to turn out at a state house, we can get them to do that. If we need them to testify, we can get them to do that. If we need them to bombard with emails and calls, we can do that,” she said. “Moms do social media more than anybody else, and it’s a logical place to get people to activate online. But it doesn’t mean much if you can’t get them to also activate offline.”
No Sandy Hook Victim every born.
I am so thankful for those on the internet who search for the Truth. Together we all uncover the LIES and Deception of Sandy Hook. We all do are different things regarding it.
I have watched the information about the Aliases of Nancy Lanza and have done multiple searches regarding that too. The web of lies and many names she had is outrageous. It comes down to the fact that it appears Nancy Lanza is Anne Haddad and is someone who was shown to us on TV already as alive and well.
There is information on Dawn Hochsprung too – it appears the names and aliases for her and how she is really related to the fictitious Peter Lanza. Think about it. There has never been one single interview of Peter Lanza. The press never hounded him to get a statement. He was never on TV once.
Then see this research that it appears all the victims of Sandy Hook were never even born.
We the People through our own intelligence and willing to search for the Truth, uncover the absolute deception and web of lies, weaved for gun control and confiscation. But more and more are waking up and will continue to do so. It is difficult to acknowledge the Truth of everything, but the more who do, the less the insanes can get away with.
ARE PAYING ATTENTION IT IS ALL ABOUT YOUR 2nd Aamendment
Former Senior Counselor at the World Bank Karen Hudes has spent the last several years of her life working closely with whistle blowers from around the world to shed light on what she calls a “global conspiracy.”
While working for the World Bank as a member of their legal team Hudes uncovered so much corruption that she could no longer keep quiet. She followed the proper channels to report her findings, going first to the organization’s Evaluation Department and country directors, and then to the U.S. Treasury Department and even the United States Congress. All of her requests were ignored, and in some cases, completely covered up. So she did what any honest person would do. She went public. Suffice it to say, she received the typical treatment you’d expect for a whistle blower.
Hudes is no longer with the World Bank, but that didn’t stop her from continuing her investigation by joining an organization of other whistle blowers.
What she found once she started connecting the dots will blow you away. The corruption, as most of us know, isn’t just at the World Bank, but is woven throughout the fabric of the entirety of the global financial and political systems.
Her interview with Future Money Trends will absolutely blow you away.
We have solved the mystery as to why humanity has had nothing but wars and terrible problems… why we’re always at each other’s throats.
This group is part of a huge conspiracy…
We suggest you buckle up for this one:
(Watch at Youtube)
Covering everything from the current economic crisis all the way back to the reasons behind the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Hudes will leave you with a totally different view of how the upper echelons of the global power structure work and how far the elite will go to maintain total control.
Interweaving through topics that include financial collapse, high level banking machinations, Snowden, false flags, JFK, Lincoln, and even the Vatican, Karen Hudes is no holds barred.
I have gone to something called the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions and I have been collaborating with all the whistle blowers of the world… and we’re bound and determined that we’re going to get this corruption taken care of.
A very accurate… it’s called the power transition model… it uses political science and computer modelings… that model is 90% to 95% accurate… and it is predicting that the corruption that has been plaguing the world, it turns out for millennia, is coming down… a lot of people call that the Matrix, a lot of people call that the banksters… it’s actually much, much more.
Here are just some of the topics covered – listen to the entire interview for a better understanding of how it all fits together:
The fact that he [NSA Whistle Blower Edward Snowden] is getting coverage on the mainstream media should be letting people know that he is part of the Matrix, because the mainstream media is owned and controlled by the same group that are the owners of the Bank for International Settlement… that is a scam.
People are supposed to have currency that’s issued by their governments directly which doesn’t carry interest. That is what John F. Kennedy was trying to do and the reason why he was assassinated. That’s what Lincolnwas doing with the Greenbacks… that’s why Lincoln was assassinated…
The banks that are Too-Big-To-Fail… that’s really one banking cartel… and that group is going around buying up politicians… there are secret societies like the Knights of Malta and they’re promoting people and making sure that those people become the gatekeepers.
Many people do not know, for example, that in Charleston, South Carolina there was supposed to be a nuclear device detonated… instead two heroes made sure that the nuclear device went off off the coast… The Russians told people about that because they intercepted the Naval communications.
If that [a loss of confidence in the US dollar] is allowed to happen we will enter something very similar to the dark ages. We won’t be able to pay for international trade… We will have pestilence… We will have mass starvation.
What we have found out, and this sounds implausible, but it is absolutely correct… the fact that is has been held in secret doesn’t mean that it’s not true… it is true… there’s a second species on this planet… they’re not extraterrestrials… remnants of their civilizations are all over the place… this group has large brains… they’re very distinct from homo sapiens… We know this because their DNA was just tested… they have skulls all over the place, because they have been on earth with us.
Just because this group likes to hide and likes to accuse people of having conspiracy theories doesn’t make these facts wrong. They’re facts.
Many of us have long suspected there are cartels that include leading financiers, politicians, business conglomerates, and secret societies working together to achieve their goals of maintaining power, control and stability over the citizens of every country in the world. They will do so by whatever means necessary.
The investigations conducted by Karen Hudes and her colleagues have shed a lot more light on the conspiracy. It turns out that it’s not just theory. It’s fact.
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