Tag Archives: gun rights

Is Perpetuating Threat a Viable Strategy? The Case of the National Rifle Association

By Trent Steidley

The usefulness of threat in understanding social movements has informed a wide range work on topics like labor strikes, anti-union policies, the creation of ex-gay “therapy” centers and same-sex marriage bans. Naturally, social movements can use actual threats as a powerful mechanism to support mobilization. Left unanswered though is this: can a social movement that has mobilized in response to threat continue to mobilize around it even as objective risk declines?

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Another “Turning Point Myth” in the Political Battle over Gun Control?

Parkland is increasingly portrayed as the mass shooting that will finally change things, but are pro-gun supporters right to claim that it is but another headline that gun control advocates are allegedly peddling will bring stricter gun control laws? Continue reading

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“Activists are on this. Let’s all be on this:” Is Gun Control on the “Gay Agenda?”


“Dear NRA, we made it through Stonewall, AIDS, DADT, and through Marriage Equality. You’re next.” This was among the many comments Jennifer Carlson and I received following the online publication of our recent op-ed in the Washington Post.

For many gun control advocates and activists, when meaningful policy change did not occur after Sandy Hook where a dozen elementary school children were murdered, it signaled their impotence in going up against the powerful gun lobby. To many, the failure of Congress to enact any of the four “gun control” bills this week is a replay of past efforts following those mass shootings.

In our op-ed, we argued that the Orlando massacre might represent new political opportunities for policy reform. Continue reading

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Commemoration and Countermobilization

December 14 will mark the one year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, which left 28 people dead; most of the victims were small children.  It is surely a day that will bring up many complicated emotions, and we can expect to see a variety of vigils and commemorative events.

The shootings at Sandy Hook reinvigorated, at least temporarily, discussions of gun control in the United States.  They became a rallying point for proponents of stronger restrictions on guns, as well as for those favoring fewer or less stringent gun control laws.  Both camps pointed to the Sandy Hook shootings as an example of why their respective approaches to gun legislation were needed to prevent such a horrific event from occurring again.  Ultimately, however, the legal changes that resulted from this mobilization were limited.  President Obama signed several executive actions concerning background checks, gun safety, and mental health, but the Manchin-Toomey Background Checks Bill failed to pass the Senate. Continue reading


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