I’d like to think that I have some good ideas for how to communicate about gun violence, but every once in a while something pops up that is so remarkably brilliant that I have to pause, take a deep breath and realize that there are some people out there who are a lot more brilliant and original than me. And in the case of Amanda Gailey, I mean a lot more, I really do.
Amanda is an English Professor at the University of Nebraska and she has been involved with a very active state-level GVP group, which is Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, aka NAGV.org. Right now the organization is trying to drum up support to stop the passage of a bill, introduced early this year that would prohibit individual localities from passing any restrictions on gun ownership or use that does not conform with state laws. Presently there is no pre-emption in Nebraska, which means that individual towns can decide the gun-owning environment for themselves. The NRA-supported bill would undo local gun control, hence the campaign of the NAGV.
Now along comes Professor Gailey, who writes about how to detect literary genius, but has just authored a web page to support the NAGV and her web page is nothing short of genius in and of itself. Actually it’s a shopping cart hosted by SquareUp, which gets digital sellers off and running on the web. The name of Amanda’s digital kiosk is Hysterical Ladies Anti-Domestic Terror Society, and I guarantee you that from the moment you click this link you won’t come back to my website for some good period of time.
Right now the website is offering seven different buttons, they run three bucks apiece, and basically they more or less revolve around what I think is the perfect gun-control slogan, namely, Fuck The NRA. There are a few other messages, and the artwork on all the buttons is evocative and superb, but I can’t get over the fact that someone, in this case a young English professor in Lincoln, Nebraska, has finally come out and said what needs to be said.
Because the truth is that the NRA’s position on the violence that kills and injures 100,000 Americans each year is obscene. The truth is that telling people to go out and buy a gun to protect themselves from violence when it’s the gun that causes the violence is obscene. The truth is that pretending that all we need to do to end gun violence is to keep guns out of the ‘wrong hands’ is obscene. And the most obscene thing of all is the idea that a bunch of citizens living together in a small locality shouldn’t be able to decide for themselves what they want to do about guns.
The button I love most of all is the one which shows a group of suffragettes walking down a street with a large banner which no doubt originally said something about being able to vote but has now been Photoshopped into a banner that says “Together We Shall Fuck The NRA.” And the reason I love this button is because the NRA has been making this big play recently about getting women into the shooting sports, but the truth is that women, NRA bullshit to the contrary, just aren’t all that interested in getting into guns.
Amanda, I just can’t get over how brilliant and original you have been. Because the more I think about it, the more I think that the NRA really doesn’t deserve to be mentioned or discussed in any other way. I don’t think the GVP community gains any points by being polite or politically correct when it comes to the death and injury of 300,000 Americans since the massacre at Sandy Hook. I think gun violence is a national disgrace and I think this website tells it like it really is. Great work Amanda, great work.