Op-ed calls for MADD-like effort to fight gun violence

Op-ed calls for MADD-like effort to fight gun violence
AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, made a difference. While drunk driving wasn’t exactly legal before MADD, it was one of those things a lot of people still did and little attention was really paid to it.

Yet when MADD began, it started fighting back against something that was a very real issue. Now, drunk driving is one of those things that if you do, you damn sure don’t admit to. It’s simply not accepted in polite society.

It seems that some want a group like MADD focused on guns.

Bereaved and distraught, Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, better known as MADD. The organization succeeded in helping educate Americans about how to be personally responsible behind the wheel and compassionate for others. One year in, MADD changed the dialogue. It also changed its name to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, focusing on the real foe — the act of impaired driving.

Why can’t we marshal the same energy and outrage and resourcefulness to end the carnage taking place in our schools, malls, and on our city streets? A generation of activists protested the Vietnam War and marched for Civil Rights. Why aren’t their children and grandchildren taking to the streets now to demand an end to the gun violence madness?

I write cookbooks for a living, and have researched American history for them: I am emboldened to learn of women throughout time who have responded to deplorable conditions and embraced solutions out of compassion and love. Decades before MADD, these brave crusaders pushed for food regulationsbetter working conditions and — something that’s been in the news a lot lately — child labor laws.

Are we finally ready to take personal responsibility? On the heels of this year’s mass shootings in Tennessee, Texas and Georgia, are we willing to give Americans what they are demanding — sensible gun legislation?

There’s a big difference between, say, drunk driving and guns.

With drunk driving, there’s no situation where it’s acceptable. There’s no lawful reason to drive drunk. Laws against driving drunk don’t interfere with otherwise lawful behavior. Instead, they focus on the dangerous behavior itself.

Gun control is different.

It’s based on the idea that guns themselves are the problem despite the plethora of lawful uses involved. Yet gun control restricts the lawful trade of firearms in a misguided attempt to curtail the activities of those who aren’t getting their weapons lawfully in the first place.

MADD didn’t focus on removing cars from the road because drunk drivers acted illegally, they focused on the very behavior that was the problem.

Gun control does no such thing, which is why a MADD-like effort to push gun control isn’t going to have the same effect, nor should it.

The author brings up other instances where a groundswell of support changed the rules, but again, in all of those other instances, you’re looking at things that targeted the troubling behavior itself, not the lawful actions of those with zero ill intent.

So the author typically writes cookbooks.

Based on her understanding of the issue, she might want to stick with that, because she clearly can’t see the nuances involved in her suggestions.

Gun control doesn’t stop criminals. It stops the law-abiding. It keeps people like you and me from getting firearms of certain types or without jumping through hoops. It has absolutely no effect on the criminals these folks say are being targeted.

If this suggestion, premised on MADD’s efforts, were to actually be like that, it would act to address the very people engaging in illegal behavior and not the actions of law-abiding citizens.

Again, she should probably stick to writing cookbooks, because her op-ed skills involve a lot of ignorance of the topic she’s pontificating upon.