With the NRA in full retreat from Facebook and suddenly gun-shy Republicans rethinking their allegiance to the Second Amendment, conservative activists are taking to the Internet to defend their right to self-defense.
Almost a dozen anti-gun missives — including six launched the day of — have cropped up on the White House’s “We the People” petition page since the Dec. 14 slaying of 20 children and six unarmed adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The two most prominent proposals, both of which have secured more than the 25,000 signatures required to provoke an official response from the administration, do not prescribe specific curbs or policies, but do request “a bipartisan discussion resulting in a set of laws that regulates how a citizen obtains a gun” (186,760-plus supporters and counting) as well as defiance to “the entrenched gun lobby now” (34,600-plus supporters and counting).
The pro-gun folks waited a bit longer to pull the social media trigger, but have been slowly battling back. The right-to-bear-arms side has seeded the petition queue with five positions of their own, ranging from one begging President Barack Obama not to “pander to the politics Mr. President. A feeding frenzy of new gun legislation is not the answer” (12/16/12; 41,130-plus supporters and counting) to a nuclear option demanding all anti-assault weapon petitions be ruled unconstitutional (12/17/12; 7,370-plus supporters and counting).
Meanwhile, Conservative Drink blogger Rex Moncrief rallied the faithful by plugging information culled from the October 1997 shooting at Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss., into a pro-armed response meme.
The graphic hails then-assistant principal Joel Myrick for halting teenage assailant Luke Woodham’s killing spree, even though media reports differ as to who stopped Woodham from actually escaping; all agree Myrick held the boy at gunpoint until police arrived, but some credit other students with blocking his path.
At least one petitioner wants more Myricks around; Larry W. from Washington, D.C., wants “a gun in every classroom,” advocating for armed teachers and school principals the nation over (12/14/12; 8,500-plus supporters and counting). Jarrod A. of Jacksonville, N.C., prefers to turn the panic into employment opportunities.
His plan is to recruit combat-trained military veterans to patrol schools from open to close (12/14/12; 3,940-plus supporters and counting). “Law enforcement is too short handed to carry the job,” Jarrod counseled. “Plus, this would help create jobs and keep veterans circulated into the civilian working environment.”