Group Think: The opposite of traditional ''groupthink,'' our Group Think poses one question to a variety of smart thinkers for insightful perspectives on relevant issues.

What Activism Tactics Are Most Effective?

We’ve all heard the famous, inspirational quote from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Makes it sound so simple. But change rarely comes easily. It requires not just commitment, but also creativity and strategy. In this Group Think, successful activists share organizing tactics they’ve found to be effective in recent campaigns.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t fall for this trick. These people are in league with those that would take all of your freedom and rights.

  • ReasonablePerson

    Even cowboys in the wild west were civilized enough to leave
    their guns with the a law officer. You bullies could leave your guns in your
    vehicle; and wear a bullet proof vest. If you choose to carry a gun in public–you are a PREDATOR. If we see you with a gun, we will call 911.

  • Tom Horn

    You cannot legislate sanity. If a person is crazy enough to do the awful things we have seen done they will do it. Boston…pressure cookers, Oklahoma City, fertilizer, The human mind is inventive. where there is a will there will be a way found.
    We all desire to be safe but life is never and will never be 100% safe, life is a risk.
    I want all your pressure cookers, and all your fertilizer, and oh by the way I want that car because people get drunk and kill other people.
    Makes no sense…..

  • http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com/ John Bailo

    All you are saying is that despite our “united” beliefs, we are unable to get a Congress that represents them.

    This means maybe we need a bit of rebellion, and we should be more divergent, and more angry.

    As Ike & Tina sang,

    You see we never ever do nothing Nice and easy
    We always do it nice and rough

    Parents are walking around with dead children, in Newton, Sanford and Aurora.

    The time for living life in a haze where it all gets automatically better is gone.

    Let’s get rough.

  • Robin Levin

    The
    second amendment to the constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, was
    written in 1789 and went into effect on December 15th 1791. It read as
    follows: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a
    free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
    infringed.”

    In 1789 this provision of the U.S. Constitution made complete sense. The typical firearm was a very
    primitive device by our standards. You loaded it, fired a shot and then
    had to reload it to fire a second shot. If you lived on a farm, as many
    Americans did at that time, you needed your fire arms to protect your
    chickens from foxes and wolves, to hunt wild game to supplement the
    family’s diet, and, in some areas to protect yourself from hostile
    Native Americans. If there were outlaws on the loose you might be called
    on to participate in an armed posse to apprehend them. Not to possess
    firearms would have seemed naïve and foolish.

    What has changed
    since 1789? Just about everything. Firearm technology has advanced to
    the point where an ordinary citizen can buy a semiautomatic assault
    rifle that fire off fifty to sixty rounds in one minute. Any unbalanced
    soul can kill dozens of his or her fellow citizens within a few minutes.
    When was the last time you, or anyone you know, had to protect his
    chickens from foxes or wolves, hunted wild game or needed to deter
    hostile Native Americans? Granted, there still a few people who hunt
    wild game and some who need to protect their chickens, but neither of
    these activities require the use of a semiautomatic assault rifle!

    Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas pointed out that if someone in
    the movie theater in Colorado had been carrying a gun, he might have
    shot the assailant and prevented some of the mayhem. Perhaps, but even
    that would not have required the use of a semiautomatic assault weapon.
    And in the darkened theater such a would-be hero would very likely have
    made his own contribution to the mayhem.

    Surely a compromise
    could be reached on this issue. We can allow hunters their rifles,
    farmers their firearms to protect their chickens, and women in dangerous
    neighborhoods their handguns to protect their lives and property. No
    legitimate civilian use of a firearm requires one that spews fifty to
    sixty bullets in one minute. These should be banned.

    There is a
    lunatic fringe in this country that says that citizens should arm
    themselves with whatever weapons they can obtain in order to protect
    themselves from the federal government. I know of a group that did just
    that: the Branch Davidians. I can’t think of a more suicidal thing to
    do.

  • Larry Swain

    How do you dig in your “heals?”

  • Andre Sheldon

    The children are the commonality that can unite us – to find the middle ground. Please see Global Movement of Nonviolence (GMofNV). The gun control efforts need a GMofNV to give it political clout. A GMofNV is a people movement, but to implement it leaders are needed. Those leaders have now appeared and issued the ultimate statement of nonviolence. If SANDY HOOK PROMISE would support a GMofNV, watch what happens! Please see http://www.GSofNV.org

  • Jim Hackett

    We all know the system is rigged by big money. The only way out is to replace congress with a jury system as is possible by article 5 in the constitution. See http://www.jurygovernment.org

  • Reasonable Person II

    The Devil is the in the details, as nearly always. Which include facts and rhetorical reflexes.

    For instance, “background checks” work in an overtly commercial context. Not otherwise, however. And enormous and fundamental swaths of life exist outside the framework of commercial transactions.

    How would the law on “background checks” apply were a father to give a favorite hunting rifle to his son, or a farmer to lend a varmint gun to his neighbor, or a well-trained woman to lend her semi-automatic pistol to her well-trained friend who wants to try it out at the range or who might want it for protection temporarily while her abusive ex-significant other is on a drunken tear?

    What kind of paperwork would intrude into these situations that could let those situations remain timely and informal? What would the law require in terms of preventive measures, anticipatory measures, procedural reflexes, and life-long files worked up on those involved? What would insurance companies do? Would anyone be allowed even to hold a functioning weapon that did not belong to them? Sounds like a ridiculous question, but then what does “possession of a firearm” mean, to Law Enforcement, to an insurance company?

    So when an advocate bandies about opinion poll responses — such as 90% of Americans want background checks — as if these responses should guide the writing of legislation, we are in very peculiar territory. The advocate knows that the actual situation is fundamentally different than the hypothetical, and yet the advocate pushes the hypothetical. Even when the advocate has space to explain things thoroughly and an audience patiently reading, the advocate avoids the actual situation and pushes the hypothetical.

    The advocate, then, wishes merely to criminalize the handling of a firearm by anyone other than its registered owner, and merely to criminalize gifting between family and friends.

  • Little Bit

    I believe you meant to say “digging in your HEELS”, didn’t you? Beward of Spellcheck reliance.

  • Barry Bingham

    If liberals were willing to come to the “middle” on some of the issues they are “winning” on the ridiculous left then maybe your tone wouldn’t seem so phony. Please everyone let’s exercise common sense and compromise on these issues I can’t force down your throats. I’m still holding firm to all my leftist agenda that doesn’t work you know just because I can. But on this issue (which I have no chance of winning) I’m appealing to and very concerned about the middle and providing a common sense solution for the best interests of all Americans.
    In summary we are going to keep forcing our agenda down your throats even though it is in no way self sustaining and will never work in the long term. But on this one issue we could really use some help and we are willing to compromise to get the ball rolling in our direction. We will of course use that momentum to sway the issue completely in favor of our leftist agenda given half a chance in the future.
    In closing let me just reiterate my genuine concern for the middle class and the best interests of all Americans. We are really on your side wink wink….
    Bill Moyers once objective journalist seems to have officially fallen off the fence of logic and reason on the left side.

  • Barry Bingham

    Damn you Siri…