The most powerful brands are the ones that align themselves with the belief systems of those they are trying to persuade. We tell clients that to go against a belief is often a fool’s errand and can only be overcome by throwing tons of money at the problem.
Or, a belief can be changed by a cataclysmic event.
I wonder if that’s what happened in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre when Sen. Chris Murphy filibustered for 14 hours last night and won promises from Republicans to look at tightening gun control laws.
Filibusters are often showboating affairs (excusing Jimmy Stewart, of course) as politicians like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have proven in the past. They talked for hours, even reading Dr. Seuss, but nothing was actually accomplished by them.
Could recent events have changed the views of some on gun control?
But has the Orlando massacre changed the belief systems of those previously opposed to tightening gun control laws? It might have.
Even Republican senator Pat Toomey supported Murphy in his efforts as public opinion has shifted enough in the aftermath of shootings (and other shootings) to limit the ability of those on terror watch lists to buy assault weapons.
It seems logical enough. Those suspected of being terrorists, who are currently not allowed to fly in the US, should not be allowed to buy assault rifles that are built to kill people.
But the NRA is an extremely powerful lobbying group that can put the squeeze on just about any politician, Republican or Democrat. It has stated that it agrees that terrorists should not have guns, but added that those wrongly accused of being terrorists would have their rights damaged.
The response, including from some Republicans, is to put safeguards in place to protect those wrongly accused, but to go forward with a proposal – and a vote – to limit the ability of suspected terrorists to buy, for example, a Sig Sauer MCX or an AR-15.
There is still a long ways to go on gun control laws. Congress is a difficult, slow-moving beast. But real change happens when movements are aligned with belief systems – or, as in this case, those belief systems are shaken to the core by an event impossible to ignore.