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Conservatives Group-Write Anti-Gun Control Missive

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 8 2009

The person who passed along a note on this topic framed it by saying something along the lines of "it's not every day you see conservatives doing neat new stuff online!" Fair enough. GovTrack's Josh Tauberer is leading an experiment using MixedInk's collaborative writing software to crowd-author a letter to Congress opposing H.R. 45, a gun control bill. The premise is simple math: the correspondence Congress receives > their ability to respond to it in any meaningful way. So, how'd did the letter turn out? More than 450 people participated, and the letter itself reads a bit like it was translated to English to French and back to English again. ("Our vote for any such bill is NO! Further, any politician who votes for this bill or any bill of this type will be noted...") The references to "Uncle Joe" -- as in Stalin, natch -- might be ill-advised. This experiment was open to anyone, and it might take a more unified community of participants to put together a more polished letter.

But the proper point of comparison, say the organizers, isn't a personal letter from one citizen to his or her member of Congress -- it's the mass petition. And "We, the undersigned" potentially has more impact when the undersigned actually wrote the thing.

The letter has gathered 1923 signatures thus far.