By Samuel Burke and Lucky Gold, CNN
Could a grass roots movement change America's permissive gun laws in the wake of the massacre of six- and seven-year-olds?
It happened thirty years ago, when a grieving mother named Candy Lightner turned her anguish into action and created Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or “MADD”.
She did that in 1980, just days after she buried her 13-year-old daughter Cari. MADD’s first office was Cari's bedroom.
From there she launched a movement that changed the way Americans and America’s laws treat drunk driving. And it soon spread to the rest of the world. MADD now has 600 chapters in all fifty states.
Since 1991, drunk driving deaths have been cut by almost 40%. And for the first time on record, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths dipped below ten thousand.
The loss of one child helped change America’s drinking culture.
Will the loss of twenty young lives mark a sea change when it comes to tolerating military style weapons on America's streets?
By Samuel Burke, CNN
Tennessee lawmaker Debra Maggart was a lifetime member of America’s most powerful gun lobby, the National Riffle Association.
She had an A+ rating with the group and even supported allowing guns in bars.
But when Maggart decided not to back a bill allowing guns in cars – even on properties where the owners did not want guns- the NRA turned against her.
The group did everything in its power to ensure her election defeat.
By Samuel Burke, CNN
The NRA might run the risk of being obsolete, according to Eliot Spitzer.
The former New York governor says America's most powerful gun lobby has two choices: Either it can "revert to their normal posture ... and refuse to compromise," Spitzer told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview Monday. Or, he believes, the NRA can pivot: remain strong gun advocates, but encourage their membership in to help limit certain gun rights.
If they do not, Spitzer believes the organization runs the risk of becoming politically irrelevant and their membership might drift away.