Katey’s Firearms Facts… digital democracy in action

posted by Brendan Hodgson

In keeping with my colleague Boyd Neil’s recent focus on politics, spin and social media, I was awkwardly impressed by the efforts of civil libertarian and Canadian firearms activist Bruce Montague’s use social media as a means to elevate and sustain the debate around the infamous federal gun registry

In this amusing yet high-impact video (via here), Bruce’s 13-year-old daughter Katey highlights a number of little-known facts that shine a rather unfavourable light on the much-maligned registry. (I should add that I was less impressed and somewhat disturbed by Bruce’s other videos on his site which, in my view, bent toward the extreme with respect to fear-mongering and sensationalism, though perhaps that was the intent).

Yet it is precisely this form of citizen-driven advocacy and outreach that we will likely see more of, both in Canada and in the U.S. as highlighted through Jeff Jarvis’ recent discussion (hat-tip to Rob Hyndman) on the power of citizen media and Youtuber’s in particular to expose the hypocrisies and inconsistencies of our politicians and other elected (and unelected) representatives – whether through their own investigative work or, interestingly, by doing what the media often seem incapable of doing, connecting the dots using their own coverage.

That said, the degree to which these videos impact voter decision will likely remain suspect for some time… However, by simply opening our eyes to information that we might not have seen previously, or packaging information in a way that makes us question general assumptions, biased or no, democracy is clearly being served.