NRA commentator Billy Johnson has triggered sputtering rage among the anti-gun left for a nearly four-minute video that points out (in a very tongue-in-cheek manner) that we treat the right to own a firearm in this nation far differently than any other right.
As a country we have an education policy. Imagine if that policy was about limiting who has access to public education. I mean, let’s be honest, the danger in educating people to think is that they might actually start to think for themselves. Perhaps we should think seriously about who we give access to knowledge. They could use it to do a lot of damage.
As a country we have a far-reaching public parks program. Imagine if that program was designed to limit who has access to those parks. You littered once in high school, sorry no park access for you.
As a country we have labor policies designed to ensure that people are given access to jobs regardless of gender, race, or creed. Imagine if that policy withheld certain types of jobs as only the purview of the government elite.
The point is that as a country we often write policy to protect access to something; education, parks, jobs. But one for one of the most important protections, a constitutional right, we write policy designed to limit access. Among Second Amendment supporters it’s common to talk about U.S. gun policy. We worry that policies will encroach on our rights; we share our concerns about overreaching gun policy that fails to make any of us safer.
But we don’t spend nearly enough time asking what is the purpose of policy and what should the purpose of gun policy be? We don’t have a U.S. gun policy. We have a U.S. anti-gun policy. Our gun policies are designed around the assumption that we need to protect people from guns, that guns are bad or dangerous. But what would happen if we designed gun policy from the assumption that people need guns — that guns make people’s lives better.
Thinking and talking about the Second Amendment from the point of view that firearms are good and necessary in a free society is a direct and fundamental threat to the anti-gun narrative that “guns are bad and something to be prohibited.”
If we dared treat firearms with honestly, and with respect for their role in creating and preserving our liberty and not just as something used by criminals on the nightly news, it would not just undermine the gun prohibitionist movement, it would all but annihilate it.
One specific part of Johnson’s commentary that seems to upset far left pundits the most is the suggestion that we actively teach children about firearms in school.
Gun policy driven by our need for guns would insist that we introduce young people to guns early and that we’d give them the skills to use firearms safely. Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency. It wouldn’t matter if a child’s parents weren’t good at it. We’d find them a mentor. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t want to learn. We would make it necessary to advance to the next grade.
It’s the “commonsense” argument that gun prohibitionists always claim that they want to discuss, but always avoid like the plague when people ask for specifics and details. There are after all more than 300 million firearms in the United States and trillions of rounds of ammunition.
Simply sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that these firearms aren’t there isn’t realistic, nor mature. Reasonable people must agree with the fact that these firearms exist, and that children and young adults may at some point have an encounter with firearms.
Does it not then make sense to educate students from an early age on gun safety and the reality of firearms in our society?
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