I was happy to join Fox News host Laura Ingraham last night to talk about the March For Our Lives/Giffords forum in Las Vegas yesterday, where Elizabeth Warren vowed to reduce gun violence by 80% in just eight years, Cory Booker talked up everything from gun bans to storage laws, Beto O’Rourke once again sunnily assumed that Americans will just cooperate with his compensated confiscation program, and candidates from Joe Biden to Andrew Yang all treated the right to keep and bear arms as if it was no impediment at all to their plans for sweeping restrictions on gun ownership.
As Ingraham noted, “these are not reasonable restrictions. These are mandatory ‘buybacks’. It’s gun confiscation.” That’s exactly what it is. It is not door-to-door confiscation, but it is confiscation nonetheless. “Give us your gun and we’ll give you a little money, but if you don’t you’re a criminal” is not a voluntary exchange of goods for cash. It’s compensated confiscation.
Ingraham was also correct in pointing out that most of the violent crime in this country doesn’t take place in the rural, red areas where lots of people own firearms. Instead, deep-blue cities that have done their best to eradicate a culture of lawful gun ownership lead the way in violent crime and homicides. It’s why guys like Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter, Kevin Dixie of No Other Choice Firearms Training, Aaargo Jay, and so many other gun owners in urban areas are fighting not just to protect their rights, but to restore that good gun culture in the cities where they live.
They’re fighting an uphill battle. Laura Ingraham might have invited me on to discuss the Democrats running for president and their incredibly anti-2A views, but she could do a segment every night of the week on the contempt for legal gun ownership demonstrated by local politicians in Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, and other cities hit hard by gang violence. They don’t want to hear from the gun owners who live in those cities. In fact, they don’t want gun owners in their cities in the first place. Only by making their cities gun-free can they make their cities crime-free as well.
And yet, as I pointed out on Fox News last night, violent crime went down last year, not up. Homicides dropped by 6% across the nation, even as millions of guns were purchased. The fundamental tenet of the gun control movement is “more guns = more crime”, but the reality is that since the early 1990’s, we’ve added millions of firearms every year, and our violent crime rates are about half what they were at their peak almost 30 years ago. Now, that doesn’t automatically mean that more guns equates to less crime, but it certainly disproves the idea that the more guns there are, the more crime there will be.
The gun control movement is, at its heart, a prohibitionary movement. Its progress is measured, not in terms of whether or not we as a nation are becoming more or less safe, but how many guns are taken out of circulation, or by how many Americans are persuaded, pressured, or adjudicated not to own firearms. Oh sure, gun control advocates sometimes acknowledge violent crime rates as opposed to individual acts of violence. When crime goes down after a gun control law is passed, for example, it is heralded as a sign of gun control’s effectiveness. But when crime goes up after new gun control laws are put in place (as we’ve seen in Colorado, for example) it’s not seen as a failure of gun control. In fact, it’s not seen at all. Gun control advocates studiously avoid talking about or even acknowledging the increase in crime, and if forced to admit that “yes, crime is up”, it’s only to argue that we simply need even more gun control laws.
2018’s drop in crime in the United States wasn’t brought up by any of the Democrats I saw during the hours I watched the Las Vegas forum. Instead, they portrayed a country in the midst of out-of-control rising violence; the worst i’ts ever been and the only answer an obliteration of a constitutional right. A few generations ago, FDR proclaimed that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” in order to give a nation hope. On Wednesday the candidates told America to “Be afraid. Be very afraid” in order to take away their guns.