Anti-Gun Activists, Politicians Waste No Time in Exploiting Lewiston Murders

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

According to the gun control lobby’s playbook on how to respond to a mass shooting, activists shouldn’t wait for the facts before using a high-profile shooting incident to demand more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.


“The truth is, the most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak,” according to the guidebook for anti-gunners known as Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging, which instructs activists “don’t assume the facts – and don’t wait for them” before exploiting the emotional response to a high-profile shooting in order to “make a connection with someone that will be sustainable after the individual incident fades from memory.”

These lessons from the gun control lobby have been on full display since news first broke of the active shooter attacks at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday evening. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, for example, wasted no time in blaming Republican lawmakers in Maine for the killer’s actions.


There’s one big problem with Newsom’s finger-pointing: Democrats have complete control of Maine’s government, including both legislative chambers and the governor’s office. It’s true that a waiting period bill was rejected by the legislature, but that was a bipartisan vote. Not only that, in 2016 Maine had a “universal background check” referendum on the ballot, and despite the massive spending in support of the measure by anti-gun activists like Michael Bloomberg, voters down the proposed gun control law 48-52.

Anti-gun activists, including the executive director of Giffords, highlighted Maine’s supposedly lax gun laws ad nauseum on Wednesday evening; something they conveniently neglect to do when an active shooting incident occurs in a state with restrictive gun laws.

Shannon Watts was busy spouting misinformation as well.


If you buy a firearm at retail, you’re going to go through the same background check that you do in every other state. Until the NICS check comes back, you cannot take possession of that firearm, at least for 72 hours. If you buy a Sudafed at retail in Maine, on the other hand, you’ll have to show your ID and sign your name before walking out the door.

Presumably, Watts was arguing that private person-to-person gun sales in Maine can take place without going through a background check, but the same thing is true of private person-to-person transfers of over-the-counter drugs with pseudoephedrine. In other words, no, it’s not easier to buy an AR-15 than Sudafed, but a little thing like the truth isn’t going to stop Watts from peddling her misinformation.

It’s also worth noting why we have to show our ID when purchasing a drug containing pseudoephedrine. This law was put in place several decades ago in order to prevent the manufacture of methamphetamine. While the rule did put a dent in the number of homegrown meth labs here in the U.S., the Mexican drug cartels were more than happy to meet the demand, and the net result is that meth is now more common, more powerful, and cheaper than it was before the law was enacted. “Common sense” proposals often come with unintended consequences, but that’s not something Watts is likely to acknowledge.


We even saw a new term pop up from Ambler last night: “gun lobby community”, which is apparently defined as anyone supportive of the right to keep and bear arms.

Social media is a cesspool in the best of times, but gun control social media in the immediate aftermath (or in the midst) of a high-profile shooting is a total dumpster fire of scapegoating, blamecasting, half-truths, and outright B.S… just as their playbook demands.

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