Recently, National Review‘s David French penned an op-ed in hopes of explaining to some people why so many of us own guns. Yesterday, Bethany Mandel did the same thing in the pages of the New York Times. The idea was simple and noble. They wanted to show folks who don’t own guns why so many others do.
French notes that the response to both articles illustrates why gun control fails so miserably every single time.
Yet the responses to both essays have helped demonstrate why the Left keeps losing on guns. It simply can’t persuade a rational, reasonable adult who’s experienced a threat that they’re safer without effective means of self-defense. Indeed, the effort to make this case is so often rooted in condescension or ignorance that it’s deeply alienating.
First, there’s an odd argument that it’s somehow illegitimate to make a decision based on “fear.” Or — as one correspondent put it — “fear and paranoia.” This makes no sense. Americans make safety-based decisions all the time. Is it wrong to buckle a seatbelt because that’s a “fear-based” decision? Should you ride a motorcycle without a helmet just to show the world you’re not scared? Reasonable people take precautions in the face of real threats.
Next, you immediately hear that you’re foolish. That “you’re more likely to hurt yourself than defend yourself.” In other words, the gun is more dangerous to you and your family than it is to any given criminal. But if you’re speaking to a responsible, non-suicidal adult, then this argument is flat-out wrong. In fact, even when you include suicides in the analysis — and compare them to the best estimates of annual defensive gun use — you’ll find that law-abiding Americans use guns to defend themselves far more than they do to hurt themselves.
Moreover, another person’s irresponsibility is irrelevant to the existence of my fundamental liberties. I don’t surrender my free-speech rights because another person uses theirs to troll Twitter. I don’t surrender my right to free exercise of religion because another person joins a cult. I don’t surrender my inherent and unalienable right to self-defense because a man across town decides to kill himself.
It’s part of a much larger post, and I highly recommend you read it, but he’s right.
Many other people and I find the arguments against having the means to defend yourself delusional. I’ve heard them all before, but they’ve never made any sense. How am I more likely to hurt myself than defend myself? I’m not an idiot, after all, so if I follow a few basic safety rules, I shouldn’t have a problem, right?
Yet in the mind of the gun control activist, it seems we’re all perpetually stupid. No one can comprehend the basics of gun safety, which is probably why the words “gun safety” coming out of their mouths should be translated as “ban them all.” They think that’s the only way to keep any of us safe from guns.
The problem for them is that we don’t need them. Most Americans, even those who don’t own guns, know that we don’t need them. They can look at these arguments and see them for what they are, complete and utter nonsense.
That’s why gun control doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because it’s always premised on people being too stupid to live without some elite telling us how to do it.
No one wants to put up with that, so even a lot of non-gun owners refuse to accept that line of reasoning.
Yeah, they make a few wins here and there, but they’re small potatoes, and they can’t do it on the national stage. To make matters worse, they know it, and it burns them up.
It just makes me giggle.