The gun debate constantly amazes me, particularly how people who know absolutely nothing about firearms can lecture on what we need and don’t need. It’s a level of ignorance that would be hilarious were it not for the fact that these people are trying to deprive us of our sacred and constitutionally protected rights.
And it’s not just the activists on social media who are complete and total idiots when it comes to firearms. No, it’s the lawmakers who are actually writing the laws but routinely show us how little the understand the topic in question.
As Becket Adams over at the Washington Examiner notes, however, this level of ignorance wouldn’t be tolerated in any other discussion:
It’s the ignorance of lawmakers, gun control activists, and media commentators that is inexcusable and insulting. Understanding the issue is the bare minimum required of their respective professions. Yet, so many simply refuse to learn the topic.
It’s things like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., saying she opposes “rapid-fire magazines,” whatever those are. It’s things like Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., calling for a ban on “gas-assisted receiver firearms,” which are not real. It’s things like professional cable news commentator Steve Schmidt saying it’s harder to buy cough medicine than an AK-47, which is a damned, stupid lie.
No one would ever accept this level of ignorance and dishonesty in a similarly serious and emotionally charged debate.
No one would cheer if a pundit said it’s easier to get a late-term abortion than Sudafed. His audience would ask to see his homework. No one would shrug it off if a legislator incorrectly referred to a “trimester” as a “semester.” No one would ignore it if a pro-life senatorial candidate explained his position on abortions in cases of rape and incest with a response that included something about the human body rejecting “legitimate rape.”
Hell, no one would accept this level of ignorance from a traffic report. If a journalist referred to a pickup truck as an “auto-style speedbox,” he would rightly be laughed off the air.
Adams is absolutely correct.
However, I’ll go one further. The dedicated gun control activists also should be held to a similar standard. It’s one thing if the mom down the street who knows nothing of firearms thinks an AR-15 is a murder death kill machine gun that no sensible person needs. It’s quite another when someone who makes their living discussing firearm issues thinks a .22 bolt action is some horrible firearm we need to keep out of the hands of anyone under the age of 21.
I think we have a right to expect people whose livelihoods revolve around firearms to at least understand the basics of what they’re talking about.
Most people don’t understand guns all that well, and that’s fine. They’re not interested, and I’m not interested in requiring them to be interested. If they call it a “30-round magazine clip,” the most I’ll do is chuckle. There’s no real harm in their ignorance on the topic.
But lawmakers? They should at least understand the nomenclature of what they’re discussing.