In our current gun debate, it’s not unusual for gun control advocates to claim that pro-Second Amendment activists are unreasonable. They argue that all anyone is talking about is restricting assault weapons a bit, and what do you need with those anyway? When we point out that we know the endgame is well beyond just so-called “assault weapons,” they like to pretend we’re paranoid. Nevermind the countless people we’ve shown wanting to do far more. We’re paranoid because no one is talking about that.
It seems no one sent that memo to at least one gun control group. From Americans Against Gun Violence:
In every other high income democratic country of the world, the burden of proof is on the person seeking to acquire a gun to show why he or she needs one, and that he or she is of good character and able to handle a gun safely; not on society to prove why he or she should not have one. Moreover, recognizing that there is no net protective value from civilian gun ownership, most other developed countries do not accept “self-defense” as a reason for having a gun. The alleged shooter in the Capital Gazette mass shooting, Jarrod Ramos, had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment of a young woman who refused his advances in 2011. He filed an unsuccessful defamation of character lawsuit against the Capital Gazette after the Gazette published a critical – but accurate – account of his conviction. Ramos subsequently made numerous threats against Gazette staff on social media. He was nevertheless able to legally purchase the pump action shotgun he used in the Capital Gazette mass shooting under lax federal and Maryland state gun laws. A person with this background almost certainly would not have been able to acquire a gun in any other high income democratic country in the world.
Other high income democratic countries have reacted swiftly and definitively to prevent mass shootings. For example, following a mass shooting committed with assault rifles in the resort town of Port Arthur, Australia, in 1996, the Australian government took just 13 days to agree to ban civilian ownership not only of all automatic and semi-automatic rifles, but also of all pump-action shotguns of the type used by Ramos in the Capital Gazette mass shooting yesterday and by Dimitrios Pagourtzis in the Santa Fe High School mass shooting in May of this year. There have been no further mass shootings in Australia since 1996. Despite scores of horrific mass shootings in the United States over the past half century, the U.S. federal government has failed to take any definitive action to prevent these massacres from recurring on a regular basis.
It is the position of Americans Against Gun Violence that the United States should adopt stringent gun control laws comparable to the laws that have long been in effect in every other high income democratic country of the world. If such laws had already been in place, it’s exceedingly unlikely that the Capital Gazette mass shooting would have occurred. Until such laws are in place, when the next horrific mass shooting occurs in our country, we shouldn’t ask ourselves why these tragedies keep occurring. Rather, we should ask ourselves why we fail to take the obvious steps necessary to prevent them.
That said, I have little doubt they’re speaking for countless anti-gunners.
The difference between groups like this and Everytown et al. is that these groups don’t recognize what the larger, more established groups do. They don’t get that European-style gun control will not happen in this country in one fell swoop. Any attempt to do so will be met with a swift response. And let’s be honest, that swift response may include a whole new civil war.
Unlike Europeans, we’re citizens, not subjects. We don’t need to show a need to exercise our God-given right to keep and bear arms, and we’ll be damned if we allow that to change.
The larger, more established groups, however, know that the only way to reach that point in this country is to do so incrementally. It’s like the old saying about frogs and boiling water. You have to turn it up slowly so people won’t notice.
Unfortunately for all of them, we noticed. We noticed a while back, and now we’re not giving them a single inch. We’re not giving it because people like these fools want to take it all away.
Pro tip: If you’re going to restrict someone’s right, you always have to illustrate why it has to be restricted. It’s not on us to show why we should have such a right.
The fact that you think we should is why we won’t give you the opportunity to get that far along the path.