If you’re a pro-gun politician, you get to live with having an oppositional press. While the firearm-related media may like you well enough, the mainstream media is going to be against you every step of the way.
Worse, though, they’ll try and single you out, demand you capitulate with their worldview, and then pretend that you’re unreasonable if you refuse to budge. Never mind them not budging is supposedly a matter of principle, of course. If you refuse, you’re stubborn and divisive.
A prime example is the Capital Gazette and its editorial on the recent bump stock ban. In it, it singles out one state official who fought to grandfather in bump stocks already owned in Maryland. To him, it wants to make demands.
Tuesday, President Donald Trump banned bump stocks, an obscure aftermarket attachment for semi-automatic weapons that makes them fire like machine guns.
They’re used by gun enthusiasts who enjoy shooting rapid fire, and were made infamous for their use in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Now one particular bump stock owner needs to step forward and lead the way in ridding our community of these threats to public safety — Seth Howard.
He introduced an amendment that would have protected gun owners who already possess bump stocks, an exception the General Assembly gave to owners of assault weapons when the state banned the sale of those weapons five years ago. It was voted down by a 45-vote margin.
That would give him the opportunity to become a leader in the discussion of ways to end mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas, or the one that killed five members of the Capital Gazette staff in Annapolis. The man charged in the June 28 shooting used a legally obtained shotgun that did not have the bump stock attachment.
If the delegate still has the bump stock, we think it’s time for him to get rid of it. He can do the right thing and dispose of it in a way that has the potential to mean more than just compliance.
He can send a message that all of us, gun owners and gun control advocates, are in this together.
First, it’s cheap to invoke the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in this argument when it had nothing to do with bump stocks, nothing at all. Instead, it’s a ploy to try and create sympathy, to make the argument unassailable as it now occupies the role of a victim.
Well, I don’t care.
Second, isn’t it funny how it’s always up to the pro-gun side to make the gestures for unity? We have to do things to show we’re “all in this together?”
The problem is, we’re not. We’re not in this together at all.
We’re divided because one group (hint: they agree with the editorial) wants to strip ordinary Americans of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They want to infringe on a right that is supposed to be uninfringeable and then pretend we are the unreasonable ones. They want Howard to bend over backward to send a message, yet where are they? Are they buying AR-15s to show us that we’re all in this together? Are they getting concealed carry permits?
No, seriously, I want to know. What are they doing?
Nothing? That’s what I thought.
To Mr. Howard, I want to say that while I tend to think we should comply with laws, even those we disagree with, in this case, I don’t care. Keep your bump stock if you want. Turn it in if you want. Destroy it if you want. I don’t care.
I ask that you not comply with the Capital Gazette‘s wishes on this. Unless they’re going to make a gesture, there are zero reasons you should.
We’re not in this together after all. We’re divided between those of us who want to keep our rights and those who want to strip them. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise.