AP Photo/Eric Gay, File
I’m a fairly libertarian guy. I don’t care what someone else does, so long as they’re not hurting anyone and leave me and mine alone. I’m a big fan of the idea that your right to throw a punch–either literally or metaphorically–ends at my nose.
That said, I also recognize that not everyone shares my opinions on the matter. Some see the government’s job as being a bit different than I do.
For example, some people may not have an issue with government-sponsored educational programs for things like DUI awareness or some other issue they want to shift people’s thinking over.
The problem I have is that some people see boogiemen where there aren’t any, and that’s why we can’t have nice things.
Gun rights in Texas are being subjected to a subtle attack.
A safe storage campaign was recently snuck into a massive spending bill that is set to arrive on Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. This presents an awkward challenge for the sitting Governor Greg Abbott.
But there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center points out that firearm storage mandates “effectively disarm citizens in a time of urgency.” In a study for the Journal of Law and Economics, Lott uncovered that over 300 more murders and close to 4,000 more rapes occurred each year in the states that mandated firearms storage.
In effect, these laws make it harder for people to defend themselves in high-pressure situations where every second is precious. A firearm storage mandate could put a person under attack at major risk if they cannot quickly access their firearm.
Now, I offered my opposition to this nonsense, so don’t think I’m in favor of this at all. I’m vehemently opposed.
On the same token, let’s not equate this with anything it’s not, and that’s precisely what this article does. Dr. Lott’s remarks focus on safe storage laws, not educational campaigns. Educational campaigns don’t make it harder for people to defend themselves, either. Those two paragraphs are likely to confuse readers into believing the law somehow goes beyond education.
The Advocates for Self Government, who published this, are a libertarian group that seeks to advance libertarian ideals, which they could easily have done by attacking the idea of using taxpayer money on a program that might pave the way for additional regulation.
However, what they do is immediately shift to equating the measure to gun control. It’s not. It’s wrong and shouldn’t be in the Texas budget, but it’s not gun control.
It’s an educational campaign intended to advance the idea that one should lock up their guns. If that idea is gun control, then there are a lot of pro-gunners who need to start sending money to the Brady Bunch.
The key difference here is choice. Texas Governor Greg Abbot isn’t looking at a law that will arrest Texans who feel they need their weapons in easy reach rather than locked up where they can’t get to it. That’s not up for discussion.
By pretending it is, The Advocates are doing more to hurt gun rights than help.
You see, when you attack legislation as something it’s not, you don’t present yourself as reasonable. You present yourself as pathological. Opponents look at you as if you’re either stupid or lying, and neither helps.
Further, disinterested parties look at the legislation in question themselves and see that your opponents are right. They then start to doubt your word on pretty much everything else. They figure you’re either stupid or a liar, thus not worth listening to…but the gun control crowd was right on this one, so they might well be worth paying some attention to.
How is that good for gun rights?
Look, attack the plan for what it is and I’ll back you up. But ostensibly pro-gun groups that prattle off about things not even remotely accurate only hurts us all in the long run. We’re better than the other side.