AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Recently, I commented that Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic candidate who is being among the smartest in the primary field right now when it comes to guns. As her opponents shift more and more to the left in an attempt to appease the base, Warren is taking a position that’s likely to garner more support among the center, which is where elections are won and lost.
Not that she’s good on guns or wants anything less than total confiscation like her opponents, mind you, only she’s not quite as stupid as the rest.
That’s not to say she didn’t say anything completely ridiculous. You see, it seems that Warren believes there are two kinds of gun owners in this world [emphasis mine]:
Asked if the federal government should confiscate people’s guns, Warren distinguished between “collectors” and quick sellers:
What I think we need to do is we need to treat it like a serious research problem, which we have not done. You know, guns in the hands of a collector who’s had them for decades, who’s never fired them, who takes safety seriously, that’s very different from guns that are sold and turned over quickly.
We can’t treat this as an across-the-board problem. We have to treat it like a public health emergency. That means bring data to bear and it means making real change in this country, whether it’s politically popular or not.
Except, both of those are rare exceptions to the gun community. Warren apparently believes that those of us who purchase firearms fall predominantly into one of those two camps, and that’s a pile of male bovine excrement. Either of those groups is the exception rather than the rule.
I won’t pretend they don’t exist because they both probably do. I know the collectors who never shoot do, and I can see the second group existing as well.
However, Warren is setting up some kind of a strawman. The problem is that there’s little evidence that there are more than a handful of people buying guns and then flipping them over for sale. Some, sure. I do not doubt that someone has a side business of doing something like that, especially if they find guns inexpensively, then purchase them at a slightly higher markup or whatever.
But show me the evidence that this is enough of a thing to even warrant discussion? Show me where there’s some epidemic of guys buying guns, then turning around and selling them.
Most of those who purchase guns that are also contributing to arming criminals are doing so through straw buys, which are different. Maybe Warren means those people? Who knows.
For that matter, who cares?
By trying to pretend there are these different categories of gun owners or implying, somehow, that those who never fire their guns are the ones on the side of goodness and light, Warren is illustrating her complete lack of understanding regarding the firearm community.
Shocking, I know.