Gradual Change On Guns Will Lead To Still More Gun Control

On Tuesday, I wrote about just why we don’t trust anti-gunners. After all, that particular example talked about not wanting to take away Second Amendment rights immediately followed by calls for banning the most popular firearms in the nation today.

She’s just one person, though. She wrote for a local paper and, frankly, isn’t likely to get a lot of attention.

However, somewhere like the Harvard Political Review is a different matter. Harvard is a big name that’s still respected in many circles. No, I’m not entirely sure why, but they are.

On Tuesday, they published a post on their site about how radical proposals are popular in primaries but need to be tamed down to pass.

Abolish ICE. Eliminate private health insurance. Dismantle the electoral college. Thirty years ago, uttering any of these statements was an act of political suicide. Today, however, these proposals are supported by prominent Democratic politicians. American politics has become increasingly characterized by proposals for sweeping structural change; therefore,  Democratic politicians should emphasize broad change if they desire to court youth voters in the 2020 election. Once in office, however, appeals to the political center and proposals for gradual reform are more likely attract the bipartisan support Democrats need to pass legislation.

This, of course, is true. 30 years ago, most of these proposals wouldn’t have gotten the time of day.

Frankly, I’m still not convinced they really are getting the time of day, truth be told.

However, what does this have to do with guns or the Second Amendment? Well, a fair chunk of the story talks about gun control.

Gun legislation is a prime example. Based on HPOP data, while 83 percent of Warren supporters and 82 percent of Biden supporters advocate for a ban on assault weapons, only 30 percent of young Republicans do the same. An outright ban on assault weapons is a significant, structural change that may appeal to the left but challenges pro-gun rights advocacy typically seen on the right. Furthermore, despite the potential merits of an assault weapons ban, such an action would almost certainly be impeded by the NRA and other lobbyists.

By contrast, incremental gun legislation wins greater cross-party support. Likely voters who prioritize the implementability of a policy were 88 percent in favor of increased background checks for gun purchases, and their support does not stop there. Both 92 percent of young Warren supporters and 78 percent of young Republican voters surveyed by HPOP supported expanded background checks. The kind of more gradual reform that this policy reflects garners broader support from both sides of the ideological spectrum.

First, I’d like to point out that the problems with polling data have been heavily discussed here at Bearing Arms, particularly how people tend to support overall ideas, but once they see the nuts and bolts of these plans, they recognize the real problems inherent in them.

However, let’s also remember that these are the same people who have already said they want a complete ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Biden has shown some sympathy for Beto O’Rourke’s gun confiscation plan. Other presidential candidates have openly supported such a measure.

As such, it’s quite clear that giving ground on things like “universal background checks” won’t end the gun control debate. That’s especially true in light of the fact that we know most criminals get their guns from black market dealers, not law-abiding citizens selling guns. It’s extremely unlikely we’ll see any decrease in crime rates, which will spur still more talk of gun control.

In other words, giving up any ground will do nothing to benefit us from a political standpoint. It won’t make us safer as a nation, either. There’s absolutely no good that comes of budging on background checks.

If I thought for an instant that it might end the debate, that it might be the last effort of the anti-gun movement, I might at least pause to consider it. Would giving up a single bit of ground be worth it if it ended all the other battles we fight to protect our rights?

Such things aren’t worth really considering, though, because that’s not what’s on the table. Anti-gunners want this incremental change…for now. They won’t be satisfied until they’ve disarmed us.

After all, if it were really about crime, they wouldn’t be so focused on so-called “assault weapons.” I mean, since knives and clubs kill more people than AR-15s, they’re less of a threat to folks, yet no one is trying to restrict them here in the U.S.

Yet, anyway.