For some time, anti-gunners have tried their damnedest to rebrand. They know the term “gun control” is problematic, so they’ve tried to pivot. They want to be thought of as “anti-gun violence advocates” or, as in most of the cases, as “gun safety advocates.”
And, well, people are more likely to listen. Absolutely no one in their right mind opposes gun safety, especially gun owners. The vast majority of us take safety very seriously, after all.
The problem is, they’re not really about gun safety.
Over at Guns Magazine, Dave Workman addresses this issue quite well.
Earlier this year, there were two occasions when this correspondent wound up in broadcast discussions with gun prohibitionists trying to pass themselves off as “gun safety advocates.”
In one of those encounters, it seemed necessary to remind the listening audience there was one certified firearms instructor in the room and it wasn’t the other person who was representing a Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group.
Take this as a learning experience because the elections are on the horizon, you’re a voter with an opportunity to question candidates and you might wind up in a debate with some gun grabber who claims to be an authority on gun safety or a member of some so-called “gun safety” organization. This is when you can put them on the spot and they will unintentionally help you do it.
NRA Certified firearms instructors have a card identifying them as such. Mine has been protected with a laminated plastic cover. A friend who used to be a lobbyist was also an instructor and he habitually pulled out his instructor’s card to ask opponents, “Do you have one of these? If you don’t, you probably shouldn’t be here talking about gun safety.”
Workman goes on to note that if you’re not a certified instructor, the next best thing is to be able to quote Col. Jeff Coopers Four Laws.
He’s not wrong.
There may be a moment of silence, possibly a blank stare as your opponent’s try to figure out who Cooper was and maybe offer a remark about “not being the point” before they scramble to change the subject. This is when you’ve got them. They can’t answer directly since they don’t know. Whatever else is said after this point, just keep reminding your opponent — and anyone else listening — your question wasn’t answered.
These self-appointed arbiters of firearms etiquette don’t really know anything about guns or safety, other than they don’t like them and don’t want anyone to have them. It’s up to you to set it in concrete so people remember it. You’re the expert, not them.
And, of course, he’s absolutely correct.
They call themselves “gun safety advocates” because they’re trying to market themselves to the American public, a public that’s not necessarily trusting of anything labeling itself as “control.” By saying they’re about safety, they can try and redirect any criticism as somehow “anti-safety.” No one wants to be unsafe, right?
Yet as Workman notes, they don’t know anything about guns, much less about actual firearms safety. Their entire idea of gun safety is to regulate the hell out of guns until no one can have them, then everything would be safe from guns.
This would be akin to Mothers Against Drunk Driving talking about curbing DUIs be reinstituting Prohibition.
If they were seriously interested in firearm safety, they’d be reaching out to folks on this side of the debate about the issues we can supposedly find common ground on. They’d support gun safety education in our schools so kids know what to do if they find a gun. They’d support gun rights groups’ efforts to push safety to gun owners.
Where are those efforts? Nowhere to be seen, that’s where.