Understanding The Knee-Jerk Reactions That Lead To Gun Laws

On Wednesday, I wrote about a tragic story where a two-year-old child took his own life after reportedly mistaking his mother’s firearm for a squirt gun. It’s an awful story, but it wasn’t one that came up in my regular search of the news.

No, this is one my wife stumbled upon and sent me.

She saw it on her Facebook feed where a friend of hers shared it, along with her own opinions about it. Among other things, the friend raged about how a gun should “look like a weapon” and not be colored pink or blue or anything else. Of course, I told my wife I disagreed and why, but later it struck me about how that friend’s comments are based in the same place as a lot of legislation.

Let’s say my wife’s friend was a lawmaker. She’s not, but hypothetically, let’s say she was a member of the House of Representatives.

She’d see this story and rather than just express her outrage on Facebook, she’d call up her staff and start drafting legislation. She’d use this story to illustrate why firearms shouldn’t be manufactured in pretty colors. The media would latch onto this and would inundate us with op-eds about why these colored guns are evil and should be banned. We’d have left-leaning attorneys write about how that’s not an infringement of the Second Amendment because there’d still be plenty of other guns to buy and really, can’t we all just think of the children?

Meanwhile, there would be no critical look at why gun companies manufacture those guns.

Oh, there might be lip service about how they’re making them to appeal to women or whatnot, but they’d never bother to note that sometimes, a colored firearm is the only reason a woman will pick up a firearm. At the risk of sounding sexist, there are a lot of ladies who don’t want your standard Glock or M&P but will pick up something they think is “cute.” I’ve seen it.

Not all, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a thing. It’s the reason many gun manufacturers make them. They wouldn’t make them if they don’t sell and a lot of us have seen women who wouldn’t otherwise buy and carry a firearm become gun enthusiasts because of a pick or Tiffany blue firearm.

None of that would register with our hypothetical lawmaker, though. She wouldn’t care one bit about any of that. She wouldn’t care about the hundreds of thousands of women who would potentially be brutally attacked and/or murdered because they’d never picked up a firearm. No, all she’d care about is addressing one isolated incident that isn’t likely to happen again anyway.

When you look at a lot of firearm legislation, that’s kind of what happens. They address a handful of scenarios, at most, without ever taking into account the real harm being caused. They don’t understand that universal background checks may make it more difficult to loan someone a firearm for a short time or how an assault weapon ban may make it more difficult for someone to defend their home. They just pat themselves on their back and move on to the next “crisis.”

My wife’s friend doesn’t have that kind of power, thankfully. It’s only too bad that there are more than enough people who also react that same way who do.