To say 2020 is a strange year would be putting it mildly. We already expect some oddness because it’s an election year and while politicians can screw up plenty, giving us some hilariously odd moments, but what we got was something very different. From talk of World War III we went to Australia being on fire, then on to COVID-19, and now riots. Somewhere in between were the murder hornets, too, because why the hell not?
However, it also looks like 2020 might also be the year gun control died.
For fans of legal restrictions on self-defense rights, 2020 is a disaster. It provides continuing evidence that to push gun control proposals is to advocate that the likes of Derek Chauvin—the Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd—should be armed, while the communities they terrorize should be helpless. It is also to insist that when police fail at their supposedly core task of protecting the public, people should be deprived of the means for defending themselves. As many Americans lose faith in law enforcement and do what’s necessary to shield lives and property, it’s unlikely that they’ll be an enthusiastic audience for future disarmament schemes that would make those of us who don’t work for government even more vulnerable to those who do.
Back in January, prominent gun control advocate and then-presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg responded to reports that an armed church security guard stopped a would-be mass murderer by sniffing that such behavior is inappropriate.
“It may be true—I wasn’t there and don’t know the facts—that somebody in the congregation had his own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people, but it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place,” he said.
That comment hasn’t aged well in a world dominated by names of victims of police violence such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and uniformed perpetrators like former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Now, most of us know that these instances aren’t the norm. Most police officers are good, decent people just trying to work a tough job.
However, many of those who disagree with that point are also people who routinely argue for gun control, the very people saying that only the police should have guns.
That never really squared up in my mind, especially in the Age of Trump.
After all, if you honestly believe the president is a tyrant and the police are brutal oppressors of marginalized people, on what planet does it actually make sense to make it so they’re the only ones with guns?
Well, it seems like many are asking that same question.
Take, for example, Tom Arnold. Roseanne Barr’s less-talented ex-husband routinely spouts idiotic nonsense on Twitter, much of it anti-gun. However, even he is starting to talk a bit differently.
2nd Amendment is for everyone including black men with long guns but it’s fucking time for us white liberal men to stand up for our brothers & sisters. Borrow our dad’s hunting rifles & go nose to nose with Trump’s gang of misfit tools. Let’s do it @robreiner #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/KIf5OFAp3r
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) June 7, 2020
Yeah, he’s still screaming demented stuff, but he’s now seeming to recognize the role of the gun in America. After all, haven’t we been saying the purpose of firearms isn’t to hunt but to defend our nation against tyranny, either foreign or domestic?
Well, Arnold thinks he’s seeing tyranny and is calling for using guns to oppose it.
Don’t get me wrong, pretty much everything he said was idiotic, up to and including a bit that Colion Noir smacked him down over.
Bro relax, we’re black men not children, we don’t need your help owning guns, we’ve been doing for it decades and continue to do so. I have more long guns than I do food, we’re good. https://t.co/NxD0WxGkUq
— Colion Noir (@MrColionNoir) June 8, 2020
He’s not wrong, of course.
Right now, a lot of long-time anti-gun supporters are rethinking their positions. They’re wondering why they should trust the same police they accuse of every manner of injustice with also being among the few to possess deadly weapons.
Don’t be surprised if gun control suddenly drops off the radar as a campaign issue for Democrats moving forward.
More importantly, though, even people we disagree with on almost everything else may well be coming around to understanding the importance of the Second Amendment and why it shouldn’t be further infringed upon.