Were I not so invested in the outcome of the 2020 elections, I’d still pay very close attention to them. After all, it should be a very interesting campaign season. After all, we’ve gone from every poll showing overwhelming support for gun control to millions upon millions of Americans buying guns and finding out it’s not as easy as they were led to believe.
Like I said, it’s an interesting campaign season.
However, when it comes to gun rights, political campaigns are only part of the issue. See, campaigns rarely change people’s minds. They’re a reflection of what the public thinks, not a director of public opinion.
What we need, according to some, is a gun rights champion.
The Second Amendment is a centerpiece of American life. Every political party in the United States has a position on the constitutionally-protected right to bear arms. The firearm, like the free exercise of religion or the ability of Congress to levy taxes, is specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
Unlike religious liberty or taxes, however, the Second Amendment doesn’t have a vigorous champion in Congress. The dominant political parties support an increasingly narrow reading of the Second Amendment, either demanding more government restrictions or meekly coming to its defense in only the least controversial scenarios. Recent mob violence throughout the country only reinforces how important the Second Amendment can be for the protection of life and liberty.
There are congressmen and senators who will dutifully come to the defense of the Second Amendment in cases of emergency, but that is not enough. A serious approach to preserve the Second Amendment requires two components: first, proactive engagement; second, a systematic repeal of state and federal control. This is no different than the approach to other political issues, like the right to life, taxes and education. Members of Congress should not wait to defend the Second Amendment until a live event draws the media spotlight.
Congress has the time and bandwidth to debate Second Amendment issues, but chooses not to. For more than a year, Congress spent precious legislative time and energy on:
- Public Law No: 116-109 – Enhance penalties for pirate radio stations;
- Public Law No: 116-105 – Change the way harassing robocalls are reported and fined;
- Public Law No: 116-112 – Minting of a special coin in memory of former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush; and
- Post office naming – Lots and lots of post offices
There was one relatively pro-firearm bill, which allows states to use more federal money to build public target ranges. Unfortunately, many “sportsman bills” tend to gather bipartisan support in spite of their pro-Second Amendment effects, serving as stalking horses for federal land grabs.
The writer, Phil Reboli, argues that despite pro-gun positions among many lawmakers, none seem willing to embrace the mantle and will allow anti-gun forces to score victory after victory.
He’s not wrong.
The problem with this lack of a champion, as Reboli describes them, isn’t that we have no one to push bills in Congress. The problem is that we don’t have people who can effectively push public opinion on guns and gun rights. While much of that is because the mainstream media isn’t likely to do anything that could be seen as helping to promote such a person, we live in a world where the mainstream media no longer holds a monopoly on the news.
What we need is someone who can speak persuasively and smoothly and point out the fallacies inherent in pro-gun control arguments. They can then present the facts as they are.
You’ll never convince the die-hard anti-gunners of much of anything pro-gun. The Shannon Watts, Michael Bloombergs, and David Hoggs of the world would rather stay in their echo chambers rather than admit they might have been wrong. They’re not the target.
No, the target are all of those who are willing to listen, but haven’t had anyone to listen to.
Here at Bearing Arms, we preach to the choir. We give you news and information you can use or may find of interest. We’re not going to be listened to by those who disagree with us, even if they might otherwise be open to it. In other words, we’re probably not the champions I’m talking about here.
The real question is, does such a person exist?
At this point, who knows?