Gun Control: Is It About Safety Or About Punishing WrongThink?

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The Second Amendment exists for anyone and everyone. The right to keep and bear arms doesn’t extend to use one side of the political debate. That’s a good thing, of course. Rights for only some people lead to the kind of inequality that our nation was designed to stand against.

However, what about those who want to take away our rights? Aren’t they advocating the goverment taking away their own rights, too?

The answer, of course, is “yes.” They’re absolutely asking for their own rights to be taken, but since it’s a right they have no intention of exercising, it’s OK.

Especially because it’s about making society safer, right?

Well, not necessarily.

In racially segregated Monroe, North Carolina, in 1961, a crowd of some 2,000 people gathered to prevent a picket by the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter, which aimed to desegregate the local swimming pool. Robert F Williams, the head of the chapter, was forced off the road as he neared the pool, as another car backed into his. As the crowd advanced on his car, Williams pulled out a pistol and pointed it at a man moving towards him with a baseball bat. Williams then stepped out of the car and waved a carbine before the crowd, which went silent. Williams recalled:

‘There was a very old man, an old white man out in the crowd, and he started screaming and crying like a baby, and he kept crying, and he said, “God damn, God damn, what is this God damn country coming to that the niggers have got guns, the niggers are armed and the police can’t even arrest them!” He kept crying and somebody led him away through the crowd.’

Nothing frightened Southern segregationists as much as the sight of armed African Americans. It was a powerful symbol as well as an actual threat to the Ku Klux Klan and others bent on frustrating the aspirations of black Americans.

But today, much of the media appear to be just as disturbed at the prospect of white guys with guns. The ‘assault weapon’ has become the avatar for the white militia man, just like the ‘Saturday night special’ (a cheap, small-calibre handgun) used to symbolise African-American rioters.

Open season on ‘white extremists’ has been declared. ‘White extremists’ means any person who appears in public with an assault weapon (essentially, a semi-automatic rifle with a pistol grip or other military-style parts). The disturbing scenes at the Capitol building in January have provoked a new phase in the battle against what Joe Biden has called ‘weapons of war’ – even though none of the Capitol invaders carried assault weapons. Now anyone defending gun rights – and even guns themselves – is branded a danger to democracy, and a racist.

The battle over gun controls looks set to become a major part of the culture war. Sixty years ago, segregationists hated the idea that blacks had some access to power – votes and weapons – and did their best to take them away in the name of defending democracy. Today’s elite wants to disarm the deplorables.

In other words, they want to disarm us not because we’re criminals. They want to disarm us because we don’t hold the right positions politically.

Much as I hate to say it, the author probably has a valid point.

After all, look at the push regarding “assault weapons.” These are rarely used in crime, though they have been used in some high-profile mass shootings. Yet handguns have also been used in high-profile mass shootings as well, but without the demonization the AR-15 has received.

Why?

Well, the fact that most of those AR-15 owners voted for Trump probably has a lot to do with it. Those that didn’t likely voted third-party and not for Biden. As such, Democrats see no issue stripping our rights from us.

So what’s the solution?

I mean, most of the people who voted for Trump didn’t do it just because of guns. They supported other policy positions as well or they opposed more of Biden’s policy positions. It wasn’t just about guns.

That’s important because while guns are an important issue, the secret to safeguarding our gun rights isn’t to just make the right like guns more.

No, we need to make it so the left will fear losing their rights as well.

At that point, attacking gun rights won’t be just attacking the right, it’ll be attacking people from across the political spectrum. That’s not likely to win supporters. It could be a good way to lose in primaries, though.

What we need to do is actually get more people on the left to recognize the importance of gun rights for women, minorities, and pretty much everyone else. Once the politicians recognize that, they’ll recognize that going after the Second Amendment isn’t a viable way to punish your opposition.