On Monday, Cam wrote about a New York Times columnist who agreed that gun control was the right term for the gun control movement but wanted to rebrand it in such a way as to make it sound like they’re not all about gun control. As Cam noted, it was a blatant attempt at misinformation.
And, it seems, that writer was far from alone.
While a New York Times columnist is a big deal, a retired doctor writing an op-ed for a local paper is probably not part of the same circles journalistically, but the same message is being echoed loud and clear.
The US has more guns than people or roughly 120 guns for every 100 persons. Canada ranks second with 35 guns per hundred persons.
Similarly, the US has 35-gun murders per 100,000 people next to Canada’s 0.6 murders per 100,000 (Source: NY Times). The conclusion: more guns mean more gun deaths.
We’ve been talking about “gun control” since the 1960s, and ever since, we have had fewer gun regulations, more guns and ammunition sold and more firearms fatalities, including the most mass shootings of any country.
The conclusion: let’s stop talking about gun control.
Whenever they hear the phrase “gun control,” the leaders of various gun groups, like the NRA, start telling their members that the government is trying to take away their guns and all the rights that go with it. As a result, even responsible gun owners see a target on their backs and are motivated to elect candidates that pledge to preserve or expand their gun rights.
Various editorials in newspapers, radio, TV and internet outlets pontificate on the true meaning of the Second Amendment with contradictory conclusions. People on both sides of the debate are so incensed that no significant national progress occurs while more and more Americans die needlessly.
However, while we are mostly divided about gun control, we are all mostly united about gun safety and gun violence. The conclusion: gun safety and gun violence should be the focus of our discussions.
The problem is that people have a very different idea of what constitutes “gun safety.”
For me, it means being responsible with your firearms. Things like securing them when not in use, making sure to keep your finger off the trigger if you’re not about to fire, being sure of your target and what’s beyond it, and so on are key parts of firearms safety for me and millions of my fellow gun owners.
Yet on the flip side, so many others think gun safety is restricting my right to keep and bear arms. They want to ban certain categories of firearms, place restrictions on who I can hand a firearm to, forcing me to wait longer to take possession of a firearm if NICS is dragging their feet, passing a background check for ammunition, waiting periods, and a whole host of other infringements that don’t actually make anyone safer.
The issue is that this attempt at “rebranding” is really nothing more than an attempt to muddy the water. They don’t want people to realize they’re pushing for gun control.
Over the years, I’ve hammered these “gun safety” folks for hypocrisy. These are the same people who oppose firearm safety classes in our schools, for example, which shows just how little they actually value safety. They simply think the only way to be safe is to bar you from having a firearm.
Never mind that taking away someone’s ability to defend themselves makes no one safer except for the criminals who don’t seem to have an issue getting firearms regardless of the laws.
They can try the rebranding all they want, but we see through their little games.
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