COVID-19 was a blessing for many politicians. They found that millions upon millions of Americans will accept a curtailment of their rights in an instant if there’s a public health crisis.
Now, sometimes, governments asking people to stay home during an outbreak is hardly the worst thing in the world. Telling people they have to or face fines or worse is going a tad far for many Americans. For others, though, well…what can you do? It’s a crisis, don’t you know?
What many politicians figured out, though, is that if you frame other things as a health crisis, people might be willing to roll over on those too.
That’s what Terry McAuliffe is apparently trying to do in Virginia.
Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is framing firearm crime as a “public health crisis” and wants more gun control for Virginia.
McAuliffe’s campaign website suggests that he plans to declare the “crisis,” then pass controls to fight it. 13NewsNow reported that McAuliffe’s array of gun controls would include a ban on “assault weapons,” “high capacity” magazines, and “ghost guns.”
McAuliffe’s campaign website quotes him making clear he plans to continue pursuing more controls:
We have made great strides in recent years to combat gun violence and strengthen Virginia’s laws, now is the time to boldly confront and end this epidemic once and for all. I have never been afraid to stand up to the NRA, and that won’t change now.
McAuliffe also wants to institute an “Office of Gun Violence Prevention” that will propose still more restrictions on Virginians’ gun rights.
All in the name of dealing with this public health crisis, of course.
See, the problem is that once they decide to label something a public health crisis–particularly something that doesn’t really relate to health–they can keep going on with this crap forever. They know that so long as they can make the case that the crisis persists, people will accept whatever.
And since they were claiming we had a huge problem when the violent crime rate was low, there’s no reason to believe this particular crisis will ever end. Why would it? Some of these anti-Second Amendment zealots figure they can ride this pony until the right to keep and bear arms is nothing but a faint memory.
McAuliffe wants to use the phrase “public health crisis” to justify his proposed encroachments on Virginians’ civil liberties. He doesn’t actually believe it’s any such thing, he just knows the phrase is something designed to try and trigger people’s fear of disease.
Yet so-called gun violence isn’t COVID-19. The treatment for the surge in violent crime isn’t gun control. It’s putting more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. It’s in empowering good, decent people to look after themselves better. That is the vaccination for this particular “public health crisis.”
Somehow, though, I don’t see McAuliffe actually supporting that should he win in November.
It seems his desire to end a public health crisis only goes so far, doesn’t it?