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Ignorance Isn't Why We Don't Bend Over For Gun Control

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Gun control has been an issue in American politics for decades. Back in the 1970s, there was a concerted push to try and ban handguns. After all, they were used in most crimes and you didn’t need them for hunting. Of course, hunting wasn’t what the Second Amendment was about, but that argument was still a thing.

And that wasn’t even the start of the discussion.

Since then, the debate has continued to varying degrees. Today, we’re in the midst of still more gun control talk. And it seems some believe that the only real reason we don’t advance their anti-Second Amendment agenda is ignorance.

This is from a piece titled: “Dumbass nation: Our biggest national security problem is America’s ‘vast and militant ignorance’

With apologies to Paul Simon, and despite all of the information available to the mortal man, there are still millions of Americans who currently believe they’re gliding down the highway when in fact they’re slip slidin’ away.

As President Biden prepares to travel to Europe to meet with the Pope and our NATO allies next week, there remains a huge national security problem for him to grapple with, one that hasn’t been addressed in any meaningful fashion for many years.

It is the root cause of our problems with China. It’s why some people don’t want to get vaccinated. It’s why some people still gleefully follow Donald Trump. It explains why Congress can’t get together in a bipartisan fashion to deal with infrastructure, health care and gun control. It’s why we have problems understanding climate change. It explains voter suppression. It’s why “critical race theory” has become controversial, why elements of our population on the left and right are at war with each other and why some believe the earth is flat and the Holocaust didn’t occur. It’s why some of us believe we’re still the “No. 1” nation in the world when — other than having the largest military — we clearly lag behind other major nations in many critical factors. More than anything else it explains why we fail.

Of course, the reason we don’t accept their will on gun control is that we just don’t know any better.

Granted, I look at all the same studies they do. I read all their arguments and do so each and every day. To believe that I, as an example, oppose gun control because of some kind of ignorance is, well, ignorant.

See, I know the studies they cite, but I also recognize the problems with the studies. That supposedly massive support for background checks? The questions are written in a way that respondents likely think they’re talking about the current system we have in place. I did more than look at the media reports and accept them at face value. I actually read the study.

The whole “you’re four times more likely to be shot if you have a gun in the home” thing? That study didn’t differentiate between lawful gun owners at criminals who happened to have guns. That’s a significant oversight since criminals are engaged in activities that may result in them being shot while the lawful gun owner doesn’t.

I read that study too.

And here’s the thing: I’m not alone.

Those of us who support the Second Amendment do so from a position of knowledge. We understand both what our Founding Fathers intended with regard to the right to keep and bear arms. More than that, we understand the limitations of the studies cited by anti-Second Amendment types as well as the studies they like to pretend don’t exist. Those are the studies that show guns are used more often to save lives than take them, the studies that show gun ownership reduces crime and that gun control doesn’t work.

And more than that, we hold our elected officials accountable.

The reason there’s been no bipartisan deal on gun control is that Republicans want control of Congress again. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy both recognize they can’t do that until gun owners trust them to protect our rights. Bending over for gun control isn’t going to help them and they know it.

None of that comes from ignorance, though. It comes from a firm understanding of the facts.

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET