There are two things Democrats have been screaming about for the last couple of years: gun control and “extremism.”
Of course, they tend to define extremists as “anyone who doesn’t agree with us,” but domestic extremism is very real. It may be overblown, but it’s real. What else can you call things like Antifa’s violent response to disagreement?
Not that Democrats would consider Antifa “extremists.” They tend to reserve that term for their ideological opponents. As a result, they want to disarm everyone they think of as such.
But an expert had an important warning for them recently.
“If we do not do anything and nothing changes I am worried that it is going to continue into the future,” [Professor Robert Pape] told the Democratic senator. “A point about guns, ma’am, if I may: we are now in the worst of both worlds, we are pushing gun legislation that will almost surely not last — that is my view as a political scientist. This is according to our data on our nationally represented surveys, it is making those individuals who would have the violent sentiments even more concerned and more dangerous.”
“There are many people in this 18 million that I pointed out that are already concerned the federal government is coming for their gun rights,” he continued. If we push legislation which goes nowhere, what we are doing is inflaming the problem more than we are solving it.”
In other words, if you’re worried about right-wing “extremism,” going after guns may not be the way to settle their concerns.
Pape ain’t wrong, either.
Further, there are many who don’t remotely rise to the level of actual extremism that would seriously consider it if some form of gun confiscation were underway.
The thing where Pape misses the mark is thinking that legislation going nowhere is the problem. No, the issue is introducing it in the first place. Whether it passes or fails, each bit of gun control legislation introduced by Democrats in Congress further inflames many on this side of the debate and makes it clear that those Democrats can’t be trusted.
Not that there was a great deal of trust in the first place.
Frankly, the fact that there are pretty much no pro-gun Democrats left in Congress is more than enough for many to distrust the entire party. While we know there are pro-gun Democrats still around, they clearly don’t have enough sway in their party to keep them from going so far off the deep end.
And make no mistake, the more gun control that gets passed, the more likely we are to see some serious and profound ugliness. Like, this is the point in the history book with the colored arrows.
Yet I have to applaud Pape for pointing out what so many Democrats are unwilling to figure out for themselves. The push for gun control isn’t making any “extremists” on this side of the debate feel the least bit better about anything. Quite the contrary.
However, I do sincerely wish this push to take on extremism had happened a couple of years ago when every major American city seemed to be burning.