Slotkin is wrong with "slippery slope" claims

Slotkin is wrong with "slippery slope" claims
(AP Photo/Mike Householder)

Rep. Elissa Slotkin is a Democrat who supports gun control. I know, that’s pretty much redundant these days, at least when it comes to elected officials.

She wants to see gun control pass at the federal level and she wants to see it happen badly.


In fact, she thinks that the handful of supposed gun owners who have reached out to her and claim they support gun control is indicative of something, so she wants those folks to reach out to other lawmakers.

There are signs of hope, as well as things the average Michigander can do.

In the last 10 days, I’ve heard from countless hunters, sportsmen, local Republican leaders, business owners, big game enthusiasts and parents who carry concealed weapons. They have all been clear that they want to do something to protect our children from gun violence. I grew up with guns on my farm and carried a Glock and an M4 as a CIA officer in Iraq. These folks are powerful allies who understand that you can be a passionate gun owner and care about protecting our kids from gun violence. I can feel the ground shifting on this issue under our very feet.

If you fall into this category, along with groups like Gun Owners for Gun Safety, I urge you to use your voice with your lawmakers. Most are just scared of a very vocal minority of people who think that even the most basic gun safety laws – like provisions to keep mentally ill people from getting guns – means a slippery slope towards unraveling the Second Amendment. We need gun owners to stiffen those politicians’ spines so they come to the table with ideas, ready to negotiate.

That’s simply not true.

Most gun owners recognize that this slippery slope is very real and there are grounds to be concerned.

Slotkin’s experiences meeting with a handful of people who she only knows to be gun owners because they said they were–because no one has ever misrepresented themselves in the name of politics–are not the totality of gun owners.


If they were, the NRA and similar groups would look very different.

Further, Slotkin misrepresents concerns over these laws in the first place.

The term “mentally ill,” for example, doesn’t just include potential mass shooters, it also includes those who suffer from mild depression. Do we really want to lump everyone together?  I hope that’s not what Slotkin is calling for, but she is less than clear.

But let’s talk about this slippery slope that Slotkin implies is really just the ramblings of some vocal minority.

Well, let’s say that it’s only a minority talking about it. So what? It doesn’t make it wrong.

Throughout the years and throughout the nation, we’ve seen the slippery slope in action. Take Connecticut, for example. They banned AR-15s following Sandy Hook, but not to worry. If you had one, you could keep it. They just wouldn’t allow new sales.

Then this year, Gov. Ned Lamont tried to ban even those, making it clear that any arrangement made previously didn’t matter anymore.

States have done similarly with things like higher-capacity magazines as well.

Even at the federal level, we saw it happen. The National Firearms Act of 1934 said that anyone could buy a machine gun so long as they got the paperwork filled out correctly and paid the tax. Then we saw the slope get slippery with the 1986 machine gun ban that basically ruled individuals couldn’t buy such weapons bought after that year.

That was followed up with the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban which ended the sale of certain AR-15s and similar rifles.


At every point, we see the incremental efforts to take our gun rights away. So yes, a lot of us are going to scream about the slippery slope because we’ve watched it happen.

Slotkin can pretend all she wants, but I think she’s going to be disappointed. The Fudds that come up to speak with her don’t represent a majority of gun owners. Hell, if they did, such gun owners would have long ago reshaped the way to talk about the Second Amendment.

They’re not afraid of anyone because there’s nothing to fear from gun rights supporters. The most they’d get from us are mean words.

No, they’re not standing up in great numbers because they don’t exist. Even those who might like a red flag law or an assault weapon ban or a training requirement for concealed carry recognize that each step toward gun control is used to justify the next.

The slippery slope is real and Slotkin is just hoping you’re too stupid to see it.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member