Breaking down MSNBC's deranged take on guns and gun ownership

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Owning a gun isn’t for everyone. For many people, they know they’re probably not someone who could use it if they needed to anyway, so they forego having it in the first place. I can respect that.

For others, they’re just terrified of the thing. I get that as well.

Gun ownership is many things to many people, but for most of us, it represents security. It’s the ability to meet dangerous threats should the need arise, usually coupled with prayers that it won’t be needed.

I know because I talk to tons of other firearm owners. I run in those circles. I have close friends who live in those circles.

But what do we know? We just know one another and the community as a whole. What we really needed was someone at MSNBC to tell us what it’s really about.

We’re still learning more about the tragedy that’s unfolded at The Covenant School in Nashville. But we know that, as of Monday afternoon, at least three children and three adults are dead. We know that the police have said the attacker was carrying “at least two assault-type rifles and a handgun.” And we know that in the state of Tennessee, lawmakers have been working to make it even easier to own guns.

One of those rifles was a Kel-Tec Sub 2000, which is a pistol-caliber carbine that is, in a lot of ways, just an overgrown pistol with a stock on it. The magazine even feels through the grip like on a handgun.

I take issue with calling it an “assault-type rifle.”

But as for Tennessee, they’re doing literally nothing to make it easier to own guns. They can’t. Their minimum requirement is the federal requirements. They can’t make it any easier at all to buy or own a firearm.

Yet our intrepid writer he doesn’t understand that. Well, he does and he doesn’t. He notes in the next paragraph that there aren’t a pile or restrictions and haven’t been, then goes into this.

And yet Tennessee Republicans are still trying to remove the barriers that remain. As part of a settlement in a lawsuit from the Firearms Policy Coalition, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti cut a deal in January that made it legal for 18-year-olds to openly carry firearms. Last week, the state Senate passed a bill to codify that agreement into law. State Rep. Chris Todd, who supports the Senate bill, has called it a “civil right,” ignoring arguments that expanding access to guns for teenagers could lead to more killings.

Except that has nothing to do with buying or owning a gun. Again, Tennessee’s restrictions follow federal guidelines.

The author cannot differentiate between buying a gun and carrying a gun, yet he’s going to tell us what we really do it.

What’s less palatable is how much of our gun policy is presaged on the idea that guns are cool. That they’re fun to own, fun to shoot and fun to pose with in the family Christmas card, like Rep. Andy Ogles did last year. Ogles’ district includes Nashville — but I doubt he’ll think twice about putting guns in the hands of his kids for next year’s card as well.

That was the unspoken understanding behind the rapid spread of the AR-15, as The Washington Post detailed in an all-too-timely package on Monday. When the federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004, gun manufacturers “saw a chance to ride a post-9/11 surge in military glorification while also stoking a desire among new gun owners to personalize their weapons with tactical accessories.” As the founder of one of the first companies to market the AR-15 told The Post: “We made it look cool. The same reason you buy a Corvette.”

Oh, that bit. Cam already addressed that bit of propaganda masquerading as journalism.

But what about that comment, originally from someone at DPMS? What do I make of that? Well, that’s called marketing. Making a particular type of weapon “cool” is something they do.

So what?

See, the author is bouncing all over the place. Is constitutional carry the problem? Is allowing 18-year-olds to carry guns the problem? Or are so-called assault weapons the problem?

He doesn’t know, apparently.

It would be somehow more palatable if Republicans like Chris Todd and Andy Ogles would just really say the truth behind their mission. They think that their toys, their totems of masculinity, their props for playing the hero, are more important than the lives lost. That it’s more important to keep the love of voters who would rather look cool and imagine that they’ll be the “good guy with a gun” who saves lives in a fictional crisis than actually saving lives amid our ongoing national crisis.

Now, that link that’s supposed to support his position? Another opinion piece from MSNBC.

Never mind that as many as 2.4 million people defend their lives each and every year with a firearm, far outstripping the homicide figures.

So now, let’s think about this for a moment. If this author got his way and we Did Something(TM) pretty much as he seems to want, it wouldn’t save lives. All the bad people who do bad things will still do bad things. The problem is that now, good people won’t have the means to defend themselves.

But it doesn’t matter, because he knows what gun ownership is really about. He takes a throw-away comment about changing the preferred rifle in this country–and semi-automatic rifles were popular well before the AR-15 was, it should be noted–and thinks that somehow represent the core of what gun ownership is about.

And I bet he wonders why people don’t take his opinions seriously.