The "right side of history" has never been about gun control

Glock" by mynameisgeebs is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED.

There are a large number of people in this country who seem to believe they can foresee the future. They’re convinced that they know how history will unfold and they want to warn their opponents off of their beliefs by asking them if they want to be on the “right side of history.”


This happens with a number of topics, including gun control.

A great example is this recent op-ed. It includes comments on a number of topics the writers believe Democrats will do well with, including gun control, but ends with a troubling comment.

The 2024 election for the president, House members, and a third of senators is rapidly shaping up as a contest of rights: women’s rights, parental rights and gun rights.

Polls indicate solid majorities favoring a woman’s right to choose, parents’ rights in their children’s education, and the nation’s right to enact responsible gun control legislation. But in a nation of 50 states, unintended gerrymandering matters more than national majorities. That gerrymandering caused by state borders and economic opportunities has resulted in a large population gap between large and small states, especially demonstrated by California’s 39 million people, a majority of whom are Democrats, to Wyoming’s less than 600,000 almost exclusively Republican voters. Yet both states have two U.S. senators, which is why state majorities trump national majorities. And when it comes to parental rights, local communities dominate.

After the recent shooting in Nashville that took the lives of six people, including three 9-year-olds, DeSantis quietly signed legislation to allow the carrying of firearms anywhere in the state without a permit, making Florida the 26th state to expand gun rights in this way. For Republicans, gun rights and parental rights go hand in hand, especially in small conservative states.

Meanwhile, Democrats retain the upper hand with women’s rights, but they may fail in 2024 unless they get a handle on parental rights that resonate with the public. And, finally, Democrats need to recognize that American democracy is a time-has-come democracy, for in our history, the time had long since come to end slavery, long since come to enshrine a woman’s right to vote, and now the time has long since come to address America’s cycle of violence by unequivocally embracing meaningful gun control legislation.

The 2024 election will go to the party on the right side of history.


I’m sorry, but the “right side of history” is invisible to us. We cannot say with any actual certainty how future generations will view this day and age. I have my suspicions, though, and it doesn’t favor these claims, particularly around guns.

After all, when we look back at history, rather than trying to prognosticate future history, we see a few very important things.

For example, while gun control doesn’t automatically lead to tyranny, tyranny generally doesn’t rise to power without some degree of gun control. Generally with a lot of it, actually.

This idea that siding with gun control is siding with the right side of history is insane when you consider what we’ve historically seen. While history doesn’t really repeat itself, it does seem to come awfully close.

If gun control advocates get their way, they’re laying the groundwork for something they claim they oppose. They’re making it easier for someone to forcibly take and hold power in this country, whether following an election or not, and not have to worry about armed resistance.

Of course, maybe they just think whoever wins next November is automatically on the right side of history. Even that argument is troubling. After all, Hitler won an election, too.


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