Op-ed writer needs to slow his "proxy war" roll on guns

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

In the battleground of ideas, I’d love it if everyone came from a reasonable position to start with. While I’m a Second Amendment advocate, I do try to be reasonable in my discussions of guns and gun rights. I may not always succeed, in part because I don’t believe rights should be forfeited just for convenience or because they make someone else uncomfortable.

For some, that makes me unreasonable.

The truth is, it doesn’t. What makes someone appear unreasonable is when they use rhetoric like this.

As the riot of gun violence in America produces fresh massacres by the day, firearm fundamentalists refuse to acknowledge the blood on their hands, and their suicidal stance in the face of escalating carnage is that more guns are the answer.

But it’s worse than that.

Take a close look at the arguments that gun extremists advance and a dark truth emerges. They repeatedly put defense against tyranny at the center of their claim to unfettered access to firearms. In the almost 232 years since the ratification of the Second Amendment, individual gun owners have had no substantial or sustained occasion to take up arms against the federal government. Yet guns are involved in almost 49,000 annual deaths in the United States. Anyone who has studied the matter arrives at the simple conclusion that more guns mean more death, and the gun-permissive U.S. is an extreme outlier in the developed world.

First, the fact that we’ve never needed to take up our privately-held arms to defend against tyranny isn’t an argument that those arms are not needed. Frankly, that’s an idiotic position to even try to take. The mere presence of those arms may well have been enough to check any would-be tyrant from going too far.

Then we have the fact that just because we haven’t needed it doesn’t mean we never will. I’ve had a fire extinguisher in my kitchen since I moved out on my own. I’ve never needed to use it but it’s right there just the same.


Because when you need something in an emergency, it’s a terrible time to have to go out and get it.

Additionally, those studies that claim more guns somehow equal more death are suspect. Each and every one of them.

Yet that’s not the really bad part. This is:

The nature of gun violence in America therefore amounts to a proxy war, with school children targeted as unwitting infantry and grocery store shoppers conscripted as cannon fodder. Attackers armed as if for military engagement, backed by Second Amendment fanatics, are deployed in public to kill unsuspecting innocents.

This is a hot war. We know which side is the aggressor. Gun extremists aren’t just political misfits. They are belligerents.

Yeah, he seems perfectly reasonable, doesn’t he?

On one hand, he’s trying to tell us that we don’t need our guns to stand up to tyranny, then in his very next paragraph, he’s accusing us of being domestic terrorists.

It should be noted, though, that the only domestic terrorism I can recall over the gun issue was the Louisville shooting, where the killer was trying to advance gun control.

So just which side is the aggressor again?

I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in listening to someone who ignores actual acts of domestic terrorism to just pretend that not wanting to give up your right to keep and bear arms–especially when a large chunk of their argument is that not having needed it is proof you’ll never need it–are the violent, dangerous ones.

We’re not.

However, that’s not to say that if pressed far enough, we won’t become all that he fears we already are. The difference is that if that were to happen, he’d soon learn the difference between what we have now and a “hot war.”