Responding to "scare tactic" claim, anti-gunner misses point

AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

Anti-gunners often don’t like to be called anti-gunners. They pretend they’re not really anti-gun, that they’re pro-gun safety, or some other nonsense.


Yet we continue because no matter how they try to spin it, they always betray themselves. They always show that, for them, the issue is and has always been about people exercising their right to keep and bear arms.

Take Maine, for example. It’s the kind of state that one would imagine is pretty anti-gun. They’re a blue state and have been for ages. Yet they don’t have a ton of gun control.

They also have pretty low crime, too.

At the moment, there’s a significant gun debate going on there, though, and pro-gun groups aren’t playing nice. They shouldn’t.

In response to an attack, though, an anti-gunner took issue with some of the remarks.

The Maine Gun Safety Coalition rebuts the recent commentary (Sept. 16) of the Maine state director of the National Rifle Association, which asserted that gun-safety advocates “use a slew of political tricks and fear tactics to try to skirt the facts to sway public opinion” and do not “take Second Amendment rights seriously.”

These statements are utterly false. We, as an organization, work to pass gun safety (not gun control) laws that will help save lives in our state. In addition, the laws we support respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to own a firearm. Many of our members are gun owners: hunters who take seriously that the right to own firearms comes with responsibility. We are strong supporters of safe storage and of keeping loaded weapons out of the hands of children and persons prohibited from having them. 


First, supporting mandatory storage laws alone shows that these anti-gunners don’t take the Second Amendment seriously.

Moving on…

In addition, we continue to advocate for evidence-based, common-sense gun safety laws. Our goal is to address weaknesses in current gun laws and pass new legislation to save lives and prevent the violent gun epidemic from continuing. Passing a more extensive background check bill and imposing a waiting period are important safety measures that a majority of Mainers support, according to a June 2023 poll.  These laws do not jeopardize the rights of law-abiding citizens to purchase a firearm.  

A right delayed is a right denied.

Again, that alone shows that the author has no respect for the Second Amendment. Especially since the claims of “evidence-based, common-sense gun safety laws” are absolute hogwash. There are serious problems with pretty much every gun control study you care to name. There is no “evidence-based” gun control laws.

Of course, the author says they’re not about gun control, yet here we see an attempt to control guns. What else are waiting periods or universal background checks?

And let’s remember that Maine has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation, all without any such gun control laws on the books.

Oh, but crime isn’t the big factor, apparently.

Maine’s unduly high suicide rate with firearms continues to escalate, as reported by the second annual report of the  Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Maine Department of Health and Human Services. (These reports, and the factual data therein, are available thanks to a piece of legislation that passed successfully in the 130th  Legislature – without NRA support – L.D. 1392.)  With a nearly 20% increase in suicides from 2020 to 2021, it is important to recognize and address the emergency it is here in Maine and take common sense steps that have worked in other states to address this growing crisis. 

In 2021, the three New England states with no universal background checks or waiting periods – Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – had nearly triple the gun suicide rates and nearly double the overall suicide rates of the three New England states – Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island – that do have universal background checks and wait periods. 



What is being presented here is correlation, not causation. You cannot compare states based on two specific criteria and make any meaningful connection between those two criteria. After all, what else could be contributing to suicides in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont?

Suicides are awful, but they’re a mental health issue, not a gun issue. Take the gun away and people will seek other means to take their own life, and while guns are more effective in that regard, there are other methods with damn near the same effectiveness.

Further, this talk of suicides as grounds for gun control–not gun “safety,” but gun control–is a typical anti-gun talking point, yet I’m always amused at how the solution for addressing suicides is the exact same as it is for addressing violent crime.

How is that?

The author of this screed laments being accused of engaging in scare tactics, but what else is this claim that without gun control, people will die in staggering numbers? It’s the epitome of scare tactics.

Especially with the clever euphemisms of “gun safety (not gun control)” and preening about how this is really all completely respectful of the Second Amendment, all while trying to make it more and more difficult to exercise one’s right to keep and bear arms.

Then there’s the fact that if these anti-gun zealots got everything they wanted, they’d be back next year wanting still more.


They have no respect for our rights. They just know that admitting it would be one scare tactic way too many.

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