Gun control is all the rage once again, as it normally is after a mass shooting. What happened in Lewiston was tragic in the extreme.
It was all the more jarring because Maine isn’t exactly a hotbed of so-called gun violence.
Because of the rural nature of the state, it tend to be pretty pro-gun, even as it otherwise sides with Democratic Party politics just about everywhere else.
But some are using Lewiston to try and press for rural communities to support gun control.
One can understand why elected officials in rural areas, even in generally liberal states, would put forth the argument that guns really aren’t a problem. Maine, after all, is a low-crime place. Its murder rate is fourth-lowest in the nation, despite a strong gun culture. Many Mainers rely on firearms to hunt for dinner. Vermont, another New England state with little gun violence and lax guns laws, has the second lowest murder rate in the country.
And what’s true in northern New England is true throughout much of rural America. What fuels the impression that homicides are high in these areas is that the official statistics for gun deaths include suicides, which account for just over half of the deaths by firearms. Wyoming had one of the lowest homicides rates in America but the highest gun suicide rate in 2021, according to the latest numbers.
In opposing sensible gun laws, the National Rifle Association summons visions of peaceful gun-owning communities centered on hunting. Of course, the killing machine used in Lewiston was designed not for hunting deer but for mowing down large numbers of humans in seconds.
Mistake one is that the author somehow thinks the NRA or people in rural communities see their Second Amendment rights as centered on hunting.
Sure, hunting and the Second Amendment are tied together, as we noted earlier this week, but it’s not the focus.
Of course, that same post disputes some of the author’s implication regarding how the AR-pattern rifle used by the Lewiston killer isn’t a hunting weapon.
What’s funny is that in trying to argue that rural communities need gun control, she touches on where “gun deaths” in those communities come from. They’re mostly suicides.
Yet suicide isn’t solved by gun control. At best, you simply reduce suicides with a firearm and shift them to some other method of taking one’s life.
Suicide isn’t a gun control issue but a mental health issue, and I’m more than willing to work with people to reduce those, but not at the expense of our rights, especially when that’s not actually going to solve the problem.
The author, in trying to sell gun control to rural folks, is really just regurgitating the same talking points that people in rural communities have already heard and rejected numerous times.
She offers nothing new, but instead almost seems to be condescending in her belief that rural folks should support policies they clearly don’t, as if they’re too stupid to understand the issue.
Oh no, they understand it.
They just understand that people like the author would see them disarmed, regardless of the fact that their needs are what they are.
When the only deputy on duty is on the other side of the county the moment you need them, dialing 9-1-1 isn’t exactly a way to save the day.