Undermining Gun Rights Movement By Giving Us What We Want

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Violent crime is an issue. No one is really debating that. While it’s not as bad as the 1990s, it’s still higher than we’d like, though it does seem to be declining from its 2020 spike.


Still, those who value gun rights want to see those numbers decline, particularly without more gun control being passed.

To do that, many of us advocate for programs that basically short-circuit crime before it happens.

Yet I came across an essay calling for basically undermining the gun right movement by doing the same thing folks like myself have spent years advocating.

The prospects for gun control laws have never been bleaker. As states and courts fall all over themselves to make guns more available, the civilian arsenal has ballooned to 400 million guns.

Twenty-eight states now have stand-your-ground laws, which allow you to shoot perceived threats out in public, on the street. Twenty-seven states have permitless carry laws, which, as the name suggests, allows you to carry a gun with no permit, and no safety training.

Americans don’t want any of this. Gun control is actually popular: majorities of Americans, from both parties mind you, favor stronger restrictions, especially universal background checks. But it’s blocked by politics and the courts. The gun lobby has deftly insinuated gun rights into our culture wars, making them a proxy for conservative values. To advance the cause of gun control, we have to look elsewhere than changing the laws. Instead, we should try changing culture.

In fact, there are already successful examples of this in Community Violence Intervention. CVI programs focus on likely perpetrators of violence and aim to interrupt conflicts before they occur. By halting destructive outbursts by those most prone to violence—and by those who they may inspire in turn—CVI stops the contagion of violence. In this way, CVI programs are the best counter to gun rights supporters, who use urban violence to justify loading up on guns and loosening gun laws. If violence were rarer, it could deflate the gun rights cause.


The author goes on to advocate things like Operation Ceasefire, all as a way to undermine the gun rights movement.

Yet I’m actually a fan of Operation Ceasefire. I want to see it in every city in the nation, all as a means of addressing violent crime without passing gun control.

The author, however, thinks that if violent crime drops, then gun control will be able to take hold because people won’t be afraid, though, which is why they’re making this argument in the first place.

What they don’t get is that the reason gun control has made any ground is because of that fear. People don’t support regulations on things they’re not concerned about. If you reduce violent crime, they’re suddenly going to want gun control less and less.

That’s part of why someone like me likes programs like these.

Now, the author isn’t entirely wrong. There likely will be less interest in becoming a gun rights advocate if the violent crime rates plummet, but that’s because no one will see a need. There won’t be a push for gun control because, you know, why bother? Because of that lack of push, others won’t see any place where gun rights need defending.


Which, frankly, I’m fine with.

So please, throw us into the briar patch, Mr. Gun Grabber. Undermine our movement by doing the exact thing many of us in the gun rights community have openly advocated for over any number of years. Please.

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