Op-Ed Pretty Much Encapsulates Anti-Gun 'Thinking'

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Gun control advocates claim that they value life. They claim all the evidence is on their side and that they're on the side of the angels. 

In fact, such advocates routinely claim that folks on this side of the fence revel in death; that we celebrate mass shootings and other acts of violence. Their every comment seems to suggest that their underlying premise, that gun control works, is so unassailable that we actually accept it, we just refuse to listen to them because of our own nefarious reasons.

That's the part that's obvious, at least.

Yet an op-ed out of Maine, where they're having a major gun control debate, illustrates the inanity of typical anti-gun thinking.

I recently participated in a Maine Gun Safety Coalition lobbying effort where we respectfully expressed our concerns about the lack of meaningful deterrence to gun violence. Scheduled time all too quickly elapsed and much of the exchange was spent revisiting the tiresome defense of Maine’s hunting tradition or was eclipsed by the overwhelming shock of Lewiston’s mass shooting.

Of course, so far as we've been able to determine, gun control doesn't act as a deterrence for much of anything. We've seen mass shootings and violent crime all over the world, including in numerous nations with strict gun control laws on the books.

Criminals, you see, aren't deterred due to laws. They all think they'll get away with breaking the law. Far too often, they're right, which just makes them bolder.

The only thing that deters criminals is the possibility of them being shot. We know this because violent crime dropped for decades even as concealed carry laws liberalized across the nation.

Moving on...

The meeting ended with our representative’s assurance of supporting current legislative proposals to increase protection of individuals and the public at large. There was no address of the outright banning of weaponry clearly designed for combat, or limiting the amount of guns and ammunition one can amass.

The AR-15 isn't a combat rifle. It's never been deployed by any military on the planet so far as I've been able to find. And honestly, look at most mass murderers who use a firearm for a moment. Most of them don't have mountains of guns. They have one or two.

After all, how many can you fire at any one time? You don't need two dozen guns to commit mass slaughter.

Any effort to restrict how many guns someone can own in total is really just targeted at your ordinary collector or gun aficionado. 

Congressman Jared Golden is now a remarkably unexpected point man on banning assault style weapons. As heartening as that is, does the horror of gun violence really have to be literally brought home to change hearts and minds?

Lewiston’s carnage brought our entire state to a de facto shutdown. What has always happened “away” has now happened here. Fear of public spaces is not the way Maine life should be.

Fear is where rational and irrational have a difficult coexistence. Fear makes everyone less free. Neither rational nor irrational, guns, unfortunately, do not discriminate in their ownership and, sadly, remain a very useful double-edged political sword wielded to solidify one base or the other.

That last paragraph is...something.

Fear is where the rational and irrational have a difficult coexistence? Where did the author get that, is freshman philosophy class? That's complete and utter nonsense, the kind of thing writers come up with to feel deep when they are really just platitudes with no basis in reality.

Fear is either rational or irrational. If you're terrified and convinced that you'll die in a mass shooting, even though you have absolutely no reason to suspect one is being planned, it's pretty irrational. If you're afraid because someone threatened your life and you believe them to be unstable enough to come after you, that's a rational fear.

And gun control doesn't remove fear. It might give some people a sense of security, but it removes the ability for others to feel safe. 

Unsurprising but still sobering, I now know more women who carry a firearm than I do men. The security at the Super Bowl parade was 600 armed police, and that wasn’t enough. Another sobering thought is that most gun owners I know have little familiarity with their weapons, let alone maintain proficiency. Even many in law enforcement routinely demonstrate that they shouldn’t be entrusted with a gun.

First, the presence of law enforcement at the Kansas City parade ignores how outnumbered and out of position they were compared to the crowd as a whole. They were in no position to respond quickly and they never would be. That's kind of the problem with entrusting your safety to the police.

They might want to swoop in and save you, but they physically can't be in a position to save everyone.

As for the author's claim that the gun owners he knows have little familiarity with their guns, including law enforcement officers--We'll touch back on this in a moment as well--that's more of a reflection of his own social circle, if that's even remotely true. The ones he claims to know is something that can't be verified, which is convenient.

And law enforcement firearms training is a joke compared to what most gun owners know undertake voluntarily just for kicks.

Let's also note that he starts with calls for banning so-called assault weapons, but now he's kvetching about handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Poker players call that a tell.

He wants to ban all of those things as well, he just knows he can't do it right here and now.

Mass shootings now average more than one a day, yet most gun deaths aren’t from assault-style weapons but from self-assault via a handgun, rifle or shotgun. Much spousal assault involves a handgun, way too often fatally. “Guns don’t kill people,” but no one has ever been shot where a gun wasn’t involved.

That tired old thing?

Yes, very good. No one has ever been shot where a gun wasn't involved. Yet no one has been shot when a person wasn't involved, either. Neither have they been stabbed, beaten, or run over with a car when a person wasn't involved.

This kind of dense nonsense is particularly annoying because people like this think it's a gotcha. Anti-gunners routinely trot out this poorly thought-out argument to rebut the idea that guns don't kill people, but it really shows how myopic their worldview actually is. Homicides don't require a gun. Once you understand that, you can identify the actual problem.

I totally get the political sanctity of the 2nd Amendment, but guns do increasingly need to be taken away from many people, whatever color flag one prefers. Jared Golden finally gets it. Other politicians need to have their own wake-up call and step up fully to the plate of actual leadership. Assault weapons need to be taken out of the calculus of a “well regulated militia,” an antiquated safeguard which the advent of a standing military and national guard has long fulfilled.

Now, remember above where he talks about how even many law enforcement officers he knows shouldn't be entrusted with a firearm? This is where the rubber starts to meet the road.

Guns "increasingly" need to be taken away from many people, and while there's a reference to flags, the reality is that he's already talked about taking guns away from people, talking about people who shouldn't be "entrusted" with a firearm.

And we get the tired assault on the "well regulated militia" without any understanding that not every threat our Founding Fathers envisioned came from without.

This is what anti-gunners think and what they do. They embrace gun bans, taking guns from people, and everything else, all while ignoring literally every other kind of violent crime. They don't care about people or about safety in our communities. They only care about guns and taking them away from you.