There's a Reason We're Divided on Guns

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

There are always going to be some topics that are divisive and guns are going to be one of them. After all, there are those who value gun rights and those who value gun control and while there might be a bit of a spectrum, there's a line that cannot be crossed by anyone who wishes to remain on their side of that spectrum.


Saturday marked the anniversary of Columbine, so we saw tons of media stories about it, almost all of which seemed to push the narrative that gun control is still needed. "Woe is me, this horrible thing happened and we haven't banned enough," is the basic tone of most stories.

One such story from the Christian Science Monitor sought to highlight how we're still divided on guns, as if this should be shocking.

I felt obligated to address some points in this report because holy crap does it need it.

The trends here are just one sign of a nation divided over the issue of guns. 

On the one hand, some Americans increasingly view the constitutional “right to bear arms” as blanket permission to own and use guns without interference. The total number of firearms in private hands has surged in recent years, though the share of households owning guns has hovered lower in recent decades than in the 1960s, judging by Gallup polling. A rising share of owners say gun purchases are motivated by personal safety concerns, rather than by more traditional uses like hunting. 

On the other hand, many Americans indicate more faith in a culture of gun regulation than in proliferation. A record 45% now say they are “very dissatisfied with the nation’s gun laws,” a peak in 24 years of Gallup polling on the issue. And U.S. adults are far more likely to want more restrictions on guns (56% as of last year) than fewer (12%).


Here's the thing, though. I'm dissatisfied with the nation's gun laws. More accurately, I'm dissatisfied with the fact that the ATF can apparently decide accessories are illegal after they've been on the market for years. I'm dissatisfied that I'm required to request permission and pay a tax stamp for a gun that by law has to have been manufactured before 1985.

The term "dissatisfied" doesn't automatically translate to supporting more gun control. Some of us are dissatisfied because we have too many restrictions as it is.

Most surveys just lumped everyone in together and then tried to draw a conclusion without delving any deeper into what people were saying. Why? They don't want to know. They'd rather be able to assume that 45 percent of people want more gun control because it sounds like there's more will for something the pollsters wanted in the first place.

Yet even if every single one of those 45 percent want more gun control, they're still in the minority. For people who seem to take a "majority rules" approach to literally everything, this should be a clear warning sign to back off.

Of course, then we have the brilliant "experts" who almost universally oppose the Second Amendment and will present it in the most negative light possible.

“There is so much distrust, so much suspicion,” says Caroline Light, author of “Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense.”

“There are a lot of good people who are gun owners who are terrified that liberal governance is going to steal their guns,” says Dr. Light. Meanwhile “our society has aligned itself behind this belief ... that firearms are an essential tool of self-defense rather than something specifically designed for human destruction.”


And that is why there's so much distrust and suspicion. You're trying to pretend those two things are somehow mutually exclusive.

Pepper spray, tasers, and the like might be effective on some people, but some people can shrug off pepper spray. Tasers are one-shot solutions where, if you miss, you're generally screwed. None of these are as effective for self-defense as a firearm, where even the presence of a gun in the hands of the would-be victim is enough to end the threat in many cases.

Gus are essential tools of self-defense because they're designed for human destruction.

People like Light seem to argue that this is somehow contradictory. Moreover, they expect you to buy into it being contradictory.

Moreover, there's not a single pro-gun expert interviewed for this piece. Not a one. They didn't talk to Mark Oliva from the NSSF, anyone from the NRA or USCCA, John Lott, nor any of the plethora of experts who would be happy to provide at least some counterpoint to this push.

The reason there's distrust and suspicion is that people like the media and academia are untrustworthy and worthy of suspicion. They're constantly doing some shady stuff and pushing a narrative that coincidentally just happens to align with their personal politics.


The truth is actually simple. There's no common ground on guns because there can't be common grounds on guns. The anti-gun side is notorious for failing to negotiate in good faith. They reach a "compromise" that is universally a case of them just taking a little less than they wanted, and rather than accept that's the deal, they see it as the starting point for the next go-around. 


So, we got tired of it and aren't going to play their game anymore.

That's it. That's the hard, honest truth that the media refuses to share with the American people.

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