Daily Kos Writer Needs Reality Check on Guns

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

One of the important things to remember is that people can look at information and come to wild conclusions, usually because they're overlooking some thing somewhere else.


This is especially true if you factor in an unhealthy dose of wishful thinking.

A prime example of this can be found at the very leftist and very anti-gun site, The Daily Kos.

First, let's explain that The Daily Kos has average people that basically use it as a liberal blogging site. It shows up on the official site, but these aren't really espousing the official talking points for the site as a journalistic enterprise.

That's for the staff writers, more or less, which is what we're going to be talking about today.

It starts off as a typical "Rah, Rah, the NRA is dying" thing that anti-gunners love, typically because they equate the NRA with the gun rights lobbying effort in its totality, completely unaware that while the NRA is willing to compromise from time to time while the other gun rights groups aren't. It's kind of funny.

But this writer gets into it in more amusing ways when he ponders on the reasons the gun culture is dying, too.

And that’s not all that’s declined. So have gun sales. So what does that mean for the gun lobby?

GOP candidates routinely place guns right next to God in their campaign material, and Republican Christmas cards feature every family member clutching a ridiculous weapon.

But it appears that Republican members of Congress aren’t putting enough guns in the hands of their adolescent children. According to the FBI, gun sales in the United States have declined for three straight years. The Trace estimates that Americans bought 665,000 fewer guns in 2023 than in 2022. That trend is continuing. Comparing year-over-year data, sales in March of 2024 were down 5% from the same month in 2023. 


Now, let's remember that those three straight years are the three years after the insanity known as 2020. We had a pandemic followed by massive social upheaval and civil unrest. People bought guns in record numbers.

So, when someone buys a gun, they don't need to buy a new one the next year. That leads to spikes in gun sales from time to time, and a massive spike like 2020 is kind of hard to top year after year.

That doesn't mean it can't happen, but it won't when you're getting your information from The Trace, an organization with a clear mission to undermine the Second Amendment, you're not going to see it if there's any way possible to hide increases in sales.

Which there were.

In fact, according to the NSSF, 2023 was a record year for gun sales. That undermines the whole "three straight years of declining sales" narrative.

Yet even if that narrative is right, it should be noted that we're still seeing millions of gun sales each month, which sounds like the industry and gun culture is doing just fine.

But then the author gets...well, downright hilarious.

There are reasons other than the declining influence of the NRA for that drop in sales. The truth is only about 6% of Americans hunt, and even for them an expensive assault weapon is rarely, if ever, the right tool. While an AR-15-style weapon may be the perfect tool for war, it’s a poor choice for personal defense. 


Oh, that's adorable.

Don't you love it when someone with no evidence of a background in personal defense tells you what's a poor choice of personal defense? AR-style rifles may not be ideal for certain self-defense situations, but to say it's a poor choice in general betrays an ignorance that is laughable.

Different people face different challenges, and for quite a few of them, the AR-15 or a similar style rifle is ideal. For others, it's not.

Then there's the fact that at the end of the day, I don't have to justify my choices in personal defense to anyone except my wife who might have questions about spending the money.

As for hunting, then we're getting even more hilarious.

AR-style rifles are great for hunting so long as you're using the right caliber. I personally find the pistol grip more comfortable than a traditional rifle stock and I can use the adjustable stock to fit anyone in the house.

But hey, some guy at The Daily Kos says they're terrible choices, so what can we do?

Buying guns like the trendy AR-15 can be an expensive hobby, especially for those who don’t use them beyond a temporary enthusiasm for the local gun range. A $650 Yeti cooler may at least contribute to a tailgate party, but a $1,000 assault rifle is just an expensive—and dangerous—decoration for the vast number of those who own them. 

Unsurprisingly, he offers little support for that "temporary enthusiasm" claim, plus he ignores the plethora of AR-15 models available for far less than $1,000. I know I didn't pay that much for any of mine over the years.


You can, but you don't have to.

The truth about the "temporary enthusiasm" is that this is how I know the author knows nothing about firearms. First, they're fun to shoot on day one and they're fun to shoot after 10,000 days. Shooting is just fun, and the AR-style rifle is of particular fun.

Yet in the anti-gun fever dream that got published on The Daily Kos, a writer who knows jack squat about the gun culture or gun owners is going to tell people that we don't really want these guys except for some trend. Never mind that these rifles have been popular since the 1990s, which means this "trendy" rifle has more than three decades of popularity.

Trends tend to not last that long.

But then again, suggesting that maybe fervent wishes aren't political fact isn't likely to be popular at leftist sites like this.

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