When It Comes To Gun Violence, It’s Time To Stop Being Polite.

Back in 2014, when Mike Bloomberg ponied up $50 million to help empower Shannon Watts and her ladies (that’s not a rock band) to begin leveling the playing field against the NRA, the guardians of our beloved 2nd Amendment began running some television ads designed to remind us lucky gun owners how mean-spirited and dangerous a guy like Bloomberg could be.  One ad aired during the battle over extending background checks in Colorado, and it showed a Western-style chick tooling along in her 4X4, with a voice-over accusing Mayor Mike of being an “elitist” and “hypocrite” because he wanted to ban snack foods, soda and, of course, guns.

bloom                The snarky NRA campaign fizzled, of course, but what I found interesting was the attempt to link firearms regulation to Bloomberg’s long-standing public health concerns on healthier eating, as if full-calorie soft drinks, potato chips and guns all help promote the common good.  Now it’s one thing to argue about whether or not guns represent a benefit or a risk; John Lott gets away with promoting the ‘more guns equals less crime’ nonsense because scholars whose research supports the opposite point of view are honest enough to admit that their argument may not yet be airtight.  But the medical evidence on health risks from soda pop and junk foods is compelling, even though the NRA would have you believe that the benefits of guns, smokes and Twinkies are one and the same.  I’m surprised the NRA didn’t also score Bloomberg for his anti-smoking campaign, but give the folks in Fairfax credit for a bit of reality-testing, if only a bit.

What I won’t give them credit for, however, is their continued attempt to pretend that firearm regulation doesn’t work and that any effort to extend regulations is nothing more than a nefarious effort to get rid of all the guns.  And their latest broadside in this respect is the editorial by NRA head lobbyist  Chris Cox, who responded to the Virginia shooting of two journalists by stating, “the fact is that no piece of legislation would have stopped this brutal crime.” And in case you’re wondering, the NRA does have a solution for the occasions when a deranged individual gets his hands on a gun and starts shooting everything in sight – it’s called “fix the mental health system,” whatever that meaningless sentence can be believed to mean.

The position of the NRA boils down to this: there is no such thing as gun ‘violence;’ people are violent and guns are beside the point.  Ergo, we need to solve the root causes of violence and forget about the guns. This is not only a cynical and self-serving approach to the problem, it’s not true.  And I think it’s time for all the gun-control activists to stand up, take off the gloves, and begin responding in kind.  I’m not saying that the activist community should invent false arguments to promote the idea that guns are a risk to life and health; the evidence is clearly there.  They should stop being so worried about the 2nd Amendment, they should stop being so polite, they should tell it like it is.

When the NRA says guns aren’t the problem, people are the problem, they are promoting behavior that is a risk to well-being and health.  When the NRA says background checks don’t work so we don’t need to extend background checks to private sales they are making it easier for guns to get into the wrong hands. When the NRA says they were “touched” by the Virginia tragedy they are shedding crocodile tears, because it’s the proliferation of handguns designed to be carried by all those dutiful ‘armed citizens’ which brought that shooting about.

If I learned anything from the recent shenanigans of Donald Trump, it’s that he who yells loudest usually gets heard.  I don’t see why the gun-control community can’t ramp up the volume and drive their arguments home.  The good news is that their arguments are true, and sooner or later, truth will out.

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One thought on “When It Comes To Gun Violence, It’s Time To Stop Being Polite.

  1. Howdy,
    I’m not an NRA member, so I might not be up to speed on their activities but I do own and carry firearms every day. I made the decision to do this, (I live in Nevada where they still allow adults to make decisions, at least to some extent) after local events and some personal experiences convinced me that having another tool at my disposal was not a bad idea.

    My problem with Mr. Bloomberg is that he believes his job is to tell other folks how to live. He doesn’t seem interested in educating people so that they can make decisions; he wants to pass laws that make those decisions for people.

    That is no better than the republicans who try to tell people who they can and cannot marry or what type of birth control they can buy. It should not be the government’s business what people choose to do with their lives. I if I want to, I should be able to marry another man, brew moonshine, smoke marijuana, and own any firearm I have the money to buy without being criminalized. The only problem with the aforementioned things is that there are laws against them.

    Right now, in the jurisdiction in which I live, I could buy a Bradley Tank, make it “street legal” and drive it to work if I so chose. There is no law prohibiting it and there should not be. I can choose to own whatever I can afford. The actual criminal act occurs if you harm others.

    Has there been a horrible crime committed if I decide I want to drink 32oz of soda and eat a large bag of potato chips all in one sitting? Should we fine and imprison people for that? Bloomberg seems to think so. If he was a champion of education on the reasons why it is harmful to your body to do so, that would be great. Instead, he wants to force people to do what he says, for the “greater good”. I don’t have an issue with his goals, I share them. However I do take issue with his methods.

    The other problem I have with Mr. Bloomberg is that he wants to peddle his beliefs to places he does not even live. In my home state, he flew in “Everytown for gun safety” folks to collect signatures in order to put a measure on our ballot for 2016 that would expand background checks on all private transfers. If it were actual Nevadans who were collecting those signatures and actual Nevadans signing the petition then I would take no issue with it, but it was not. People who do not live in Nevada are trying to enact laws into our community. That’s wrong. When someone comes into your back yard and tells you the rules of your home, without your consent, that is tyranny in a nutshell.

    This is America, the land of the free. It is not the nation of nannies.

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