So my man Colion, he of the prancing around with his cute little AR, has just stuck up a new video on the NRA website, and it is simply a remarkable commentary on the Big Lie that the NRA has been spreading around for the last thirty years. And the lie I am referring to is the idea that armed citizens carrying their own guns are an effective response to crime. In the old days they had real personalities like Charlton Heston drumming up the ‘guns protect us from crime’ doggerel, now it’s left to made-for-video characters like Colion Noir or AM Talk Radio hamsters like John Lott to spread this nonsensical and dangerous line around. Why is it nonsensical? Because it’s based on data which (I’m being polite) doesn’t exist. Why is it dangerous? Because it diverts attention from the fact that guns create risk. Notice that I have bolded, underlined and italicized the word ‘fact.’ Get it?
Anyway, so Colion has this new video in which he’s up on a stage and with lots of canned applause, ooohs and aaahs, performs a card trick in which it appears as though he is laying out 52 cards in a certain order and then tries to do it again. And the odds of anyone being able to perform such a trick, he admits, are somewhere above a gezillion to one. Which he then says – are you ready, are you ready? – that these are about the odds of an American getting attacked and, in their moment of peril, needing to use a gun.
What? A spokesperson for the NRA actually coming out and saying that we aren’t all facing an immediate and continuous threat to our lives from the you-know-who’s that are stalking us down every street? No. Play it again Colion, play it again. And here it is: “The odds of you or me needing a gun to protect our lives is not that much better than Colion the Incredible putting these cards back in the exact order.” Then he drops the other shoe: “But the odds of someone needing a gun to protect their life with is a hundred percent.”
So what he’s saying in a somewhat scrambled way is that even though guns are the best way to defend yourself, the chances that you will ever have to defend yourself are a gazillion to one. And this segues into the usual nonsense about how people who are anti-gun have no right to tell anyone else how they should defend themselves, and nobody has the ‘right’ to tell someone else that they don’t have the ‘right’ to do something. I’m actually quoting our man Colion word for word and maybe he’s decided that if Donald Trump can get a big following by talking to his audience on a third-grade level, then Colion will get an even bigger response if he ratchets his language down to second grade. I don’t really know whether he’s dumb, playing dumb or figuring his audience is dumb, or all three. But I do know this: I never imagined I would ever hear anyone connected to the NRA admitting that the odds of ever using a gun in self-defense were about the same as bumping into a rhinoceros while you were taking Fido for his evening walk.
But come to think of it, that’s not really the reason why Wayne-o and the other NRA noisemakers tell us over and over again that we should be carrying guns. What the NRA has really been saying is that you shouldn’t be carrying a gun just to protect yourself, you should be carrying it to protect everyone else! Remember the ‘only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun?’
Colion my man, it’s refreshing to see someone from the ‘other side’ of the gun debate actually saying something that’s based on a bit of the truth. But don’t push the truth too far or you might find yourself looking for a job.