Now that the Gun Violence Prevention movement appears to have a Presidential candidate who is hell-bent on restricting/modifying/revising (take your pick) the so-called 2nd-Amendment ‘right’ of Americans to own guns, the conversation has naturally turned to a discussion within GVP over exactly what those 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ should be. Should law-abiding, responsible gun owners be allowed more or less unfettered access to guns, perhaps with a slight nod in the direction of more regulation via expanded background checks? Or should we go to the other extreme, simply say ‘to hell with it,’ and get rid of all the guns?
Now of course nobody but the Area-51 crowd actually believes that the government can come along and confiscate 300 million guns. But with a blue Congress, Hillary could make it substantially more difficult for gun owners by placing a heavy tax on ammunition, or by requiring registration of guns, or by reapplying the assault weapons ban, or a combination of all three. Incidentally, all those regulations would be affirmed by a 5-4 liberal SCOTUS, because none conflict with Scalia’s approval (in the 2008 Heller decision) of maintaining “longstanding regulations” governing the commerce in guns.
Which brings us back to the issue of the GVP stance as regards 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ Because I happen to think, and I’m a died-in-the-wool gun nut, by the way, that the GVP community shouldn’t be concerned about the 2nd Amendment at all. And the reason I believe this is because I also happen to believe that what the GVP should be doing is talking and messaging about one thing and one thing only, namely, the intrinsic lethality of guns.
This issue of lethality, i.e., the medical risk posed by a gun, has been validated again, again and again by peer-reviewed medical and public health research which has been appearing for at least the last twenty years. There’s a reason why Gun Nation has been trying to push physicians out of the gun debate and silence gun research funded by the CDC. It has to do with the fact (note the word ‘fact’) that possession of a firearm correlates with a substantially increased risk of physical harm either to the gun owner or to someone else. And in case you want to challenge me on this point, by way of reply let me quote the Marxist economist Paul Baran who once said, “I do not debate human affairs with people who behave like beasts.”
To me, the issue is very simple. Guns are pathogens and like any pathogen, we need to prevent its spread. We did this with cigarettes, which happen to be legal commerce and therefore is protected by the Constitution as well. And if you want to smoke and get cancer or heart disease you can still do it, but only in the privacy of your own home. Which, by the way, is what the SCOTUS said about guns: you can keep them in your home. Period. End of story. End of 2nd Amendment debate.
If my friends in the GVP community want to be concerned about something, I’ve got something for them to be concerned about that’s much more important than 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ And that happens to be the fact that there’s a Big Apple street thug who is hell-bent on hijacking the government on November 8th. And if you don’t believe me, pay particular attention to what he says about violence and about guns. He likes violence. He likes guns. He exhorts people at his rallies to engage in both.
The courts have held again and again that government has a ‘compelling interest’ in public safety. Which means that we expect government to keep our communities safe. You don’t promote public safety by claiming that the 2nd Amendment gives you the ‘right’ to walk around with a gun. What you are doing is undermining the rule of law. There are now 152 days until November 8. Get it?