As the People of the Gun emerge from the winter of our discontent, it’s time to take a look at the big picture. Only six months ago, I foolishly thought the gun rights war had nearly been won except for a few mopping up actions. Our movement had been on a twenty-year roll. The anti-gun lobby was virtually given up for dead by pundits who lamented the apparent triumph of those crazy Second Amendment supporters. But what a difference one election can make. Emboldened by the re-election of Mr. Obama and the fact that they had two years to work before the 2014 mid-terms, on the heels of Newtown the anti-gun forces launched an attack that can be compared to the Ardennes counter-offensive of December, 1944 . . .
The Old Media, the Democratic Party and the not-quite-dead gun control orgs knew there might never be a better opportunity to strike back, punish their hated enemies and perhaps turn the tide of the war. Like the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge, they threw everything they had into the fight. The issue was in doubt for a while, but for the most part, the forces of freedom have blunted the attack and I believe the long term trend toward freedom will reassert itself.
The snarling media lynch mob that attempted to bully America’s gun owners into extinction within minutes of the Sandy Hook shooting has, for the most part, turned its focus back to the usual celebrity scandals and baby bumps. The gun laws that were rushed through the New York State Assembly in the dark of night have being exposed to daylight and are facing court challenges. Congressional hearings are revealing the ignorance and self-righteous pandering behind proposed federal gun laws. With the fog of war lifting, it’s now possible to see the three big losers of this battle.
Loser number one is the mainstream media. Close observers knew that most journalists lean to the left side of the political spectrum, but the hate-spewing, anti-NRA rants and ignorant, truth-twisting screeds came as a shock to many low-information Americans. Demonization of the enemy was taken to levels not seen since the anti-German and –Japanese propaganda films of WW2. Hatred became an acceptable emotion for lefty anti-gunners to spew at every opportunity. The last shreds of dignity and legitimacy once claimed by the broadcast networks and the remaining major newspapers were cast aside . This will hasten the demise of the old media and push us even faster into the age of distributed Internet news sources.
Loser number two is the anti-gun movement which was on a long, slow decline after gun control became a losing issue at the polls. Life support was provided by handouts from the billionaire nannies, Bloomberg and Soros, who love their armed guards, but hate the idea of guns in the hands of the unwashed masses.
So caught up in the mob frenzy, some gun control advocates actually let some of their true motives slip from their lips and keyboards. Their desire for complete gun bans, mass confiscation and other extremist plans have been made public, much of it caught on video, in tweets or posted on their blogs. Sheer hatred for gun owners was on full public display. Although they will still try to portray themselves as presenting reasonable and sensible policies, too many people now know what they’re really working toward.
As New York Governor Cuomo can attest, anti-gun laws can only be passed in an emotional rush, before people have had time to think. This battle has now gone on too long and too much thinking has occurred. Those thoughts won’t quickly be forgotten and the movement will soon find that the concept of gun control has taken a big public opinion hit.
Loser number three is, most importantly, the Democratic Party. Several years ago, the party conciously decided to downplay gun control in order to attract voters in swing states and districts. This strategy, which worked very well, has now been completely abandoned demolished.
The President leapfrogged around the country in an unprecedented effort to tack left and create support for all manner of unenforceable, feel-good gun control schemes. Democrats in Congress floated gun control proposals that only a true gun hater could love. State governments are working through a tidal wave of Democrat-proposed, counterproductive, anti-gun bills – most of which have no hope of being enacted. In states with Democrat-controlled legislatures, some laws have passed and more will probably do so.
Americans remember the promises made before the presidential election. Obama will never come for your guns, we were told. Democrats respect the Second Amendment, they assured. After the election, they virtually slapped us in the face saying, we lied, suckers, what are you going to do about it? The Democratic Party is now irrevocably branded as the party of gun control and the hapless Republicans probably can’t believe their own good fortune. This will provide a clear angle of attack in the 2014 elections and that’s when we must launch our own all out offensive against gun-grabbing legislators.
The culture war over gun rights will not end in our lifetimes, so we need to plan for the long term. Demographic changes mean pro-RKBAers must reach out to groups who don’t have a tradition of gun ownership. The US Supreme Court will be the most critical battleground and we know that Democratic presidents always appoint anti-gun justices. Like it our not, our fortunes are tied to the Republican party. Will they get their act together by 2016 and take control of the White House before any more justices retire or die? We can’t count on it.
Dr. Michael S. Brown has commented on gun issues for two decades and is a member of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership