Here we have a protestor protesting a pro-gun protest. That would be one Jason Paul, a self-proclaimed progressive Democrat running for State Representative in Connecticut’s 48th District. Mr. Paul posted the pic on Facebook, proclaiming “Braving the gun rally and standing up for the overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents.” To which Steve Williams Jr. replied “The only brave thing you did was leaving the house in that sweater. There were thousands there shoulder-to-shoulder in support of their rights and it looks like the only other person supporting your absurd views was behind the camera.” Well, not exactly . . .
As we’ve pointed out before, Connecticut’s civilian disarmament legislation enjoys popular support in the Constitution State (ironically enough). If it didn’t, it wouldn’t exist. So while Mr. Paul may have been a singular voice at the gun rally (interviewed by the media of course) his views on gun control are supported by a large number of his potential constituents. Sartorially challenged yes, but hardly out-numbered.
What’s interesting here: Paul’s belief that the pro and anti-gun confrontation is a conflict of “values.”
Setting aside the philosophical questions raised by the term (summarized on wikipedia), I presume Mr. Paul presumes that the NRA’s values have something to do with supporting greedy gun makers (at the expense of innocent life), racism (OFWGs uber alles) and paranoia (the government is evil). That’s the antis’ usual characterization of America’s oldest civil rights organization.
On the other side of the equation, we have the values of Mr. Paul’s “progressive Democrats.” Just for fun, let’s assume that Paul uses the term to trumpet his support for the “values” of progressive taxation (a.k.a., income equality), affirmative action (for oppressed minorities) and government intervention (in, well, everything). That’s the common understanding of the Progressives’ platform.
IF that’s the clash that’s in Mr. Paul’s head, he’s more right than he knows. As far as I can make out, the NRA’s real values are self-reliance, equality of opportunity and limited government. These values do not square with Progressive principles. Which makes the fight for gun rights a lot more “global” than a simple squabble over “assault rifles” and “high-capacity magazines.”
So it’s both sad and true that the NRA’s values are not Connecticut’s values. If they were, state residents would have never pursued civilian disarmament. Because you can’t have any of the NRA values listed above without respecting residents’ natural and civil right to keep and bear arms. Our Founding Fathers knew that. Which is why they enshrined guns rights in the Bill of Rights – right after protecting Mr. Paul’s right to wear that sweater and carry that sign. [h/t DrVino]