Robert recently stirred up considerable controversy over the request that readers comment on the differences in the Democrat and Republic approaches to Second Amendment liberties. There is no question that some with generally “progressive” tendencies also have an appreciation for the Second Amendment and gun ownership. There is also no question that liberals as a whole never rest in their desire to disarm the honest and law-abiding of any and every political persuasion. Conservatives may indeed welcome progressive gun owners without stereotyping them, but for most progressives, the opposite tends not to be true . . .
The Washington Post recently reported—and this must have caused them great distress—that the tide has shifted dramatically against gun control forces in favor of liberty:
“For the first time since Pew began asking the question two decades ago, a majority of Americans now say that gun rights are more important than gun control — a striking shift in public opinion over both the last generation and just the last few years. As recently as December 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, 51 percent of people surveyed by Pew said it was more important to control gun ownership than protect the rights of gun owners.
That consensus has since disappeared, confirming the fears of many gun-control advocates that outrage after Newtown wouldn’t last long.
What’s most striking in Pew’s new data is that views have shifted more in favor of gun rights since then among nearly every demographic group, including women, blacks, city-dwellers, parents, college graduates, millennials and independents. The two groups that haven’t budged? Hispanics and liberal Democrats.
These numbers may capture the short memory of many Americans. But the long-term trend is undeniably grim for gun-control advocates, who seem to be losing ground even among their strongest traditional sympathizers.”
For lefties, there is always a rationalization of the public’s lack of appreciation for their policies. No progressive policy can possibly be wrong. So American’s lack of support for gun control is due to their collective short memory. Or, as MIT professor and Obamacare architect Johnathan Gruber has so glibly and serially remarked, their stupidity and lack of awareness of what is best for them. Therefore, they must be deceived to give them what they’re not smart enough to know they need. Fortunately for all of us, there are people like Congressional Democrats and the leaders of anti-gun groups who have the dizzying intellects necessary to make up for the generally pathetic mental abilities of the general public.
This unshakeable belief is in part why progressives are always plotting and planning, working for the long term, as Tim Devaney at The Hill notes:
“Gun control advocates in Congress are looking to revive failed legislation strengthening background check regulations.
A handful of Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday they plan to push once again for universal background checks on all gun sales in the new Congress, even though they recognize it will be an uphill battle with Republicans taking majority control.
Background check legislation failed to gain traction in the outgoing Congress despite a string of high-profile school shootings that gun control advocates had hoped would turn the political tide in their favor. They say it’s only a matter of time.
‘When you don’t pass background checks, it’s just much more likely that someone will get their hands on an illegal gun and use it to kill their neighbors or their classmates,’ said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will join the call for expanded background checks at an event on Wednesday.”
Propaganda, rather than fact, is also a useful tool to the unscrupulous that lust for power over their fellow citizens:
“Ninety-five school shootings since Newtown, and what has Congress done?’ Murphy asked. ‘Nothing.
‘Congress’s failure to act makes it, in fact, an aider and abettor to those deaths that could be prevented,’ added Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).”
As has been widely reported, the idea that there have been 95 or more “school shootings” since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School is, to put it kindly, badly mistaken. It is, to put it honestly, a blatant lie.
“The gun lobby has suggested that expanding background checks will only keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, because criminals will go around the law.
But Democrats disagree.
‘Background checks won’t stop everyone, but it’s our first line of defense,’ said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chairman of the House gun violence prevention task force. ‘We need to expand it, we need to do it now.”
All that’s missing is, “if it saves even one life, we must do it.” Of course, were this true, there could be no individual rights because the exercise of virtually every right could be implicated in at least one death in a nation of more than 300 million. Public policy isn’t made that way, but propaganda is.
Notice too that Progressives are not asking for “assault weapon” bans or “high-capacity magazine” bans— the ends of the careers of democrat politicians and current public opinion won’t allow it–but only—for the moment—background checks. One may be certain that any such bill will also contain many back doors allowing more anti-freedom provisions in the future. Congressmen don’t do anything as pedestrian as actually reading or writing the bills on which they vote, so filling any bill with riders and attachments is as easy as ordering pizza. It must always be remembered that Mr. Obama still has a pen and a phone and two years to use them against the rights of the law-abiding, as he has promised to do. That will likely be one promise he will actually keep.
“A dramatic swing in public opinion when it comes to guns and gun control may be driven by current events – particularly high-profile police killings in Staten Island, N.Y., and Ferguson, Mo., a gun control advocate says.
‘Those of us inside [the gun control movement] sometimes focus too much on what’s important to us, and [the Pew survey suggests] that we need to get out of that box and think more about, ‘What’s the average person thinking in terms of whether they should buy a gun?’”says Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, in Washington.
That includes the realization, he says, that changes in attitudes about gun ownership may be tied to ‘a number of factors at play in the current news cycle that suggests a diminishing confidence in law enforcement, and lessening of faith in government … to protect them.’
In The Washington Post’s The Fix, Aaron Blake writes that polls have long shown a trend toward gun rights among Americans. The one exception was in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings in December 2012.”
Actually, the aftermath of the Newtown massacre was capped by the resounding and embarrassing–for Progressives–defeat of draconian gun control measures championed by President Obama. That’s not much of an exception.
To whatever degree Americans are coming to realize that government cannot protect them, that is a very good thing indeed. Not only do government, and particularly the police, have no legal obligation to protect any individual, the police cannot be held liable for failing to protect anyone. This does not mean that the police generally won’t try. Virtually every law enforcement agency, often backed by state law, has rules that require their officers to take all necessary and reasonable action in dealing with any issue of which they are aware. There is also significant peer pressure among police officers at work; no officer wants to be seen as a coward.
Many politicians continue to justify gun control efforts with the falsehood that it is the responsibility of the police to protect people. If they know better and say this, they are liars. If not, they still do considerable damage. Government has no conscience, no emotions, no honor. It is moved to protect no one and it will not allow itself to be held accountable for that failure, but it will allow—even encourage–people to think it will protect them. Those that cling to that belief are often not around later to cast votes adverse to governmental goals.
“Pew’s question presents one side emphasizing the protection of individual rights versus restricting gun ownership,’ said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, in a statement. The question’s implicit and incorrect assumption is that regulations of gun sales infringe on gun owners’ rights and control their ability to own guns.”
There go those reactionary, dim-witted gun owners again. How could anyone imagine that “regulations of gun sales infringe on gun owners’ rights and control their ability to own guns”? Perhaps because that’s the purpose of gun control regulation? Perhaps because gun owners have decades of experience with gun controllers and their rhetoric and tactics? Perhaps because the language of the Second Amendment is extraordinarily clear and the historical record equally clear?
Gun owners also tend to be remarkably colorblind. The history of gun control is deeply rooted in anti-black racism, racism expressed for generations most viciously by southern democrats, a sordid history well documented by historian Clayton Cramer in “The Racist Roots of Gun Control.”
More Black Americans are discovering that civil rights go far beyond voting and other traditional topics, indeed, that the Second Amendment stands to secure the rights of all Americans.
“The Rev. Kenn Blanchard, author of ‘Black Man With a Gun: Reloaded,’ argues that the Pew findings represent a generational shift in the black community, where ‘all the old heads say this [pro-gun] stuff is the devil, [but] the new guys are, like, ‘I don’t think so.’
He adds: ‘There’s a racial divide, too, that the anti-gun people have been using to suggest that white people don’t want black people to have firearms. But what I see are my white brothers, the old geezers, who are saying to the younger black generation: ‘Here’s a gun, I’ll show you how to shoot it.’”
While the motives and goals of gun grabbers never change, they do shift language and tactics:
“But more generally, the [Pew] survey had ‘valuable data … that we need to take very seriously,’ says Mr. Everitt, whose organization was the only gun violence prevention group that waded into the debate over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. ‘We have to understand that, as an organization that advocates for changes in the law, we need to be stewards of accountable, good government, and that’s hard when people see government not acting in the public’s best interest.”
Mr. Everitt and those like him are incapable of seeing or admitting that the public simply doesn’t want what they’re selling. For them, it’s always a matter of “messaging.” They’re just not selling their product with effective advertising, and if only they can come up with the right language and angles, Americans will gladly surrender their rights, the reality of what is good for them finally dawning in their dim little minds.
Public perceptions have indeed changed, and for very obvious reasons. While violent crime rates have been declining for decades, Americans realize that the police cannot protect them, and that lower crime rates do not mean that criminal violence cannot or will not be visited on anyone, anywhere at any time. More and more Americans are taking individual responsibility for their safety and the safety of their loved ones.
It has also become glaringly obvious that Government does not have the best interests of the American people at heart. The recent rioting in Ferguson, accompanied by politicians forcing the police and National Guard to allow racist mobs to burn and loot, have surely gone a long way toward reinforcing in the minds and hearts of Americans the wisdom of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment. The criminal-coddling rhetoric of the President and Attorney General in the wake of Ferguson and the Staten Island grand jury decisions have not caused Americans to believe that the government will protect them.
In 2007, James Taranto of Opinion Journal Online printed a brief article about The Chicago Tribune’s puzzlement over the decline of crime rates in Illinois. Sadly, it is no longer available on the Internet, but here’s a quote:
“No one theory explains why crime rates have declined in Illinois and around the country since the early 1990s. A decline in drug and alcohol abuse has been a welcome contributor. Community policing has been effective in many places. Crime tends to be an occupation of the young, but the population is aging. More people have been locked up and kept off the streets. The economy has been strong, unemployment low.
All have been factors in a welcome reduction in crime.
What’s harder to explain is why, though crime has fallen so sharply, prison admissions have continued to rise.”
Dim-witted Americans can figure that one out: more repeat felons in jail means fewer crimes. They can also figure out, with an ease that’s stupefying to their intellectual superiors, why being armed and prepared are necessary and very, very smart.
Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.