Recently the “gun-violence prevention” group States United to Prevent Gun Violence made waves with a video depicting a supposed gun store in New York City. Purporting to cater to first-time gun buyers, their actual goal was to conduct “a hidden camera social experiment to debunk safety myths. Every gun has a history. Let’s not repeat it.” For those who have not yet seen the video the “history” they are talking about is violence committed with each specific firearm model they offered. But I am not here to address the actions of gun-hating, freedom-abhorring, despicable wretches who gleefully dance in the blood of victims. I’m here to address antis in general and their reaction to a New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) press release . . .
Oh my stars and garters what an uproar! From MediaMatters.org we hear NRA Affiliate Is So Scared Of This Gun Safety Video That It Wants A Criminal Investigation. Rachael Maddow said that “the gun rights groups are freaking out about this,” and TalkingPointsMemo.com has a piece by our old friend Amanda Marcotte (above), The Gun Lobby Loves Freedom—But Apparently Not Free Speech that opens with:
Advocates for looser restrictions on gun ownership and use often portray themselves not as defenders of a noisy and expensive hobby, but the protectors of freedom itself.
Well, yes. It has often been said that without the Second Amendment the others are toothless. As Oleg Volk points out the old Soviet Union had freedom of speech (it was actually written right there in all three of their Constitutions); ask Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn or Yuli Daniel or Andrei Sakharov or any one of dozens of others just how well that worked out in practice.
Wrapping themselves in the Second Amendment and claiming to speak for the Founding Fathers is central to the anti-gun control argument, right up there with … peddling fantasies of heroic self-defense against a largely imaginary crime wave.
First of all Amanda we don’t claim to speak for the Founders we just want other people to listen to them and treat the Constitution and Bill of Rights like it was, oh, I dunno, how about the highest law of the land?!? Second, self-defense is rarely heroic; in fact mostly it is rather pedestrian (Mike the Mugger growls “gimme your wallet” in a menacing tone to which Cathy the Carrier replies by putting her hand on her weapon and saying “I don’t think so Scooter”) except for those rare times when it is downright bowel-looseningly terrifying. “Heroic” is how it is described later, mostly by people who weren’t there.
As for the “largely imaginary crime wave,” tell me Amanda, could the fact that we went from this:
over the last 27 years have anything to do with the dropping violent crime rates? Or the fact that we have gone from an estimated 1 million permit holders in the mid-eighties to in excess of 11 million today? Or are you a disciple of the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis pushed by anti-gunner John Donohue, which holds that rather than the prevalence of guns, legalized abortion should be credited for the drop in violent crime over the last few decades?
But anyway, back to Amanda’s charges of hypocrisy:
But what happens when gun-loving patriots are asked to support any other freedom but the freedom to own a gun?
Well, let’s see now; I have testified before the Minnesota legislature in favor of eminent domain reform, civil forfeiture reform and in opposition to ludicrous gun control bills. I have been “detained” (i.e. maced, thrown to the pavement, handcuffed, and beaten ) for exercising free speech outside of a free speech zone when President Bush was in town in 2004. I have been less strenuously detained for distributing jury nullification information outside the courthouse. I regularly donate money to the Institute for Justice and Heifer International and I would love to do more to fight for religious freedom, freedom of speech and the press, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of medication, the right to a jury trial in all matters exceeding 20 ounces of silver and all sorts of other civil rights, but I just don’t have the time.
Hence my concentration on one aspect of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, which does not mean I don’t support the others. Anyway, back to Amanda:
That question was put to the test recently by the pro-gun control group States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and they quickly discovered that gun lobbyists have no problem looking for ways to censor and silence their opponents.
Well that is completely unacceptable! What are they doing, circulating petitions threatening a boycott the way the Coalition to Stop Gun Ownership Coalition to Stop Gun Violence [sic] and the Demanding Moms did when Jay Leno was scheduled to speak at the 2015 SHOT Show? Did they petition to fire a reporter the way CSGV did after Emily Miller exercised her First Amendment rights and spoke at rallies with whose politics they disagreed? Are they calling for their followers to ‘SWAT’ SUtPGV members the way the Morally Depraved Antis Moms Demand Action is telling their members to do with (lawful) open-carriers?
Nope. NYSRPA issued a press release stating:
“First off, the firearms and accessories hanging in the background do not appear to comply with either New York City law or the so-called SAFE Act,” said NYSRPA President Thomas King.
“Second, it felony violation of the Sullivan Act for a person to possess a handgun anywhere in New York without a license. The video clearly shows individual “customers” handling various handguns and doing so in an unsafe manner.”
NYSRPA calls upon Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate the advertising agency which produced the video, Grey New York, for possible violations of city and state law.
That’s it; they saw what they suspected were numerous violations of New York State and City laws and requested that the state’s Attorney General investigate. The antis regularly tell us how “common-sense” and “reasonable” all of these gun laws are, but G-d forbid that you try to enforce them against the people who push for them!
Or, as Amanda put it:
The official NRA affiliate in New York, the [NYSRPA] is trying to use the law to criminalize this video and participation in it. They want the state to use laws meant to ensure gun safety to be used to persecute people for speaking out for gun safety.
Oh the audacity of actually believing that the laws these very people have pushed for and support should actually be, you know, enforced against people who just have good intentions, like a journalist who uses an illegal magazine to ‘gotcha’ Wayne LaPierre, or a group which sets up a fake gun-shop in New York City. Except in this case it turns out they set up a fake-gun shop. Despite giving every impression throughout the video that these are real guns, Ms. Maddow stated that the guns were all fake, and the filming was done with the cooperation and assistance of the NYPD. Or, as Amanda says:
So the NRA’s pathetic attempt at a gotcha isn’t going to go anywhere. But it’s worrisome that they tried at all. Regardless of what formal laws the NYSRPA [sic], the intention here was quite clear: to suppress speech and silence dissent.
Okay now are we all clear on this? As long as your intentions are pure, you can go ahead and break any laws you like. Which is why TPM and Ms. Maddow and MediaMatters and MDA and CSVG held fundraisers for Shaneen Allen and Brian Aitken after their problems in New Jersey, and all got behind Ryan Jerome and Meredith Graves and Fred Vankirk for mistakenly trying to carry in NYC on outstate permits.
Oh, wait, they didn’t? Well isn’t that a bit hypocritical of them?
 At least she had the courtesy to call us gun rights groups instead of gun nuts or the Eee-vil Gun Lobby™
 And let me tell you cop mace isn’t that breath spray that you buy in ‘self-defense’ stores!
 IJ fights for freedom to work, against restrictive licensing schemes, against civil forfeiture abuse and eminent domain abuse, among other things.
 Heifer uses donations to provide animal gifts (from a pair of rabbits or a hive of bees up to a water buffalo) to those in need.