Bloomberg, my, old, friend; you keep missing the target! True story. The de facto head of the civilian disarmament industrial complex has tried everything to kill gun ownership. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown for Gun Safety, The Trace. Assault weapon bans, high-capacity magazine bans, gun show loophole, terrorist loophole, gun violence restraining orders. Do it for the children! For victims of domestic violence! For minorities! Look at this baby! And now . . .
Quietly, and with little fanfare, gun control advocates are using stories like Pennebaker’s [ED: a Chicago gun control advocate whose mother committed suicide because of her “easy access to guns”] to try to subtly shift the debate over firearms policy by bringing the issue of firearm suicides more and more into the discussion. They hope that broadening the discussion will prompt the public to think about a different set of victims, not just those who are killed in inner-city violence, and that that will lead to broader support for gun control laws.
Translation: the vast majority of Americans suffering from non-suicide “gun violence” are inner-city Hispanics and African-Americans. It’s hard for white folks to a) care about gang bangers gunning each other down, and b) believe that gun control would stop them from doing so. So it’s time to talk about suicide!
In years past, gun control advocates focused almost exclusively on homicides, whether the mass shootings covered intensively by the national media or the inner-city murders that are a staple of the late local news. Now, groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, as well as public health researchers, are starting to emphasize suicides.
The shift is part of a broader change in looking at gun violence as more of a public health issue and less of a matter of crime.
Yeah sure. The anti-gun rights jihadis are changing their emphasis from homicides to suicides because “gun violence” is a “public health issue.”
Nothing to do with the fact that gun control advocates consider white middle-class likely-to-vote firearms freedom fence-straddlers to be too racist to care enough about black and Hispanic gang bangers shooting each other to disarm their fellow citizens. Regardless of their color, law-abiding Americans have bigger fish to fry than overly concerning themselves with criminals — again, regardless of their color — who regularly shoot each other over drugs and turf.
Hey. It ain’t just me saying this. It’s “some observers.”
Some observers say that talking more about suicides will change the focus of the gun control debate by bringing a new demographic of victims into the discussion. Where often the victims of firearm-related homicide are young black and Hispanic males, nearly 75% of those who use a gun to take their lives are white men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“From our perspective, it’s trying to break down the common misperception that gun violence only effects so-called bad people,” said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a gun control advocacy organization.
Wait. Didn’t the Sandy Hook slaughter — where a psychopath murdered six [white] school teachers and 20 [white] children — get that point across? And didn’t Congress reject universal background checks in its immediate aftermath?
Once again, Bloomberg’s PR peeps are telling their boss to forget the last strategy and look at this one! And once again, it’s a losing proposition. Like this:
Gun rights advocates, however, counter that any shift in emphasis by gun control activists to suicides is happening because the country’s declining homicide rate is robbing them of the argument that the United States is undergoing an epidemic of gun violence. And, they say, looking more at suicides proves the point that the way to save lives is to focus on mental health issues, not restricting firearms.
“If you look at the data and the sheer number of increases in suicides, including suicides carried out by means other than firearms, it is very clear that a solution that would actually save lives is dealing with the mental health issue,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. “Gun control is not the answer.”
If that’s not enough to torpedo the inherently fanciful “gun control stops suicides” shtick, one word: Japan.
Gun rights proponents scoff at such research, asserting that while there may be a correlation, it doesn’t mean causation. Writing in the National Review, Mark Antonio Wright notes that Japan has outlawed guns, and, as a result, has an extremely low homicide rate.
But, he continues, “Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, nearly twice the U.S. rate.”
All this flailing around is bound to warm the cockles of a gun rights advocate’s heart. BUT Bloomberg’s got billions. As long as he keeps flinging so much anti-gun you-know-what around, some of it’s bound to stick. You have been warned.