I don’t think I’ll ever forgive The New Yorker for firing Gun Guys writer and former TTAG contributor Dan Baum. While the left-leaning scribe makes prickly pears seem baby’s bottom smooth, and he’s pro-gun control, Dan’s easily one of America’s greatest writers. Was. Mr. Baum is currently fighting brain cancer and spending his days helping Mexico’s City’s underprivileged. I wish him Godspeed and good luck.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker called me to join their New Yorker Festival panel Armed Citizens: The Fight Over Gun Rights in America. Here are my fellow panelists, links added. (For some reason, The New Yorker didn’t include my bio in the official description.)
Pam Bosley is the co-founder of Purpose Over Pain and the violence-prevention manager at The ARK of St. Sabina, in Chicago. She became an advocate for tighter gun-control legislation after losing her teen-age son Terrell to a shooting in 2006, and works to support the families of other victims of gun violence.
Jonathan Mossberg is the president and C.E.O. of iGun Technology Corp. The iGun is billed as the “world’s first personalized firearm,” and the company is working to miniaturize their smart-gun technology from a shotgun into a handgun. Mossberg was previously a vice-president of the family-owned firearms manufacturing company O. F. Mossberg & Sons.
Evan Osnos has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2008. He won the 2014 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China,” parts of which first appeared in the magazine. He has written extensively on the 2016 Presidential election, including “The Fearful and the Frustrated,” about far-right supporters of Donald Trump, which appeared in the August 31, 2015, issue of the magazine.
There’s no word on exactly what will be discussed. But aside from Mr. Mossberg — whose “smart gun” technology appeals to proponents of gun control (if few others) — I reckon I’m charged with defending gun rights against the forces of civilian disarmament. Not to tip my hand (much), here’s my opening statement, regardless of the initial question.
Thanks for inviting me to The New Yorker Festival. Before I answer that question, I want to say that the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right.
Just like the right to free speech, it’s not subject to arguments about social utility; whether or not gun rights are “good” for society as a whole is irrelevant. And as a Constitutionally protected right, the right to keep and bear arms is not subject to the democratic process.
So while I’m happy to discuss social policy and politics, keep in mind that nothing said here today changes the fact that every American has an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Click here for tickets to provide me with some measure of audience support. Wish me luck in the lion’s den.