By John Boch
The news has come fast and furious these last few days and if you’ve been listen to the mainstream media, you would think armageddon is upon us. A couple of U.S. Senators who were formerly fair-weather pro-gun senators have come out saying it’s time for action on guns. Stores have stopped selling America’s favorite rifle. Television networkes have cancelled gun-related shows. And, shockingly, politicians are trying to make hay with gun bans. It’s been a constant drumbeat of doom and gloom, aggressively fed and watered by gun grabbers who were on the ropes just a few days ago . . .
The tragic deaths of those at the school in Connecticut hurt us all as if we’d taken a punch to the gut. What happened to those innocent children, struck down by an evil man-child on powerful psychotropic medication, is a nightmare none of us should have to endure. The adults who were lost, some selflessly shielding the children in their care with their own bodies, were good people showing tremendous bravery under fire.
It is in our very nature as Americans to work to figure out what happened, to do what we can to prevent something like this from happening again.
People bring their own biases to that task. Some blame the tool that was used, in this case a firearm, ignoring that even greater atrocities have taken place with other tools used for evil. Others blame the make-believe protection afforded by meaningless signage proclaiming the area “gun free.” Some blame the side-effects of the mood-altering medication, while some seem to believe that having Aspberger’s Syndrome means the individual was a soul-less time bomb. Video games, parenting, teasing in school, loss of a prized pet or whether his daddy spanked him as a child may all be components of the evil in the mind of the perpetrator.
None of us need a PhD to understand the killer was an utterly evil man, devoid of decency, compassion or love.
The vast majority of those whose knee-jerk reaction is to blame the gun don’t understand how firearms work and what they are and are not capable of. We all know it — lots of people fear guns – often because they know nothing about them or only what they’ve read about them when they’ve been used in the commission of crime.
Just as people blamed witches for their misfortune in Medieval times, today some people blame guns. “If only we could ban the handguns,” some say. They ignore the fact that criminals don’t obey laws.
“If guns were banned, we wouldn’t have all these murders!” They ignore history. How many times weapons have been banned throughout history, yet innocents have always been slaughtered by evil people.
Today, even after last Friday’s events, most Americans still support the right to keep and bear arms. Most support the right of Americans to use and own America’s favorite rifle to protect and defend their families and for recreation and sport. An overwhelming number of Americans recognize the right to own handguns for personal defense – defense against monsters just like the one in Connecticut.
Now a great many Americans are voting with their wallets, buying up guns and ammunition like they are going out of style. While some stores have practiced appeasement to the anti-gun charlatans, most dealers have seen near-record sales in the last few days. Store shelves are literally being sold bare.
While some public figures seek to curry favor with those advocating gun bans and restrictions, there are plenty others calling for calm and urging real, pro-self defense measures to combat the violence.
Emotions are high right now. It’s part of the coping process for grief. We all briefly denied such a terrible thing could happen when we first heard of it last Friday.
Then came the the anger. We vent that anger in different ways. We were all angry at the murderer. Some are angry at the tools he used to commit the atrocity. Some called for the murder of NRA members and their supporters in social media. Others called us and offered up a piece of their mind.
Obviously NRA members didn’t commit this atrocity, nor did we facilitate it in any way. But that’s how some people have coped with their grief.
Bargaining is the next step in the process and it’s already begun. This is where some people, in their time of grief, will offer well-meaning proposals to limit civil rights with regard to guns, magazines, etc. Again, it’s part of the coping process. “If we can just to X, this won’t have to happen again,” they believe.
Thankfully for freedom’s sake, legislators are on Christmas break until the first or second week of January in most places. Think of this as a much-needed “cooling off” period.
A week from now, maybe two at most, the depression stage will have set in. The final stage of the healing process will then begin. Sure, it’s depressing that these innocents were killed by an evil man, but folks will recognize that evil people are out there. They always will be. And yes, senseless violence is sad. They will eventually accept that it’s a terrible but unavoidable part of life.
You can’t get rid of lunatics any more than you can purge the world of cockroaches, flies or mosquitoes.
Emotions that are inflamed today will calm tomorrow with the passage of time. Attitudes will return to near normal, something akin to where we were at in the days before Sandy Hook was burned into our psyches. Tomorrow’s headlines will replace Connecticut in conversations and the media.
Sure, the Bradys and the ICHV people will try to fan the flames and remain relevant while continuing to dance in the drying blood of innocent victims. But in the end, two or three months from now, they’ll be back to their fallback mode of obfuscating the truth and demagoguing the issue of gun rights. Their shrill voices, few and far between, will rely on crass and craven stunts to capture the media’s attention as their financial resources continue to wither.
Overall, unlike the Brady Campaign, we’re in good shape.
We’re coming off two favorable landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions and a third Appellate Court case here in Illinois striking down Illinois’ prohibition on the right to carry outside the home. We’ve got pro-gun majorities in both the Illinois House and particularly the Senate.
Federally, we’ve got a majorities in both the House and Senate. A slew of Democrats in the U.S. Senate are up for re-election in 2014 and many of them are highly vulnerable. Those who were marginally pro-gun in the past, can be reminded of their vulnerability if they get squishy on us.
Some companies that have practiced appeasement are already feeling the wrath of gun owners. A software company has walked back a proposal – with profuse apologies – to have a one-day gun sales moratorium by federally licensed gun dealers using their software later in January. Cheaper Than Dirt is rolling back some ridiculous price increases, but retains their moratorium on mail-order gun sales. We’ll see how long that lasts – or how long they do. Their social media “likes” are plummeting like a lead balloon as gun owners and now former customers react.
As gun owners, we have to be patient and calm as we gently push back against the idiocy coming out of the mouths of folks like Obama, Bloomberg and a government that shipped weapons to Mexican drug cartels and is selling F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood attempts to restrict our gun rights.
The NRA will release their proposals at Friday’s press conference. Rest assured gun banners have sat up and taken notice. They’re running scared as the mama bear has awoken from her respectful time of silence following this national tragedy in Connecticut. You can almost guess that one of the proposals will be to curtail the make-believe protection gun-free zones have for innocent people and allow good guys the ability to carry for deterrence and defense. Gun-free zones are indeed lunatic magnets and we need to do away with them. Every last public shooting since 1955, save one, has occurred in a gun-free zone.
The most important factor we as gun owners have in our favor is that our position is not fueled by emotions, but by logic and reason.
So take a deep breath, be calm and stand steadfast. Turn off the mainstream media and savor life. Get involved and become more active in the never-ending battle we have to protect our Constitutional rights. And don’t forget to live life.
John Boch is president of Guns Save Life