When former Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the debut of “Everytown for Gun Safety” I had to laugh. “Everytown.” Not “Every Town.” “Everytown.” If Mayor Mike’s minions had called his gun control meta group “Every Town for Gun Safety” that would have been a claim. You know: every town in America supports gun safety. Which they do – if you use the common understanding of the words “gun safety.” As in “being safe with a gun.” Which the anti-gunners don’t. They use the term “gun safety” in place of “gun control” to avoid the word “control,” lest they reveal their true intentions. Where was I? Ah yes, “Everytown” . . .
Everytown reminds me of nothing so much as the movie Pleasantville. The film [trailer above] charts the artistic, political and sexual “awakening” of a fictitious white bread mid-Western town. As reality intrudes, the “as seen on TV” backwater burgh goes from perfect to a perfect mess. Pleasantville skewers the nostalgic notion of a kindler, gentler America; it reveals the mental, physical and emotional brutality underpinning reassuring conformity.
The name of the movie town was, of course, ironic. Pleasantville was only pleasant on the surface. By calling his group Everytown, Bloomberg reveals that his irony meter is busted. The term Everytown is, on its face, dystopian. It sells voters an image of America as a place where everyone does everything they should to create “gun safety” for everyone. Successfully. So that nothing bad every happens to anyone ever.
Notice that the Everytown for Gun Safety spokesfolk are standing in the middle of a wide, tree-lined suburban street. No traffic. “It’s going to take every town to build a safer America,” we’re told. Bloomberg’s marketing mavens are trying to sell gun control as one-for-all-and-all-for-one small town nostalgia. Had they set this anti-gun agitprop in an urban street, where the vast majority of firearms-related crime occurs, it wouldn’t have worked.
Not that the pro-civilian disarmament ad as constituted is working. Or will work.
Fifties-style mass conformity was a short-lived phenomena, driven by a farrago of factors (e.g., post-war prosperity and mass media concentration). We weren’t a nation of passive conformists before the Eisenhower era and we sure as hell aren’t one now, in the Internet era. That’s just not how America rolls. Hence the Second Amendment.
Yes there is that. Statists like Bloomberg want to curtail our firearms freedom in the pursuit of a collective ideal. But a huge number of Americans understand that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution defends more than “just” their gun rights against the government. It protects their right to “do their own thing” rather than “do as your told.” IMHO, that’s the very definition of liberty.
And so the antis try again (and again and again) to change the terms of the “debate” to avoid, obscure and mischaracterize this truth about guns. The latest gambit [via realclearpolitics.com]: labeling pro-gun Americans “gun supremacists.” You know: white supremacists with guns. It’s sad, pathetic and futile. As long as the pro-gun side uses the same clear language our Founding Fathers favored, firearms freedom will survive the onslaught. You can can only distort the signal so much. Better still, you can’t stop it.