The Daily Beast‘s Dean Obeidallah is freaking out. Despite all of the coverage that the latest firearms-related murders are getting, the gun control crowd is still making as much headway as a Reliant Robin in an oil-covered roundabout. The usual suspects have demanded more “common sense” legislation (AKA “firearms confiscation”) but there’s no chance it will ever see the light of day. Ever since the defeat of the Toomey-Manchin bill, the realization has set in that there’s virtually no hope for new federal gun laws before the midterm elections, and things are looking bleak for Democrats beyond that marker. As a result, Obeidallah thinks that it’s time to go for the nuclear option . . .
The essence of his article can be summed up in one paragraph:
The reality is that the NRA will keep winning unless something changes in the approach by those like myself who desperately want to see a reduction in the number of people killed by guns each and every day. It’s either time we try a different approach or shut up. I’m not being rude, just being honest. Simply repeating the same arguments and hoping for a different result is a waste of time.
Dean puts forward three points to support his premise, a re-warmed re-hash of what we hear time and again from every gun control freak from Dianne Feinstein to members of my own family. They’re regurgitated so often that those of lesser cognitive capabilities or more limited attention spans are duped into believing them, no matter how patently false they are.
1. The existence of a “Gun Violence Epidemic”
Let’s be clear about this: there is no gun violence epidemic. The phrase would lead one to believe that the number of people being shot and killed is on the rise, but in actual fact the exact opposite is true. Firearms-related murders are at their lowest point in over 50 years and continue to decrease. Firearms -elated accidental deaths are declining, too. And suicides, as Bruce has pointed out, are independent of the firearms ownership rate. So in reality, the situation is getting better and better every day with increased firearms ownership and existing laws in place. The problem isn’t that there’s a “gun violence epidemic” — the problem is people like Obeidallah don’t take the time to look into the numbers themselves and learn the truth. Or don’t want to.
We’re already seeing a huge “reduction in the number of people killed by guns each and every day,” which is exactly what Dean says he wants. It’s been trending that way for almost a quarter century now. But the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex’s constant bleating and the reinforcement of their falsehoods by the media obscure the that fact and perpetuates still more clamoring for draconian gun control laws.
The notion of a “gun violence epidemic” is a convenient excuse for gun-grabbers to try to further their agenda. If it were known that there really is no immediate crisis, then the cries of “think of the children” coming from Michael Bloomberg and his paid harpies at Moms Demand Action would fall on more deaf ears. By manufacturing the perception of a crisis, the idea of gun control becomes more acceptable.
2. The NRA is evil and doesn’t care about kids dying
Every hero needs a villain. In order for gun control activists to feel like they’re on the side of purity and goodness, they need an equally evil opponent upon which to focus their hate and that of a disengaged public. The NRA has long been that lightning rod for gun control activists, and Dean is up to perpetuating that.
The problem with that approach is, again, the facts don’t support their conclusions. Following the Newtown shootings, for example, the NRA proposed a school safety program that actually had a chance of protecting children and saving lives. Instead of working with the NRA on their program, gun control extremists like Dean immediately dismissed the idea and ridiculed the announcement. The fact of the matter is that the NRA does indeed want to protect children, but instead of pushing feel-good, ineffective legislation and infringing on the rights of Americans, the NRA’s solutions address the problems head-on.
But Dean doesn’t want to acknowledge that. The NRA is evil and therefore everything they do is motivated by the need to kill children and feed on their blood. Just ask Dean.
3. Eliminating guns will solve the perceived problems
Let’s be clear Dean’s goal is to eliminate civilian gun ownership. He doesn’t come out and say it, but the purpose behind his writing is about as well-hidden as a fox in a hen house. All of his “solutions” to the perception of a gun violence epidemic are designed to demonize gun owners, push gun ownership into the closet, and force gun manufacturers out of business. The commonly-held belief is that more guns equals more crime, so the corollary is that less guns would equal less crime.
There’s just one problem: it’s utterly bogus.
Gun ownership has exploded over the last decade, and yet every indicator of “gun violence” continues to drop. Murders, violent crime, accidental deaths..they’re all sliding down the slippery slope toward statistical insignificance. And that’s with current gun laws in place.
In the United Kingdom, the gun laws that civil rights opponents say they want have been in place for decades. The result? “Gun violence” has increased 89%. The idea that gun control laws can curb “gun violence” is a belief held only by those who don’t won’t listen to facts other than those provided by their own echo chamber.
While articles like these highlight the simmering hatred for firearms owners that’s so prevalent among gun-grabbing extremists, it also points out the impotence of their cause. Gun owners and gun rights advocates have an advantage in the fight, namely the intensity gap. Sure there’s a swath of the population who would like to see more gun control laws, but it’s not the top of their list. They may sign a petition, but they aren’t going to spend any of their time actively working towards that goal.
Gun rights advocates, on the other hand, are highly motivated to protect their constitutionally guaranteed rights and they will spend countless hours working towards their goals. The effect is that there are a couple of orders of magnitude difference between the size of the two camps, with gun rights far in the lead.
So those are the problems as Dean sees them. The proposed solutions he lays out show exactly how desperate the ever-shrinking group of gun control extremists are getting.
1. Grassroots activism targeting corporations
The problem is that, at the moment, the only grassroots organizations making an impact are the open carry groups — and they keep scoring own-goals for the opposition. The most visible gun control group is Moms Demand Action, a wholly-owned Bloomberg front for Mayors Against Illegal Guns that has had virtually zero effect on corporations, despite their desperate self-congratulatory tweets. Sure, they may have gotten one or two establishments to politely request that guns stay outside their doors, but they’ve achieved no outright gun bans.
Grassroots efforts only work when the supporters are emotionally invested, not just well-paid shills.
2. Use the tactics of anti-abortion groups
Much like the grassroots effort suggestion, this one is doomed to fail as well. The anti-abortion crowd is only effective because of their common shared beliefs in the sanctity of life and the religious and spiritual source for those beliefs. Civilian disarmers are already appealing to those shared beliefs through their Moms Demand Action campaign to little effect. Sure their Facebook page has a mess of likes (we have more), but that has translated into precious little actual action. Even for their “major” rallies, Bloomberg has had to foot the bill to fly Moms in so as not to show how little fervor there is for their cause.
So the ethos approach has run its course. Parading around pictures of dead children won’t (and hasn’t) strengthen their message. It just shows them for the nutcase extremists that they are.
3. Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
Dean believes that gun manufacturers should be liable for the deaths that result from the illegal or improper use of their products.
Does Dean also believe that soft drink manufacturers should be liable for every case of diabetes? That car makers should be liable for every drunk driving death? That pool installers should be liable for every drowning?
All Dean wants is to drive gun manufacturers out of business. He doesn’t give a fig how shady and underhanded the tactics may be, and he doesn’t care that he’s unfairly targeting a legitimate, legal businesses. He just wants to see the “evil” gone, much like the extremists who wanted to encase the H&K factory in a concrete sarcophagus. Guns are talismans of death which cause crime and therefore must be destroyed. Obviously.
4. Rewrite the Second Amendment
I agree. Let’s make it more clear so people like Dean can understand the meaning. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That first section about a militia seems to trip up Dean and his associates.
Dean sounds exactly like a KKK member who’s pissed off about the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Supreme Court has clarified the law, and he doesn’t like the outcome. So instead of trying to find other solutions to the perceived “gun violence epidemic”, Dean wants to change the law and eliminate gun ownership entirely. Never mind that law abiding gun owners aren’t the problem.
Gun-grabbers like Obeidallah have an issue with target fixation. Their whole identity is wrapped up in the idea that the NRA is evil, guns are magical charms that turn good people into criminals, and the only way to reduce the “gun violence epidemic” is to attack law abiding gun owners. Facts and statistics don’t matter — it’s all about emotion, and at the moment that emotion is fear. Fear and the dawning realization that they are losing.