“It is now fair to ask whether the National Rifle Association is winning — or has in fact won — this era of the gun debate in this country,” Charles M. Blow bloviates at nytimes.com. And what motivated the writer to make this Mufasa-like “it is time” pronouncement? “A striking report released Friday by the Pew Research Center revealed that ‘for the first time, more Americans say that protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52 percent to 46 percent.'” That leads Blow to conclude, “One may begrudge and bemoan the fact, but it is hard to deny it: the N.R.A. appears to be winning this round.” No happy dance please. What Blow is really saying is that the antis . . .
must work harder o disarm Americans.
To wit: Blow’s pseudo-admission that the N.R.A.’s won “this round.” Just like Boss Rojak deployed the term in My Favorite Year ( e.g., “The fighting’s in rounds”). Truth be told, Blow’s editorial isn’t a metaphorical white flag for gun control advocates. It’s a call to arms.
Make no mistake, Blow’s anti-ballistic BFFs have plenty to spin here.
It used to be that the people most worried about crime favored stricter gun control, but “now, they tend to desire keeping the laws as they are or loosening gun control. In short, we are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership — not gun control — makes people safer.”
No doubt gun control advocates will redouble their efforts to manipulate data to “prove” that a gun in the home increases personal danger. They will continue to add firearms-related suicides to firearms-related crime data to plump-up their proverbial anti-gun pillow; stuffed as it is with half-truths and downright lies.
The report adds: “Why public views on crime have grown more dire is unclear, though many blame it on the nature of news coverage, reality TV and political rhetoric. Whatever the cause, this trend is not without consequence. Today, those who say that crime is rising are the most opposed to gun control: Just 45 percent want to see gun laws made more strict, compared with 53 percent of those who see crime rates as unchanged or dropping.”
I don’t think it’s a matter of prevalence. Yes, thanks to the Internet and cell phone cameras, violent crime is more visible. But the important change is that it’s more visceral. We’re not just seeing the horrific aftermath of attacks, filtered through the soothing voices of professional newsreaders. We’re seeing the raw footage of violence as it happens.
This close encounter of the video kind triggers what TTAG writer Nick Leghorn describes as an incidence – severity ratio. Violent crime might be rare and getting rarer, but it’s result is catastrophic. Americans can now see – in full detail and at their convenience – the terrifying consequences of not being prepared for a violent assault.
Anyway, civilian disarmament is boxed-in. Antis can’t admit that crime is falling; the fear of crime is integral to the anti-gun side’s motivational strategy (e.g. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s endless crime story link love on their Facebook page). Nor can they say that crime is getting worse. That makes people buy guns. As Blow admits.
It appears to be an extreme example of unintended consequences, or a boomerang: the more people talk about gun control, the more people buy guns. And not only do gun sales surge, but apparently so does N.R.A. membership. As The Huffington Post reported in 2013: “The National Rifle Association’s paying member ranks have grown by 100,000 in the wake of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the organization told Politico.”
I love how the America’s Newspaper of Record restricts the NRA growth numbers to 2013. (The gun rights group grew by millions in the year following.)
In any case, Ive said it before, I’ll say it again: culture eats strategy for lunch. In terms of guns at least, America’s culture of self-reliance is back. And not a minute too soon. [h/t JP]