By P.A. Deacon
If you are a regular reader of TTAG you will have seen the reports about the record-breaking NICS background checks performed by the FBI. Every month seems to show more FBI NICS checks than the month before.
This past August, the NICS check system totaled 2,073,296 checks making it the “highest number for August since NICS was established in 1998.” Not all of those were new sales to new gun owners of course, and many were probably transfers from one current gun owner to another. At the same time, the report doesn’t say how many guns were purchased since only one NICS check is performed per person, no matter how many guns are purchased. But clearly, Americans want to buy firearms.
This may be due in part to more people getting their news and associating via new media, which allow us to discuss firearms and the gun culture without relying on the legacy media. More Americans who otherwise might never get exposed to firearms are learning and becoming interested in owning their own gun.
We also can’t discount the possibility of fear buying. While my experiences are mine alone and anecdotal, the conversations I’ve had with my friends and like-minded enthusiasts always seems to come back the possibility that there is a gun-ban just over the horizon.
But, is that fear misplaced? Do gun owners really need to worry about losing the legal right to purchase firearms or are some of us falling victim to momentary passions?
In the days immediately after Donald Trump was elected, a political commentator for a major news network went on the radio and said that she was “worried about, like, a real attack on the press.” The press, she said, may “crumble” under Trump’s sustained attacks.
On another outlet she griped that the media, under a Trump presidency will have, “a different fight for your life than you thought you were going to have [under a Clinton presidency].” So, according to this person, the media will have to fight for its very survival or be destroyed by President Trump.
Of course there was no evidence that Trump had any of these authoritarian tendencies. It’s clear that he’s no fan of the media, but he hasn’t done a single thing to end their existence. At the same time, the media have done more to make themselves irrelevant than Trump has ever done.
But many Americans do have a rational fear of losing their legal right to keep and bear arms. Gun owners and Americans who respect gun ownership live with the knowledge that after every mass shooting we will once again be fighting for our rights. There is serious talk of gun bans three of four times a year. In some respects the fight for our gun rights is a daily battle being fought in states all across the country.
Yet despite all the continued hysteria, there isn’t a single piece of legislation at the federal or state level that I am aware of that would restrict the media’s ability to perform their necessary function. The very mention of government control over the New York Times or Washington Post is simply unthinkable. No one is proposing anything of the kind.
At the same time, there are dozens, maybe hundreds of proposed state and federal bills that would restrict gun rights if signed into law. We should also remember the scores of laws already on the books that restrict or prevent firearm ownership.
We recognize two fundamental truths about gun control. First, bad guys don’t follow gun control laws. Second, gun laws don’t stop otherwise law-abiding citizens from lapsing into an evil act. The 1.1 million defensive gun uses every year are proof that good guys with guns really do stop bad guys, period. But, like clockwork, it only takes a few
hours minutes for the gun control crowd and their subservient Renfields in politics and the media to cry out for more gun control after a prominent crime.
There isn’t a single group of any seriousness or import that’s working to restrict or destroy the media. Other than exposing and ending media bias, critics’ only interest is in more voices and more outlets doing more good journalism. Not less of it.
On the other hand, there are enough well-funded and well-organized gun control groups to fill the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria. Every single one of these groups was created to make legal gun ownership more difficult or outright impossible. And now they’ve outsourced some of that work to a slew of corporate partners as well.
If anyone in America should be worried about losing their rights and freedoms, it’s America’s gun owners. We hate the mass shooters who prey on the helpless in gun-free zones and know that in many cases, someone could have done something to reduce or prevent the carnage if legal carry had been permitted.
Every singe day we live with the possibility of having to justify our lives, our right to defend our families and neighbors and communities. There isn’t a single legislative proposal at the state or federal level to incarcerate someone for being black brown, gay, young, old, a religious minority, or — heaven forbid — a member of the media. But there are daily, well-funded, and very loud groups that want, most of all, to unravel our civil liberties and end civilian gun ownership.
With all that in mind, who is it really that’s in the fight of their lives?