Where are we, as a nation, on guns? And where do you think we need to go?
I think we might be on the precipice of things getting much worse. I think this Bruen decision, the Supreme Court ruling, quite possibly will unleash so many lawsuits against so many counted-upon regulations that citizens may wake up to the equivalent of, like, no stop signs in their town anymore, except for it’ll be on gun regulation. [The Bruen decision has been called one of the court’s most significant rulings on guns in decades. It struck down New York’s concealed carry law as unconstitutional, saying it conflicted with the Second Amendment.]
What do you attribute this trend to?
As I write in my book, there was a time not that long ago, maybe about 15 to 20 years ago, when the industry understood a sort of fragile social contract needed to be maintained on something as immensely powerful as the freedom to own guns. And so the industry didn’t do certain things. It didn’t advertise in egregiously irresponsible ways. It didn’t put, you know, growth, company growth, above all other things. There were just these unspoken codes of conduct the industry knew not to violate. And those seem to have broken down. And now it’s kind of a victory at all costs. And sadly, I think there’s a lot of cost.
What do you say to people who make the argument that guns are protected by the Second Amendment and that yes, a deranged person here or there may do something bad, but is it fair to punish or penalize law-abiding gun owners with unnecessary or extra government intervention?
I am a gun owner. I hunt and shoot with my boys. I want to continue doing that. I believe and I think that I have a right to do those things. On the other hand, I do not believe that right can exist without a commensurate amount of responsibility. And that responsibility either has to be voluntary or it has to be legislated.
I don’t think universal background checks are an infringement. I just don’t buy that. I think it’s part of the responsibility of exercising this right. I don’t think strengthened red flag laws are in any way an infringement. I think that’s what we must do as responsible citizens. I don’t think that controlling irresponsible marketing is an infringement on our Second Amendment rights. In fact, I think it’s our responsibility to do it. I think there’s a small thread of truth in the position you portray, but democracies function in a sort of carefully balanced gray area. And I think our balance in the country right now is way, way off.