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By Robert B. Young, MD

Over time, we’ve seen changes in focus by the hoplophobic elements of society. Originally, it was all about banning handguns or at least “Handgun Control Inc.” The “assault weapon,” that is, the AR ban of 1994-2004 followed, with no discernible effect on crime, homicide, etc. Movement mutation continued, with groups dropping wording advocating bans, and moving to claims of fighting pure “violence” and promoting gun “safety.”

Now they want to address the “root causes” of violence instead of just restricting legal gun ownership, though they’re still advocating extending background checks while claiming they don’t want to take anyone’s guns. Intervening within high-crime communities and with those at high risk of committing and becoming victims of violence is appropriate, though far more difficult than they may imagine.

Throughout, we’ve had no reason to believe that anti-gun activists have had any real change of heart. Their “conversation” always seems to come around to the desirability of somehow limiting the rights of law-abiding American gun owners in some way, even if that means “just” creating more hoops to jump through in order to purchase, keep, or bear our arms.

However, there’s a fundamental factor that will trump all their intentions, both open and disguised. That is us, the people (and voters) of democracies.

As Andrew Breitbart famously said, politics is downstream from culture and the culture is changing. Much of this is due to the past two years of violence, approved and applauded by “progressive” politicians who thought this would garner more minority votes. Their groupthink about identity and ethnicity blinded them to the reality that people of all ethnicities, communities and societies want crime stopped lest it hit them.

People are simultaneously realizing that they can’t count on being protected by government and must plan to do that for themselves. Thus the huge rise in gun purchases by more diverse buyers than ever, including women, minorities (especially African-American women) and self-described liberals.

It’s been speculated that this increase in valuing self-protection with firearms may transfer to an increase in valuing Second Amendment rights. And now, that’s no longer speculation.

The Trafalgar Group, a non-partisan polling operation, released a poll in which over 84% of respondents believed that “strict gun laws” either make no difference or worsen the current surge in retail thefts. Less than 16% believed such laws can make the problem better.

In November, Quinnipiac found that 48% of those surveyed opposed stricter gun laws versus 47% who support them. That followed a trend that began in 2015, with opinion now over the tipping point where a plurality oppose stricter gun laws.

Gallup’s polling correlates, with a new low of only 52% of Americans caring that “laws covering the sale of firearms” should be stricter. That’s down from a high of 64% in 2019, falling through 57% in 2020.

Meanwhile, ABC/Ipsos found that 66% of Americans disapprove of how President Biden is addressing “gun violence” (which could imply wanting either more or less strict laws). Republicans’ opposition to more gun control laws has strengthened while Democrats’ willingness to push for more strict gun laws is lessening, predictably. But the most important political demographic — independents — have shifted dramatically in favor of, shall we say, individual independence on this issue.

Virus Outbreak Mississippi Protest
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

In the latest National Firearms Survey published in July, nearly one-third of respondents acknowledged owning guns, more than half of those say they carry them and almost a third of those reported having to use them defensively in one or more of an estimated 1.7 million incidents of self-defense.

In 82% of these DGUs, it wasn’t necessary to fire the gun. Almost 80% of those incidents occurred in the defender’s home or on their property, with the rest mostly occurring in a public setting or at work, still a very substantial number.

The NSSF also found that 49% more Hispanic Americans (none of whom use “Latinx”) purchased firearms in 2020 than in 2019. With 40% of all gun purchases during the past two years coming from first-time gun owners, it’s no surprise that Hispanics (as well as African-Americans) are increasingly coming down on the side of individual rights rather than government “protection.”

In Berkeley, California, of all places, the Latino Rifle Association has grown by hundreds of members since 2020. The “leftists . . . socialists, progressives” that make up the group’s membership realize that, “The police and the government aren’t taking care of me, so I have to do things on my own.”

Funny thing…that’s just what conservatives have recognized for generations. A much bigger organization, the National African-American Gun Association, has added tens of thousands of new members since 2016, accelerating (along with many local gun clubs oriented toward minorities) during the past two years.

Even our less demonstrative Anglophone cousins, Canadians and Kiwis, aren’t cooperating any more. They’re ignoring government orders to turn in their now-banned guns  just like Americans have. Neither country’s gun owners have been eager to turn in their formerly legal firearms.

Only 160 of an estimated 100,000 affected firearms have been surrendered in Canada in a year and a half. In New Zealand, the 2019 ban of most repeating arms “has had no impact on a rise in gun crime and violence”, except for a steadily increasing rate of the offense of still possessing such firearms.

The conclusion that more and more people are coming to is . . .

no one is coming to save you

This is precisely the cultural shift that precedes and triggers political change. Most Americans already knew that protecting individual rights is the uncompromisable basis of the success of American society and polity. Many others know that now and more are learning.

While Donald Trump improved the Republican share of the black and Hispanic votes (especially among men), that wasn’t about him or the party. It was about the importance of each person’s rights as an American.

Most expect that the Supreme Court will affirm the Second Amendment with a ruling in Bruen voiding New York City’s may(non)issue handgun carry permitting, along with the eight other states that persist in may-issue tyranny. The “progressive” left will keep caterwauling if they don’t get their way.

But should the decision go otherwise, their wailing would be nothing compared to the anger of the majority who are now convinced that individual rights are more important than political correctness. And that would assuredly lead to even greater political change in favor of ensuring those rights.

To paraphrase St. George Tucker, “the true palladium of liberty” isn’t just “the right of self-defence.” The right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and opposing tyranny is necessary to a free people in a free state. But it is a means to the goal, along with representative democracy lustily embraced, which is “to keep our republic” (h/t B. Franklin). The ultimate mark of liberty is individual autonomy, where the rights of the individual are placed above government’s privileges, which are only bestowed by us individuals.

 

DRGO Editor Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Once Gun Control is defined correctly by its diabolical history only idiots, racists, nazis and those using a copyrighted photo of Alfred E. Newman as a moniker continue to promote such despicable filth.

  2. “…politics is downstream from culture and the culture is changing…”

    This is true. I would add that the politics in our nation are dividing us into two distinct cultures, however, and leading us to further schism.

    • This is true. But in order for us to split into two nations we would have to overcome the fascist left’s fear that they could not feed themselves without folks like you and me.

      dacian the nazi and 49er would starve in a nation where we conservatives were gone. Peaceful separation is not likely possible because of their fears. They see Venezuela and it scares them that is what they become without us.

      • Miner already lives behind enemy lines. He would be well fed, so he would just complain that people weren’t respecting white liberals’ favorite non-religious religious holiday, Kwanzaa.

      • to Jethro W.M.

        Once again our High School drop out who professes to know everything about anything makes a complete fool of himself.

        Venezuela’s economy did not fail because of Socialism but because the entire economy was based on oil revenue and when the price of oil fell so did the economy as well as Venezuela’s vast amount of corruption in the government itself.

        When one looks at the success of diversified Socialist States in most Western European countries we find some of the richest countries in the world which includes Germany, France, and the Scandinavian countries. Scandinavian countries which are perhaps the most Socialist in the world score highest on the “happiness index” where people are satisfied with their Socialist Government and their person lives.

        In Capitalvania the “happiness index” is one of the lowest.

        Of course the ignorant Far Right Claim Europe is not Socialistic but have no explanation why Europeans have so many more “cradle to grave” social programs than the U.S. does. They also fail to see that although those European Counties have free enterprise it is free enterprise which is required to fund its Social Programs and this means forcing the super rich to pay their fair share of the taxes.

        Nor does Europe fund endless super expensive wars of rape, pillage and conquest as the U.S. does or have troops stationed in over 50 foreign countries nor fund an over bloated military that spends 54 cents of every tax dollar on its military industrial complex that General Eisenhower warned would destroy the U.S. way back in the 1950’s. Unfortunately an accurate prediction that came all too true.

        • Alright, you dim-witted throwback to cavemen, ENOUGH, already, with you pretensions to intellect. WHERE, EXACTLY did you get your bragged-about (and NEVER detailed) “education”. Boy, you are dumber than Baalam’s off ass (and it tickles me that that reference will entirely escape you).

          PUT UP OR SHUT UP, Mr. “I’m educated”. You are NOT educated, you are an ignorant moron. Stop pretending to even credentials, let alone intellect. You are an uneducated moron.

      • @ I Haz A Question and JWM,
        Another factor they have not considered, where does not only the food come from, but the energy.
        States like CA are the biggest net importer of energy from outside the state, usually from Red States. Same goes with a number of blue cities.
        That is a long way off to keep the lights on.
        The energy heartbeat of America is in the Gulf Coast, in Red States.
        Then there is water.
        Shut down both those, and stop shipping of food to those regions . . . well . . .
        Some would argue about those Big Tech companies. I dont need Facebook or Google. There was life before them, there will be after them.
        Long Beach port and all those cheap China goods? Hey, I would gladly pay a little more for a American made product if it meant that money went to a red blooded American, making a product here in America. Or, do I really need that shiny new 80 inch big screen TV, when my 22 year old 62 inch that works just fine will do.
        Personally, I am a-okay with a division between the two groups as long as it is like a amicable divorce. You go your way, I will go mine. Two different nations, societies, cultures, economies etc. will form and the two shall never meet.
        Whole lot better then a shooting war where millions who are not interested in either side die.

    • “I would add that the politics in our nation are dividing us into two distinct cultures, however, and leading us to further schism.”

      Something far more profound is happening, right *now.*

      The two sides have a completely opposed view of reality. One side loves this great nation and will go to long lengths to protect it for the freedoms it provides.

      The other side, on the other hand, despises this nation, and has nothing but hatred and contempt for it. They believe the founding was illegitimate, that ‘racism’ was baked-in to it from the beginning, and what needs to be done is a re-founding of America, with a constitution long on group rights, but little individual rights.

      This is the story they are selling to their Leftist Scum rabble, and they are making solid headway with that. There is no way to come to a ‘meeting of minds’ with two diametrically-opposed views on fundamental reality. As far as I’m concerned, love should rightly triumph over hate…

  3. The point is “what is crime”? Crimes of robbery and burglary are those of theft, with premeditated planning. When we think of violence, we thing of random violence, those crimes of emotion, which can come up quickly and you do not see them coming.
    Getting back at a member of a different gang, trying to muscle in on “your” street corner, or just a tribal hatred shooting to show how tough you are.
    Most of the middle class did not see the gang violence, they did not get down and dirty, or even buy drugs in the hood.
    Enter the BLM protests and even the lower middle class began to see the hatred for what it was. Many politicos in power thought that the good people in the inner cities would follow the hatred, but many(who weren’t already armed), went out and got armed, scared of both sides.
    Truth be known, those middle class workers and earners that live in the hood, live with this BS, some even have the problems themselves or in their household, but do NOT bleed gang colors, and really do not want them around. The Dems have a lot of back peddling to do.
    Many of these people secretly lauded many of the things Trump did and said, but they are not ready to be spoon fed Rep values. Trump was The 21st century’s answer to Teddy Roosevelt, I hope and pray we can get another.

    • “Crimes of robbery and burglary are those of theft, with premeditated planning.”

      Not always, crimes opportunity happen all the time. Predator sees mark, robs mark.

      Car-jacking is similarly opportunistic. Right place and time for the predator, wrong place and wrong time for the victim…

  4. Let’s not confuse the true advance of liberty with mere “Big Sort”.

    Blue states will still have to be dragged kicking and screaming by feds/scotus into respecting 2A. And the threat of turning pro-2A states blue yet still remains.

    • “Blue states will still have to be dragged kicking and screaming by feds/scotus into respecting 2A.”

      And it’s gonna be a long slog, if Chicago after ‘Heller’ was any indication. It took the SCotUS case of ‘McDonald’ to force Chicago to comply with ‘Heller’.

      And cases after that to force Leftist Scum areas to issue permits for gun ranges and gun stores. Even then it’s difficult, as I believe the city of San Fransisco has no gun store within the city limits…

  5. So after two decades of stoking this neo-segregationism and racial hate wokeness something the majority can come together on is that they have to arm themselves against the “other.”

    Some fun times ahead.

    • It works out in our favor that they have been training their rabble to hate and fear guns.

      Less of them will pick one up if things go sideways…

  6. “Gallup’s polling correlates, with a new low of only 52% of Americans caring that “laws covering the sale of firearms” should be stricter.”

    So let me get this straight. Gallup polled a bunch of uninformed morons who think that the “laws covering the sale of firearms” should be stricter even though they have no idea what the laws actually are.

    Is that it, or am I missing something?

    • If you ask these people how it should be stricter, 99% of the time they will name regulations that they want that ALREADY EXIST. I have had this discussion over and over with the anti crowd.

  7. The Anti’s that I know will tell you that guns are evil because they kill people. They do not look past the gun to realize that there are evil people who will kill with any weapon they can get their hands on.

  8. OMG, this post has been up for well over an hour without a single peep from our favorite cartoon character punching bag !! I think were on the right track, dacian… five Tide Pods seems to be your correct dose.

  9. Pew Research Center 2021

    Today, just over half of Americans (53%) say gun laws should be stricter than they currently are.

    Overall, several gun policy proposals continue to draw broad support from Americans. Nearly nine-in-ten (87%) favor preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns, while 81% favor subjecting private gun sales and sales at gun shows to background checks.

    Smaller though still sizeable majorities of Americans support the creation of a federal database tracking all gun sales (66%) and bans on high capacity magazines (64%) and assault-style weapons (63%).

    https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/04/20/amid-a-series-of-mass-shootings-in-the-u-s-gun-policy-remains-deeply-divisive/

    • dacian the stupid,

      Even assuming your half-assed “research” bore any relationship to reality (pro tip: It doesn’t), what the hell difference does that make??? Individual, INHERENT rights (including, but not limited to, the right to self-defense and the RKBA) aren’t CREATED by the 2A; the 2A exists SIMPLY to tell the government to keep its damn hands OFF the RKBA. But you’re so stupid, that is a revelation to you. Boy, you’re so dumb, you make Joe Biden look smart.

  10. A Federal Data base on all gun sales? Any plan on how you would get the guns on that database? I can gaurantee the street punks, gangstas and pimps would be hard to convince to sign up their guns. Might have a little problem getting compliance in the trailer court as well.
    Who gets to define what a high cap. magazine is? Many everyday pistols carry a 15 round mag. Including those used by LEO’s and other government personell.
    Define an assault style weapon. Semi- auto rifles with detachable box magazines have been available for around a century now.
    You, as well as anyone else who wants gun control of any type would be better served to demand stronger penalties for criminal misuse of said firearms and strenghtening of both enforcement and prosecution for such crimes. The hardware and methods are irrelevent. Deal with the person committing the crime.

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