I’ve made numerous attempts to engage gun control advocates in open debate over the years. After a brief Twitter battle with Brady Campaign campaigner Colin Goddard, I invited the Virginia Tech shooting survivor to continue our “discussion” in front of a live audience. Goddard hemmed and hawed and eventually went radio silent. In May of 2014, I went on Gun Victims Action Council jefe Elliot Fineman’s radio show [click here to listen]. After that confounding confrontation, I asked Elliot for a public rematch. Never happened. More recently . . .
I received a Facebook message from a leader of a national anti-gun group (who shall remain nameless). When he insisted that pro-gunners wanted to deny anti-gunners a platform for their message, I said not true, and put it to you, our Armed Intelligentsia. The line of communication between us went dead the second TTAG’s Question of the Day post on his assertion went live.
This pattern is repeated over and over again. Pro-gunners like NRA commentator Colion Noir reach out to anti-gunners like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America queen bee Shannon Watts. Let’s hash it out, the pro-folks suggest. The antis ignore the request. At the same time, they ban dissenting voices from their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and YouTube accounts. They hide from anything remotely resembling honest debate.
Because they’d lose the argument? Yes, well, there is that. When the facts about gun control are clearly presented they clearly favor firearms freedom. But it’s more than that. The antis’ refusal to face the people they seek to disarm reveals significant character weakness. Not to put too fine a point on it, gun control advocates are cowards.
Like all bullies, deep down, gun control advocates are afraid. They’re not afraid of “gun violence,” or armed retaliation, or armed insurrection, or even guns per se. The Truth About Bullies at empoweringparents.com tells us the truth about anti-gun bullies.
The public perception of bullying is that bullies are acting out to cover their own fears. They may indeed be afraid, but accepting this as a reason makes bullies sound like victims of their fears — like we’re supposed to feel sorry for them and not hold them responsible for their abusive actions.
The issue is not whether bullies are afraid. Bullies bully other people to feel powerful around them and to feel power over them. Bullies start out feeling like zeroes, like nobodies. When they intimidate, threaten or hurt someone else, then they feel like somebody. The key is the feeling of power.
Shannon Watts was “just another stay-at-home mom” before she re-invented herself as the leader of the Million Mom March for Gun Control (as MDA was originally called). Colin Goddard was just another Virginia Tech student before his survival made him a renowned not-to-say-revered anti-gun campaigner. Elliot Fineman was just another dad before his son was brutally murdered by a crazed gunman. And so on.
A proper debate would confront these former nobodies woth people who don’t acknowledge or respect their power – with disastrous results. If a pro-gun Toto pulled back the curtain on an anti’s Great and Powerful Oz act their emotion-driven acolytes might pay attention to the man or woman flipping levers behind that curtain. They’d see the truth about guns. The crusader’s cred would crumble.
Don’t get me wrong: the majority of the people who follow these anti-gun bullies are not cowards. As Jim Hightower observed, the opposite of bravery is not cowardice. It’s conformity. If the pro-gun side can make the right to keep and bear arms gun rights a cultural backdrop for everyday life, the majority will conform to the norm. Of course, that statement, like the ones preceeding it, is open to debate.