It’s time to add to our count of publications that are signing on to the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex’s primary talking point these days. To wit, the argument that no matter how bad some cops’ behavior may be, no matter how much reform may be desired or needed, we can’t possibly make any progress in that area unless we also disarm law-abiding Americans.
To recap, here are (at least some of) the coordinated posts that the Everytown/Brady/Giffords gang has ginned up using their handy-dandy anti-gun JournoList contacts:
Washington Post: Robert Gebelhof’s No police reforms would be complete without gun reforms
The Atlantic: Derek Thompson in The Overlooked Role of Guns in the Police-Reform Debate
Fast Company: Talib Visram in America’s gun violence epidemic is inextricably linked to police violence
Now comes The New Republic, a once-great periodical that was thoroughly trashed by a Facebook alum with too little to do and too much money on his hands. He quickly drove off almost all of the publication’s talent and finally moved on down the road to blow more of his pile of tech cash on other projects.
In the TNR piece, Firmin DeBrabander (yes, we’ve noted some of his hysterical hoplophobic scribblings here before) makes sure to acknowledge the work of some of the other dedicated media gun control advocates who have blazed the trail before him in this current effort:
Law enforcement has been infected by America’s gun culture, as Derek Thompson has recently argued in The Atlantic. “[C]elebrating widespread gun ownership,” he writes, “makes it all but inevitable that the United States has more armed police than similarly rich countries, more panicky officers, more adversarial police encounters, more officer shootings, and more civilian killings.”
And then comes the case for the need — the moral obligation — we should all feel for further restricting the right to keep and bear arms.
Underscoring this domestic arms race, a larger philosophical issue looms: Police have adopted the same fundamental societal outlook as gun rights advocates: Arms are synonymous with law and order. Whatever process of public safety reform may await the U.S., a radical reform of gun culture must be part of the conversation.
Consider how our gun culture makes American society needlessly treacherous, for police and citizens alike. The U.S. lacks the most basic of firearms regulations: universal background checks on all gun purchases and transfers. In the absence of such constraints, gun rights advocates have promoted laws enabling armed citizens to carry their guns in public—and, in many states, shielding them from criminal and civil liabilities for causing damage to people and property.
Yes, our pre-riot society was so very treacherous that violent crime had fallen to generational lows at the same time civilian gun ownership has more than doubled. But hold on, DeBrabander’s on a roll.
It’s a favorite saying of gun advocates that “an armed society is a polite society.” We have abundant evidence that that is hardly the case. Quite to the contrary, an armed society encourages—or even forces—people to solve problems with a gun, not shrink from violence. Police are gripped with a similar madness. Consider again how often, in recent weeks, police have blocked, bullied, kettled, gassed, and bashed protesters, rather than “pacifying” them. They simply reject the central notion that in a democracy, peace is upheld by rule of law and not rule of violence. This rejection is also evident in the National Rifle Association–supported “killology” and “sheepdog” training offered to police forces and gun-wielding citizens alike, training that treats the masses as unwitting sheep and elevates the sheepdogs who keep wolves at bay with “[s]uperior violence. Righteous violence.”
We won’t go on. After all, this is just the latest iteration of a new, urgent series penned by compliant stenographers for the gun control industry, dedicated anti-gun advocates in their own right who are only too happy to pitch in once again to piggyback their message on the current push for police reform.
Besides, they have to do what they can do right now. The usual gun control messaging isn’t getting much traction with the average American these days as more of them pick shelves clean in gun stores from sea to shining sea. So this won’t be the last we see of this meme while the current debate presents them with one of their only good opportunities to advance the narrative.