The following is an edited version a comment that reader Mort left under an earlier post:
Post-shooting lawsuits like the one filed by the Parkland parents against gun makers are the result of antigun media-driven agitprop, the delusionally snarky idea that firearms are analogous to tobacco and that the Big Gun Lobby can be “defeated” by following the same legal playbook the plaintiff bar used against “Big Tobacco.”
If you want to see for yourself, go undercover. Hop on some forums and discussion groups and pose as an anti-gunner. You’ll quickly discover just how marvelous these nutty people believe this idea is. It’s hot, it’s trendy, it’s the latest “promised land” in the fight against civilian firearms ownership. They believe they will destroy the Big Gun just as they vanquished Big Tobacco.
Except they didn’t. Anyone can still walk into any gas station, convenient store, or department/grocery store and buy any one of dozens of brands of cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, chew, dip, and snuff. More than they ever could before. They can then freely light up in solidarity with tens of thousands of fellow users suffering and dying of emphysema, cancer, and heart disease. Sure, they’re discriminated against, but boohoo, life’s unfair. Very little has changed, substantively.
Firearm ownership and the American gun culture around it are Constitutionally protected civil rights, but in many ways, they’re similar to the use of a traditional leisure drug that people willingly consume despite well-documented and well-known health risks. Right?
Yeah, no. The two have literally nothing in common, but it’s revealing as to how anti-gun people perceive the right to keep and bear arms and what they believe about firearms and gun culture. They see guns as something inherently dangerous that Americans are lured by and addicted to. They think firearms have a similar net value as tobacco, making the user feel “cool and sophisticated,” while providing a relatively useless, extremely dirty and suicidally hazardous benefit to their owners.
These kinds of lawsuits will succeed only if anti-gun propaganda eventually succeeds in convincing enough Americans that firearm ownership is analogous to tobacco use. That’s why steps should be taken to dispel this fraudulent impression, pronto.
We need to emphasize the lives saved by firearms, and correctly categorize the lives lost. “Gun violence” is not monolithic. Gun deaths are not all created equal. Suicide is not crime, is not police shootings, is not home defense, is not negligence, is not mass shootings, etc. All of these must continually be parsed, separated, and compartmentalized as wholly unrelated and demonstrably different that the effects of lawful firearms use in America.
Healthy mocking must be applied to ignorant anti-gun mouthpieces who shovel the “Big Guns equals Big Tobacco” narrative. A firearm is a tool, and you can’t eat a hammer, nor can you smoke it. It must be pointed out, relentlessly, that the supermajority of American gun owners expect and receive nothing but positive benefits from ownership of these tools when the behavior of the gun owners is healthy and sane.
Misuse of firearms is categorically rare, proportionate to the huge number of guns and owners, even when all types of gun-related crimes are considered as one uniform mass…which they can’t be, unless you’re ignorant, intolerant, and bigoted against ordinary gun owners.
That’s the most important kind of rebuttal we can make to this tack taken against gun ownership. We need to serve up the innate philosophical hypocrisy ever-present in anti-gun hysterics’ arguments. Are not they fighting for a more inclusive, more tolerant, more compassionate world? Are not they champions of civil rights, civil liberties, and equality? How can the lowly person who wishes to defend themselves against the injustices of bullying and hate, be treated so intolerantly by anti-gun bigots?
How can they discriminate against someone merely for standing up for oneself and one’s identity? How is it inclusive to deny equality to people who carry a gun to protect their families by discriminating against them, treating them like sub-humans? How is it sensible to want an obviously racist, fascist, bullying government as we have today to seize a monopoly on the use of violence? How can they expect people to relinquish our only reasonable means of protection from such a government, only to then sheepishly call men with guns when we’re assaulted and mistreated by criminals? What would MLK think? How is this empowering through equality? How is it not egregious hypocrisy in violation of everything they stand for?
There’s a ton to unpack there, but the point is that we must take a consistent tack, circling the wagons around our constitutionally protected guaranteed civil rights, and their equal access by all Americans. This is not a schoolkids-and-lollipops-from-Joe Camel issue. Hardly. It’s the last great struggle for civil rights and equality in a country that craves such fights and lionizes such ideals as essential to our history and identity.
Right now, the anti-gunners are doing it slightly better than we are. How did you like MLK’s descendant fusing the legacy of fighting to secure civil rights to a movement intended to erode, destroy, and subjugate a civil right?
Like it or not, this struggle won’t be won with a lack of creativity. Lazy grunts of disgust at “DemoncRATs,” “libtards” and “mentally ill lefties” is us-against-them divisive nonsense. We already know they won’t be swayed by rah-rah Second Amendment appeals. We know the only people who that galvanizes it us.
The 2A fight will be won when it becomes a universal, noble struggle that attracts a solid majority because it feels like the right thing to do…whether or not they grasp the nuances of why the Second Amendment rights matter to their freedom. Yep…it’s the feelz. Using the facts and being right only gets you so far, especially in the face of a steady parade of murdered children.
That’s why anti-gun zealots have about as much respect for your right to self-defense as they do for an obnoxious, stinky smoker hacking it up in “designated smoking section,” 100 yards away from normal, decent people who are smart enough to want to teach their kids activities that don’t make them sick or dead.
Yeah, I know. But I’m telling you, I’m around people who reflect that kind of thinking all the time. They DO want to take your guns, and they DO believe that their kids are inherently unsafe because you own an AR-15. It’s pretty nutty. It’s also hard to take seriously. But if they do, we must.