Gun control advocates are fixated on the term “a good guy with a gun.” It’s a swipe at the latter half of NRA jefe Wayne LaPierre’s famous post-Newtown press conference sound bite: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” As far as gun control advocates are concerned, there’s no such thing as a good guy with a gun (except police and other armed government agents, of course). Here’ a recent example . . .
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Facebooked a news story on suspected road rage killer Christopher Lee McCullum with the caption “Don’t worry, folks. He’s a ‘Good Guy with a Gun.'” Huh? Any man who murders an innocent victim isn’t a “good guy.” Ipso facto.
The antis are spreading this mendacious meme throughout social media and onto op ed pages. Here’s how Jennifer Thorne, Executive Director of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, deploys the same sarcastic barb in a cleveland.com column focusing on last year’s pro-gun legislative package H.B. 234:
Let’s say your neighbor Bob wants a gun or applies for a concealed weapons license. He has to pass a background check before he can get either. Everything checks out, so now he’s a “good guy with a gun.” One day, Bob commits a crime. Previously, since Bob now has a record, he can’t buy more guns. However, under the new law, his concealed weapons license allows him to bypass that background check, allowing him to buy more dangerous weapons. It seems some of our lawmakers forgot that every “bad guy” was once a “good guy.”
Hang on. If the state convicts Bob of a felony, he becomes a prohibited person under federal law. He loses his right to purchase, keep and bear arms. Bob also loses his Ohio concealed weapons license. There’s only one way this scenario makes any sense: if Bob failed to surrender his concealed weapons license and lied on his federal form 4473. Both of which are criminal offenses.
Thorne is playing fast and loose with the facts, mischaracterizing criminal behavior as a “loophole” in Ohio gun law. No surprise there. She’s also revealing her overall view of criminality; if “every ‘bad guy’ was once a ‘good guy'” criminals are just good guys gone wrong.
It’s standard-issue liberal theology: society creates criminals. In fact, there wouldn’t be criminals if only all Americans (terrorists, too!) had access to better job opportunities, education, nutrition, job housing, etc. Not to coin a phrase, it takes a village to stop a good guy from becoming a bad guy with a gun.
If you’re an average Joe contemplating criminals, the debate over whether nurture or nature creates “bad guys” is neither here nor there. You just want to protect your life and property. If you’re a liberal gun control advocate, however, the “criminals as victims” concept is central to your crusade.
To reassure supporters that it’s OK to disarm people, gun control advocates need criminals to be just a bunch of misunderstood miscreants. We’re tough on gun violence (via gun control) and the causes of gun violence (via government intervention into every aspect of life). So it’s OK to degrade and destroy Americans’ gun rights.
The flip side of this equation is what really juices proponents of civilian disarmament. “Every ‘bad guy’ was once a ‘good guy'” also means that every good guy with a gun is a bad guy waiting to happen. Which is where Thorne, Ladd Everitt and their ilk get off labeling every evil gun-wielding mo-fo “another ‘good guy’ with a gun” (complete with irony-indicating scare quotes).
Since we can’t know when a good guy’s gonna go bad, the only way we can stop good guys with guns turning into bad guys with guns is … remove the guns! The fact that the vast majority of these “good guys gone bad” had a history of violence and/or untreated mental illness is neither here nor there. It’s swept under the proverbial carpet.
Question: do gun control advocates do this consciously (i.e., lie for the greater good) or unconsciously (i.e., lie to themselves to protect their world view)? I’m going with the latter, based on the hysterical tone of their rhetoric. Their screeds read like they’re trying to convince themselves of the urgency and importance of their anti-gun jihad.
It’s time that we all start taking responsibility for the presence of gun violence in our society. Studies show this public health risk doesn’t discriminate. Gun violence is not just limited to urban areas. In fact, gun violence is increasing across the country, while decreasing in cities. It doesn’t stop with the horrific shootings in our schools. Even one school shooting is too many, but the truth remains that kids are more at risk from gun violence at home than in school. We are facing a systemic problem that at times seems overwhelming.
What do we do when lawmakers pass a bill like HB 234 while people continue to die from gun violence? It would be easy to throw up our hands, surrender, and accept this is “just the world that we live in.” But we are not raising the white flag.
Remember, Ohio’s HB 234 was passed last year. It went into effect last month. It has not unleashed “blood in the streets,” nor will it. Meanwhile, there is no legislative plan to repeal HB 234. No groundswell of support to roll back its provisions. Like many gun control advocates, Thorne is tilting at windmills, encouraged only by an sympathetic mainstream media and cynical politicians (as if there’s any other type). All that’s left, really, is the sound of her own voice.
The solution lies in personal conversations to create culture change. We can’t be afraid to talk about gun violence. Families should talk to kids about the dangers of guns and ask “is there a weapon where my child plays?” School boards should look beyond fear tactics and vote no on proposals to arm teachers. Businesses should feel empowered to create weapon free zones on their premises. We can change the culture of fear, one person at a time.
Gun owners don’t create to a culture of fear. They create a culture of safety and self-reliance. What’s more, the vast majority of American gun owners really are “good guys with guns” and will stay that way ’til their dying day. Thorne can’t see that because she’s living in the culture of fear that she’s created in her own mind. Or was it created for her? Anyway, her attempts to plunge us all into her utopian world view makes her nothing more or less than a bad guy with a PC.