It’s always seemed curious that so many of the people who profess the most hatred and fear of those currently wielding power in Washington are many of the very same people who have long been advocates of gun control. If — as the black-clad Antifa thugs, profess — you really believe that President Donald trump is a fascist and/or a Nazi, do you really want to give the government he currently heads the ability to more tightly regulate your ability to purchase and own firearms?
That’s the central contradiction behind Eve Peyser’s article at vice.com, ‘The Leftist Argument Against Gun Control.’
“Gun control means disarming the revolutionary masses and oppressed classes,” a leftist named William Gillis told me in an email. Gillis, one of the 15 anti–gun control leftists I talked to by phone and email for this story, called gun control “the worst possible idea in history.” He also sent me this meme:
Why, it’s almost as if America’s Founding Fathers intended the right to keep and bear arms as a bulwark against government tyranny or something. We’re sure we’ve heard that argument somewhere before.
Not all anti-gun control arguments are this fanatical, but many stem from a fundamental mistrust of the US government. Alex Turner, a 24-year-old retail manager from Kentucky, believes that we can’t trust Trump to not tweet out a declaration of war or the Democratic Party to hold a fair primary, so why should we trust the government to regulate firearms? (Of the anti-gun control leftists I corresponded with, most of them were men who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and either sat out the general election or begrudgingly voted for Hillary Clinton.)
As far as America’s gun rights supporters are concerned, it’s a big tent. There’s plenty of room in here for everyone…no matter how you managed to finally conclude that arguments for gun control are centered much more in a desire for control than they are concern about guns.
“As a black leftist male from and in the south who’s a gun owner, I find the conversations on gun control in liberal and left circles oftentimes deeply ill-informed,” (Michaelantonio ) Jones explained. “I’ll be frank, I’m not comfortable with giving the state (the US proper)—which was founded on, by, and sustained through genocide, slavery, and theft—a total monopoly on violence. I believe that for folks that look like me, surrendering effective means of self defense and trusting that system is suicide. Also, let’s not forget that gun control in the late twentieth century in the States has basically been an effort to disarm people of color.”
Don’t look now, Mr. Jones, but America’s history of gun control laws rooted in racism goes back a lot farther than that. Still, no matter what you think of the circuitous route he took, Jones managed to land at the right airport.
So let’s not quibble. In the post-Las Vegas push for more restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, it’s good to have more supporters for the RKBA, no matter which side of the political spectrum they lean toward.
Ruganzu Howard, a 37-year-old ex-cop from Seattle, explained it in even simpler terms: “Many people have opinions on guns and absurd notions of ‘common sense’ gun laws. There is a reason this shit ain’t been figured out/resolved. It’s not the evil GOP, or NRA, it’s because Americans want fucking guns.”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.