Previous Post
Next Post


“It is now fair to ask whether the National Rifle Association is winning — or has in fact won — this era of the gun debate in this country,” Charles M. Blow bloviates at And what motivated the writer to make this Mufasa-like “it is time” pronouncement? “A striking report released Friday by the Pew Research Center revealed that ‘for the first time, more Americans say that protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52 percent to 46 percent.'” That leads Blow to conclude, “One may begrudge and bemoan the fact, but it is hard to deny it: the N.R.A. appears to be winning this round.” No happy dance please. What Blow is really saying is that the antis . . .

must work harder o disarm Americans.

To wit: Blow’s pseudo-admission that the N.R.A.’s won “this round.” Just like Boss Rojak deployed the term in My Favorite Year ( e.g., “The fighting’s in rounds”). Truth be told, Blow’s editorial isn’t a metaphorical white flag for gun control advocates. It’s a call to arms.

Make no mistake, Blow’s anti-ballistic BFFs have plenty to spin here.

It used to be that the people most worried about crime favored stricter gun control, but “now, they tend to desire keeping the laws as they are or loosening gun control. In short, we are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership — not gun control — makes people safer.”

No doubt gun control advocates will redouble their efforts to manipulate data to “prove” that a gun in the home increases personal danger. They will continue to add firearms-related suicides to firearms-related crime data  to plump-up their proverbial anti-gun pillow; stuffed as it is with half-truths and downright lies.

The report adds: “Why public views on crime have grown more dire is unclear, though many blame it on the nature of news coverage, reality TV and political rhetoric. Whatever the cause, this trend is not without consequence. Today, those who say that crime is rising are the most opposed to gun control: Just 45 percent want to see gun laws made more strict, compared with 53 percent of those who see crime rates as unchanged or dropping.”

I don’t think it’s a matter of prevalence. Yes, thanks to the Internet and cell phone cameras, violent crime is more visible. But the important change is that it’s more visceral. We’re not just seeing the horrific aftermath of attacks, filtered through the soothing voices of professional newsreaders. We’re seeing the raw footage of violence as it happens.

This close encounter of the video kind triggers what TTAG writer Nick Leghorn describes as an incidence – severity ratio. Violent crime might be rare and getting rarer, but it’s result is catastrophic. Americans can now see – in full detail and at their convenience – the terrifying consequences of not being prepared for a violent assault.

Anyway, civilian disarmament is boxed-in. Antis can’t admit that crime is falling; the fear of crime is integral to the anti-gun side’s motivational strategy (e.g. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s endless crime story link love on their Facebook page). Nor can they say that crime is getting worse. That makes people buy guns. As Blow admits.

It appears to be an extreme example of unintended consequences, or a boomerang: the more people talk about gun control, the more people buy guns. And not only do gun sales surge, but apparently so does N.R.A. membership. As The Huffington Post reported in 2013: “The National Rifle Association’s paying member ranks have grown by 100,000 in the wake of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the organization told Politico.”

I love how the America’s Newspaper of Record restricts the NRA growth numbers to 2013. (The gun rights group grew by millions in the year following.)

In any case, Ive said it before, I’ll say it again: culture eats strategy for lunch. In terms of guns at least, America’s culture of self-reliance is back. And not a minute too soon. [h/t JP]

Previous Post
Next Post


    • Excellent point. they are too dimwitted to grasp that citizens enjoy exercising their rights under their constitution. So it must be “THE NRA”.

    • I ɢᴏᴛ ʜᴏᴏᴋᴇᴅ ᴏɴ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ʙᴜsɪɴᴇss ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ᴀ ᴅᴇᴄᴀᴅᴇ ᴀɢᴏ ᴡʜᴇɴ I ᴄʀᴇᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴀɴ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴜʀsᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ ᴍʏ ғɪʀsᴛ ••••••••••• $2,504! ••••••••••• ɪɴ ᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴇᴇᴋ, I ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴀʙʟᴇ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴀʏ ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴍʏ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ, ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴍᴏɴᴇʏ, ʜᴀᴠᴇ ғᴜɴ ᴀɴᴅ ʜᴇʟᴘ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀs.
      Rᴇᴀᴅ Mᴏʀᴇ info ►œ►œ►œ►
      ►œ►œ►œ► ►œ►œ►œ►

    • Exactly. Most leftists and especially statists can’t think without their demographic-mouthpieces telling them what their opinions should be. Thus, they can’t comprehend any other way to function and assume we work the same way – the NRA simply MUST be telling us what to think!

      It’s impossible for them consider that we value our rights, and thus are telling the NRA to get out there and advocate for them. Bottom-up, not top-down.

    • “No, the 2A is winning”
      And, by extension, freedom is winning. I attended an IDPA match last weekend. 45 shooters showed up for a monthly, local shoot. Years ago this would have garnered perhaps half that many. I think more and more people are looking at the horrible state of this country with its statist (progressive) generated and encouraged racial politics and decided that our freedoms must be seen to.

  1. What is best in life?
    Crush your enemies.
    See their lobbyists driven before you.
    And hear the lamentations of their sock puppets.

  2. Hell, yes, we’re winning on points — but where would we be without Heller and McDonald? Heller and McDonald put 2A squarely at the forefront of Constitutional Rights. People like it, as they are proving in the marketplace for guns and ideas.

    The left will not be able to put that genie back into the bottle. And they hate that almost as much as they hate us.

    • When I’m discussing the RKBA issue with younger people who haven’t seen this issue as long as we have Ralph, they just cannot grasp how different the landscape was prior to Heller. It is difficult to convey how difficult it is to debate people on the meaning of the Second Amendment when a former SCOTUS chief justice was on record saying that the NRA was peddling a fraud with the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment.

      Once Heller came down, now suddenly arguments were much easier to win on the facts. What is even better about Heller was that even in the dissents, all the justices saw the Second Amendment’s right as an individual right. The “collective right” or “militia right” argument was dead, D-E-D, dead. Liberals who wanted to claim “It was a 5-4 decision, based on only the Republican justices” could be hammered flat on the “individual vs. collective” right issue.

      Getting to argue McDonald is more difficult from my perspective, because explaining the “incorporation” doctrine in Supreme Court case law is difficult for me, a non-lawyer.

      In hindsight, it makes me a little miffed with the NRA leadership that they didn’t listen to Don Kates years earlier and bring the type of case that Alan Gura did.

      • Your last paragraph, DG, is why I contribute to several gun rights / 2A organizations.

        Some of them do things I think are misplaced (being kind), and some of them don’t do things I wish they would. And none are perfect. But taken together, they present a more complete front than any alone, and that’s what I’m supporting.

        I think. Either that or I’m a sucker for free stickers and pins.

      • @DG, the basis of incorporation is that the states were not bound to the Bill of Rights when it was adopted, because the BoR only restricted what the Federal government could do. Then came the 14th Amendment, which bound the states. But to what? The courts began to deal with that question one case at a time.

        So far, the Third, Ninth and Tenth Amendments have not been made binding on the states (incorporated, in the arcane language of judges). Only parts of the Fifth and Eighth Amendments have been incorporated. The rest, including the Second, bind the states.

        And yes, Heller and McDonald changed the universe. IL and DC have licensing because of them.

        • What made incorporation even more difficult, beyond just a Founding Era assumption that the BoR did not apply to the states, were several 19th century Supreme Court decisions specifically ruling that the BoR did not bind the States.

      • “What is even better about Heller was that even in the dissents, all the justices saw the Second Amendment’s right as an individual right. The “collective right” or “militia right” argument was dead, D-E-D, dead.”

        Not quite.

        Stevens in the dissent left a window wide-ass open, as I read it.

        “The Stevens dissent seems to rest on four main points of disagreement: that the Founders would have made the individual right aspect of the Second Amendment express if that was what was intended; that the “militia” preamble and exact phrase “to keep and bear arms” demands the conclusion that the Second Amendment touches on state militia service only; that many lower courts’ later “collective-right” reading of the Miller decision constitutes stare decisis, which may only be overturned at great peril; and that the Court has not considered gun-control laws (e.g., the National Firearms Act) unconstitutional. The dissent concludes, “The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons…. I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice.”

        What am I missing on that?

        • Stevens tied himself into knots, trying to square a circle of his own making.

          He recognized the Second as protecting an individual right, but then Stevens wants to circumscribe that right inside the boundaries of serving in a militia. He tortures this “it’s an individual right, but tightly circumscribed by militia duty” until it doesn’t make sense.

      • Thanks for that assessment, DS.

        I hope that all of our younger brothers and sisters will NEVER forget this lesson. We seem to have the anti’s on the ropes now, but it has not always been that way.

        Some of us remember the 1980’s and 1990’s, for example, with HCI’s stranglehold on the public discourse.

        My point to the next generation is, as we continue to win freedoms back, don’t give them up. If they don’t come under attack during YOUR lifetime, teach your children of the danger that exists.

        We still have a long way to go, but man it’s a far different landscape than 20-30 years ago or more.

        “Never forget….”

        • It was the internet with access to alternative sites like this outside the control of the media, statist and academic complex. The “intellectual Elite” no longer had the lock on the societal and cultural meme.

          Freedom of the exchange of an idea is what has turned the tide. Good point in the article about Youtube, nothing like seeing the same time savagery of an unprovoked attack by a pack of feral youth on an innocent bystander to make the immediate need of a defensive weapon….immediate.

    • The right to carry movement predated Heller and McDonald by 15 years or so. We were winning long before the court got involved. I’d say we’ve been winning since the Democrats lost the house 8 weeks after passing the assault weapons ban in 1994. That was the gun banners’ Midway.

      • It really is amazing to look at a map showing which states had shall issue, may issue and no issue in the late 80’s/early 90’s vs today. I believe TTAG has posted such a comparison before. Gun rights have become the rule rather than the exception, with just a small handful of deep blue states continuing to violate the constitution despite the wave of change.

      • I think the map of constitutional carry states will look similar in a few years.

      • Since 1994 the engine of Freedom has been rolling. I’m in a Blue state. We just had a Suppressor bill pass the House by 89 to 40.

      • Yes, that is my assessment as well. It was the activism that brought about the change in the legislatures and culture, and that brought about Heller and McDonald.

        The NRA, quite rationally, were afraid of losing the case. It could easily have gone the other way. The Supremes had ducked second amendment cases for 70 years.

    • Its nice that we are “winning”, and Heller and McDonald are nice, too, but we must not get too cocky on the subject. We need to remember that both Heller and McDonald were crystal clear cases of unconstitutional laws, yet the decisions were somehow as close as they could possibly be. One justice had declared in confirmation hearings just months before that she understood that 2A referred to an individual right, yet voted against the majority. When I was a kid, I’d have gotten a whipping as a liar for that. And there are still noisy people out there who do not believe those decisions mean anything, or apply to everybody. I suspect an amendment is going to be necessary, but have no idea how it could be worded any stronger than 2A. Maybe an amendment declaring that all amendments are cast in stone, mean exactly what they say, and can only be “interpreted” by the people, via amendment.

  3. I think its a combination of perceived crime and more importantly, lack of trust in government. You won’t ever see that in a poll about gun control though. It ties in with other polls where people say our government is the greatest problem facing America.

  4. Hmm.

    When New York, New Jersey, California, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, have constitutional carry, then we can, honestly, revisit this question.

    There is still work to be done.

    • There is always work to be done. Freedom is never more than one generation away from disappearing. There’s a cohort of comfortable, spoiled, spineless people in every generation. No more than about 30% of the population of the original 13 colonies were actually behind the Revolutionary cause in the early days of the Revolution.

  5. We will only win when “gun control” means controlling muzzle rise and getting accurate hits on target to everyone… Until then the war rages on, but we are in front, well, in most places.

  6. Well, here’s a clue for the people at the NYT:

    When the press shows some of the organized violence and mayhem perpetrated by left-wing groups piggybacking their agenda onto various protests and causes, the public sees things that make them worry – just as they did in the late 60’s.

  7. “In short, we are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership — not gun control — makes people safer.”
    Nowhere is it mentioned that perhaps more people believe that the reason for the lower crime rate is that more people in the U.S. own guns, and more people in the U.S. CARRY guns daily.
    Perhaps. Just perhaps John Lott is right: More Guns = Less Crime?

    • More guns in my safe –> more of a crime I can’t get to the range with all of them as frequently.

      Other than that…? I think he’s on to something. (And not just because we share initials.) (But it helps.)

      • I do my bit to further gun control fairly often. I bring one more gun under my control, by buying it.

  8. WINNING!-Charlie Sheen. Yeah when a cabbie (Uber) in Chicago can shoot a guy and doesn’t get charged somethin” is going on…

  9. We are ahead and that is commendable. However, there is still work to be done. Even when we fully restore our 2A rights, we’ll need to be vigilant that they aren’t taken away again.

  10. Remembering the TIME Mag cover post Sandy Hook, of “How The Gun Won.” Post the Congressional defeat of the Manchin/Toomey Act. Evil black rifle with ominous red background. Went into Bushmaster (or any other civilian AR) features and “ability to take high, strike that, standard capacity clips, strike that, magazines. Etc et al.

    As I’ve posted, it’s Whack A Mole with the anti’s. ANY psycho commits an act (most likely in a gun free zone) will the bloody T Shirts be waved, and hysterics for “Common Sense Gun Reform”. Be cried out for again. My fear is the Supreme Court. (Trepidation aside, I will ignore an UNConstitutional Act,) however the balance if a Hildebeast is elected is at least two possibly three Justices that might make things sporty for our Grandkids.

    Otherwise, keep the mallets handy, those moles are relentless.

  11. I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘winning’ as much as it’s just that people are starting to open their eyes and look into the situation themselves. People are starting to look at these wild claims that the anti-rights crowd are spewing out and looking into them themselves. And it doesn’t take much effort there to figure out that they’re all full of crap.

  12. It’s not that I think violent crime is increasing. It’s that I reject the idea that violent crime happens because the government failed to micro-manage the lives of ordinary people enough.

  13. Let me thrown another view in there. Is it that society is moving towards a stances that recognizes all rights, where the individual is greater than the government? Look at other issues. Take gay marriage, the NSA, law enforcement, government over reach… The nation seems to be taking more of a classic liberal (not the progressive version) view towards these issues. If so the the rise in ownership and the resistance to gun control laws makes sense.

    • What “society” is moving toward, or what stance “the nation” is taking sounds very much like it would be witnessed most obviously in the actions of government. What I think we are seeing is what “the people” are moving toward, one at a time. Government has been deliberately and actively lying to the people, and the people are finally figuring it out. Which results in the replacement of governments. Accomplished early enough, the process can be peaceable, with the only pain that of displaced tyrant wannabes.

  14. No time to congratulate ourselves, we all know that they will be back. They will have new victims, different ” reasons” , ban guns is their one size fits all solution to whatever ails you.

    • No you can’t just ‘have’ a gun that doesn’t hurt your ears when you shoot it. That would require a sound suppressor and it’s generally illegal… because you MIGHT go shoot someone and they won’t hear it. Or something.

      Same kind of logic this guy’s going on about.

  15. There is one ir-refutable fact that everyone should know…..Charles Blow is a progressive hack and first-class idiot. His stupidity is emblematic of the entire Left.

  16. No, we the members of 2nd Amendment protecting organizations have NOT won. So long as there are pathetic, socialist politicians who do not believe in the Constitution or the rights it affords it citizens to keep and bear arms there will always be a need to have to fight them. That is why I am a lifetime member of the NRA, and a member of the NAGR. I feel it is a battle that I will be waging for the rest of my life, but that’s o.k., because I think my Constitutional Rights are worth it!

  17. This marks the first time the New York Times has acknowledged the ascendance of firearms freedom, since Henry Raymond manned that Gatling gun and averted rioters during the NYC Draft Riots.

  18. The liberal Media and various Gun Control groups like MDA and other Bloomberg shills have been using the “Violent crime is epidemic!” argument to promote more gun control and enact gun bans. The intended consequence was to convince the public that violent crime was a result of more guns. The UNINTENDED consequence was, more people are purchasing guns to protect themselves from the misperceived threat of growing violent crime. Well done Liberal media and gun grabbers! Keep up the good work!

  19. This battle will never really be won. We’ll never spike the ball and do our dance as long as there are those who will not hear or see. The challenges will continue, but at each one we can remember those words that often ring in my ears when confronted with daunting obstacles….”And David picked up the rock.”

  20. The Constitution (not ‘the NRA’) is only winning because someone keeps picking fights with it.

  21. “Today, those who say that crime is rising are the most opposed to gun control: Just 45 percent want to see gun laws made more strict, compared with 53 percent of those who see crime rates as unchanged or dropping.””

    This is an admission that that the main supporters of disarmament understand the homicide rate is falling, yet chase the gun control dragon anyway. They are producing a framework whereby a drop in the homicide rate must always narratively correlate with a tightening of 2nd amendment restrictions.

  22. I find it funny how gun grabbers solely focus on the NRA. They ignore other state and national 2A groups. Look at all the NRA hate in those comments, I love it! It keep these people distracted, just shows how uneducated they are on the issue.

  23. Crime is down and the left laments that uneducated gun owners buy more guns, a rational for gun control. No mention that the lies of more “gun violence” are spread by the liars on the left.
    If crime rates had gone up, they would have called for gun control too. Seems like the prescription of more gun control is independent of the symptoms, kind of like a medieval quack doctor prescribing leeches for every ailment one could have.

  24. Go back and read the comments
    It’s quite something
    The entire piece is simply a call to (dis) arms for his tribe, farthest thing from an admission of defeat.
    We ain’t even close to winning

  25. Eric above is correct. Read the NYT Picks and Reader Picks of the comments. Clearly the NYT editorial board preaches only to its own flock, which is as rabid as ever. And the columnist Blow is just another race card character with a chip about Whitey in spite of his own success as a graphic arts director (as qualified to have a learned opinion on other subjects as I am on art).

    Since the guy’s column focused on perceived crime rates vs. actual, I will focus on the same. I think most people understand that the nature of crime has changed in the last generation or two. I really do believe that in the past, crime was largely confined to the “criminal element” itself and yes, to the ‘hood. It almost never affected “regular” people. As such, it was the province of the police to address or ignore. The crime rate may be lower now, but it is now a sick, random criminal element. School shootings, Muslim terrorists, feral thugs killing regular people for no reason seem to be a current thing with no parallel that I can recall growing up. Yesterday’s local newspaper featured an article about a 63 year old (black) man who was beaten to death by a 20 year old thug and his 17 year old cousin so they could steal a laptop and an old car. The thug/murderer was the older man’s house-mate; the article does not say whether the older man needed rent money or was just trying to help a “kid”. The police cannot prevent this type of crime and the article was not unique. This is one of the many reasons law-abiding citizens are purchasing guns in record numbers. The rabid, gun grabbing elitist comments from the NYT readers is another.

  26. “If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water.”
    – McDonalds founder Ray Kroc

    We haven’t won yet. Time to turn the hose on, folks.

  27. Truth be told, Blow’s editorial isn’t a metaphorical white flag for gun control advocates. It’s a call to arms.

    Not the most appropriate choice of phrase. While it fits in the figurative sense, we are talking about literally the exact opposite of a call to arms.

  28. The NRA is like the card-shark who always takes your money. If you’ve ever played against professional gamblers you’ll know what I’m talking about. For decades now the NRA has been fleecing unsuspecting gun-controllers at literally every turn. After Sandy Hook, the gun control movement convinced itself that it had a historic opportunity to finally institutionalize more comprehensive gun-control laws at the federal level. Instead what happened is that they were handed their collective heads with such dispatch that they’re only just now realizing their movement if failing. What stuck me about this phase of our on-going epoch, is the NRA’s insulting inscuciance in dealing what is/was a quite formidable threat to gun-rights.. In the face of Bloomberg’s millions and Shannon’s slick PR campaing, it didn’t break a sweat as it took all the money in the game and left the gun-controllers so confused that they’re still trying to figure out what happened..

    Card-sharks are notoriously unlikable, especially when they’re in the game. The NRA’s a lot like that.

  29. I think some of the credit goes to Obama. 🙂 I am serious. Thanks to Obama, most people now distrust our government, and many who still trust the intentions of our government are concerned that it wont be there to protect them. The US military is at its lowest level of readiness than we have seen in decades. ISIS, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and every other two bit dictatorship is taking advantage of our weakness. I can go on. The point is that Obama is mostly responsible for We The People gearing up.

  30. A few random points that I don’t see that anyone else has made:

    (1) RF writes: “The gun rights group grew by millions in the year following.” The NRA had maybe 3.5 to 4.5 million members going into 2013. If it grew by millions then it would have grown by at least 50%. Where is RF’s info coming from on this one, because if it is true, I want it!

    (2) It is not surprising that people’s perception that crime is increasing has gone up since the turn of the 21st century, given the spectacularization of crime by the news media and the pumping up of the culture of fear by both anti- and pro-gun advocacy groups. Michael Bloomberg and Wayne LaPierre are neck in neck for the chicken little award for America.

    (3) In interpreting the Pew Research Center’s finding about gun rights vs. gun control, it is important to keep in mind the margin of sampling error, which is +/-3%. So, 52% +/-3% favor gun rights, and 46% +/-3% favor gun control. Therefore, we can be 95% confident that the actual gap in American’s attitudes toward protecting gun rights versus controlling gun ownership is as small as 0% and as large as 12%. (For more details, see:

    • Much of what you say is true. But not all. I disagree when you say Bloomberg and LaPierre would both win chicken little awards.

      Obama, Bloomberg and company lie and distort the facts to make “Gun violence” seem to be on the increase so that they can to take away our guns and our gun rights. All I see of LaPierre saying is what was happening, Obama and the Anti-freedom gun grabbers are lying and making stuff up to take away your guns and your gun rights.

  31. You never win…
    The moment you think you have won, you have set in motion the wheels of your own defeat.
    Those who seek power over over their fellow men never rest.
    They may seek that power in the name of some utopian ideal, or in pursuit of their own gain,
    but it’s power over their fellow man that they want and will constantly strive for.
    There will never be a shortage of bullies and sociopaths looking to climb to the top of this greasy pole.
    That they want their charges armed with nothing more than dull scythes and pointy sticks should surprise no one.

    The well worn quote: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” is well known because it is so true.

    “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.” …Frank Herbert

    BHO, Holder, Bloomberg, Moms, and the post Sandy Hook anti-gun minions did all of us a great service.
    They energized the opposition like nothing else could have.

    Speaking to members of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society that day [1852], Phillips said:
    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either form human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.”

    • And, sir, your entire post was understood so well, 225 years ago, that the citizens of this brand new country insisted on having the right to keep and bear arms codified within the highest law of the land, the Constitution, and that insistence gave us the second amendment. I thought education had improved since then.

  32. Funny. It’s not the NRA that won, it’s the millions of paying, like minded members, that empower the NRA to fight for a cause they believe in, that won.

    The NRA is us. Reconcile that Mr Blow.

Comments are closed.