The Washington Post criticizing gun control? The year 2020 really does feel like some kind of alternate universe. But yes, the Post published a piece that lambasted Creepy Uncle Joe’s plan to price gun ownership out of the reach of working class people.
Joe “Shotgun” Biden’s plan would, however, ensure that the wealthiest families across America remain unaffected by pesky gun control restrictions. Think of it as gun control for the little people.
Biden’s plan stands as nothing more than a modern day incarnation of the Army-Navy Laws passed after the Civil War. Those gun control laws banned all handguns except those used by the Army or Navy. They effectively kept the recently-freed, cash-poor slaves priced out of gun ownership. Meanwhile wealthier folks remained largely unaffected.
Here’s a teaser from Kim Kelly’s
opinion piece screed in the Washington Post:
Biden’s gun control plan is terrible for working class firearm owners
It will put them at risk while doing little to curb gun violence.
…To the dismay of firearm enthusiasts on the left, Biden is still coming for some people’s guns. It’s now just a matter of who’s going to have them snatched — and who isn’t. …
People like Mark McCloskey, the lawyer made infamous for brandishing his AR-15 at Black Lives Matter protesters as they walked past his sprawling St. Louis mansion, will be able to pay whatever fees Biden throws at them, and will thus be able to hold onto as many weapons as they like. But territorial weekend warriors who feel no accountability to the community, and show little regard for gun safety, are exactly the kind of people who shouldn’t have guns. By contrast, leftist community firearm clubs invest serious time into training and safety education, carefully vet their memberships and work arm-in-arm with the marginalized communities they are invited to protect.
And yet under Biden’s plan, the former are who will be able to afford to hold onto as much firepower as they so desire, while the people they want to hurt will be left high and dry. Simply depriving poorer people access to firearms will not rectify the structural issues such as poverty, inequality and lack of economic mobility that are correlated with gun violence. The plan says nothing about handguns, which are responsible for far more deaths than other kinds of guns, or about expanding mental health services, or disarming the police who are responsible for an unconscionable amount of gun deaths. Nor does it do anything about the networks of right-wing radicalism that have inspired the overwhelming majority of domestic terrorist attacks or the media pundits and politicians (including Trump himself) whose rhetoric exacerbates the problem. It just focuses on the big, scary guns. If cutting down on gun violence is the end goal here, what good could it possibly do to disarm the working class and ensure that only the well-heeled (and the agents of the state who defend them) will be able to hoard stockpiles of highly efficient weaponry? Gun sales have already skyrocketed during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and political tensions throughout the country are incredibly high. This divisive plan will do little to curb gun violence, and will instead hammer home the vast inequalities still dividing this nation.
If you read Kelly’s piece, you quickly see that she isn’t a great defender of self-defense rights for the little people. Far from it.
Instead, the Brooklyn-based “freelance writer and labor organizer” is mostly upset that the rich will be able to keep their copies of America’s favorite rifle while the little people are stripped of theirs. But any message that shows the inherently racist and classist nature of gun control in America is welcome, no matter the source.