Even though the polls are tightening, I still believe Americans will exercise their good judgement on November 8th and reject the scam marketing plan masquerading as the Republican Presidential campaign. In which case, the Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) community better start figuring out what Hillary should do to help reduce gun violence over the next four years.
Here is what her campaign website says: “We can – and must- end the epidemic of gun violence.” The site then lists the following actions that she might take: (1). Expand background checks to secondary sales; (2). get rid of the industry immunity from torts; (3). keep guns out of the ‘wrong’ hands, including domestic abusers, criminals and the severely mentally ill. Now I’m going to quickly skip over the fact that several of the policies being promoted by her campaign either already exist or cannot be put into effect – the bottom line is that Hillary is clearly taking aim at the problem of gun violence, no ifs, ands or buts.
And this strategy has hardly gone unnoticed by Gun-nut Nation. The NRA has probably spent more on anti-Hillary advertising than anything coming out of the pockets of cheapskate Shlump; a day doesn’t go by in which I and every other NRA member doesn’t receive an email from Chris Cox reminding me that I better remember who the real enemy is when I go to cast my vote; and Wayne-o has just surfaced with a new statement which predicts a ‘massive’ anti-gun attack if Hillary isn’t sitting on her duff in the Chappaqua house next year.
The bottom line is that even if there is a chance for a legislative initiative next year to reduce gun violence, it will be tough and bitter fight. In fact, the worst thing that could happen to the NRA and other pro-gun organizations would be a Shlump win, because such an event would mean, if nothing else, that gun ownership would be left undisturbed. And since the only thing that really sells guns is the possibility that guns won’t be sold, a redecorated White House courtesy of Melania and Ivanka would portend a general collapse of the gun business for the next four years.
But even if guns stopped selling the way they have recently sold, there are enough of them around to result in 30,000+ gun deaths every year. So for those who actually believe that there actually might be a connection between gun violence and the existence of guns, the discussion about what steps should be taken to reduce this scourge shouldn’t wait until after November 8th – it should begin now.
Let me make one thing very clear. I support all the remedies listed on the HRC website, but I also believe that, at best, they would have a marginal effect. Now marginal is much better than nothing, don’t get me wrong. But short of getting rid of guns, and that ain’t going to happen, there’s no magic bullet out there, pardon my pun.
On the other hand, HRC’s proposals are a tactical approach to the problem, and what is needed in the GVP discussion going forward is a more strategic point of view.
- Fact: A majority of Americans believe that a gun in the home makes you safer, even though all the credible research on this issue shows it not to be true.
- Fact: A majority of Americans believe that violent crime is on the increase, even though the FBI says that violent crime continues to decline.
If we are going to ask gun owners to jump through more hoops to maintain access to their guns, and most gun-prevention solutions will require current gun owners to modify their behavior to some degree, then we need to give these folks viable options to mitigate the fears which provoke them to buy guns. After all, you’re still afraid of the uncertainties of everyday life, but that doesn’t mean you feel compelled to walk around with a gun. Why not?