Earlier this week I gave an award to a writer for GQ for the dumbest article about guns written this year. But today I happened to read another article which might be not quite as dumb, but certainly just as uninformed. And this is an article which appeared on BBC (you really can’t blame Brits for not knowing anything about small arms) and purports to explain a sudden, mad rush for gun ownership on the part of liberals and gays, two groups who traditionally have never felt any affinity for guns.
Of course the reason for this new-found interest in arming themselves is not because liberals or gays are worried about their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ To the contrary, they claim to be scared of physical attacks from the fervent followers of our soon-to-be President who, after all, is a 2nd-Amendment freak. And there are even some folks out there, according to the intrepid BBC reporter, Brian Wheeler, who are stocking their survival shelters because the unthinkable has now become thinkable under Donald Trump.
As far as I can tell, Wheeler’s never written about guns, but then again, it’s not like his audience would know whether he’s faking the whole thing or not. When he quotes, for example, a lady from Pink Pistols, the gay and lesbian gun group, who says that the group’s members feel harassed at the range, this is exactly the reverse of what the same lady said about LGBT shooters being accepted in a story that ran after the massacre at The Pulse. As for the survivalists who believe that the Apocalypse is just around the corner, those nuts don’t need an election or anything else to explain the virtues of freeze-dried food.
The silliest part of the article is an embedded video with America’s official liberal gun guy, the author Dan Baum, who published a book back in 2013 that was intended to explain to liberal readers (Dan has written about guns for Harpers, among other liberal mags) that people who like guns just aren’t all that bad. And to prove this he went across the country interviewing various gun nuts who, as it turned out, happened to be more or less normal people just like you and me. The book actually reads like a screenplay for a Michael Moore movie, but the best part is when Dan describes how he anguished for months over deciding what kind of handgun to carry after he got a CCW permit in Colorado only to discover that the gun he bought was too heavy to carry around. So much for Dan the Gun Guy.
The penultimate proof that liberals are flocking to gun ownership is a long spiel about the activities of the Liberal Gun Club, a California-based organization to which I once briefly belonged. They claim to have members in all 50 states, and according to their website, their goal is to “to provide a voice for gun-owning liberals and moderates in the national conversation on gun rights, gun legislation, firearms safety, and shooting sports.” And while they claim to be non-partisan, in fact they oppose virtually every piece of state-level gun legislation, including California’s Prop. 63. Whether it’s Half-and-Half or Ronald Reagan, everything that’s stupid starts in California and moves East. The Liberal Gun Club is no exception to that rule and if Wheeler really believes that this bunch represents a shift of liberals toward liking guns, good for him, he found a few liberals who like guns.
Wheeler’s shabby attempt to give us a ‘new’ perspective on gun ownership will become, I suspect, a not-unusual approach that journalists who are paid by how many words they write will employ in the Age of Trump. Because in a country as large and diverse as ours, it’s not very difficult to find a few people here and there who have been ignored by liberal-leaning culture and now, thanks to Trump, can have their moment in the sun. And a moment is exactly what it is.