There’s a story going around the alt-white/right network that el Shlump-o is going to propose a national registry of all AR owners that will be managed by the FBI. I’m hardly surprised that Newsmax and other venues which push their content to the paranoids amongst us would trot that one out, but it may also be the work of some clever guy who does marketing for the gun industry since the events of the past weekend will surely result in a spike of assault rifle sales.
It’s no secret that whenever the tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a Democrat, gun sales go up, just as when the tenant is a Republican, gun sales go down. And the reason is very simple, namely, that both political parties depend on support from groups and individuals who either do, or do not like guns. In this respect, I have to say that the pro-gun gang is more honest in their intentions and beliefs, because they make no secret about the fact that they really do want to hold onto their toys. On the other hand, I cringe every time that some gun-control proponent starts off by saying that he or she ‘supports’ the 2nd Amendment because that just happens to be a load of crap.
Yesterday the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington’s National Cathedral, issued a statement in which he asked, “How long will we tolerate this epidemic of gun violence?” He then went on to note that he grew up hunting birds and target shooting with family and friends, so he was addressing his letter to all his fellow gun owners, since he claims a kinship with them.
The National Cathedral has an active gun-control group. I am privileged to work with this group and have appeared at one of the public conferences on gun violence which they hold from time to time. Let me break it to the Very Rev. Hollerith as gently as I can: The Cathedral has never asked a bone-fide gun nut to show up and explain why he loves his guns and why he is opposed to every ‘reasonable’ gun-control measure that the Cathedral leadership supports.
Yesterday our friend John Lott was informed that his Twitter account had been closed down because it was decided that an op-ed he wrote for The New York Daily News somehow violated the guidelines of what Twitter believes is proper content for their site. Lott’s op-ed was a comment about a manifesto published by a mass shooter in New Zealand which somehow tied his anti-Muslim feelings to support for environmentalism – go figure that one out.
Let me say the following as directly and bluntly as I can, okay? I am opposed to censorship of any kind. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who censors the writings, statements or public appearances of anyone else forfeits their right to exist (rhetorically speaking) in the public space. Frankly, my liberal friends who decry gun violence on the one hand but applaud attempts to muzzle someone like John Lott on the other should be ashamed of themselves, no matter what.
Whether we like it or not, people who really believe that the Democrats, the liberals and the gun-grabbers of all stripes just can’t wait to take away their guns aren’t just a bunch of paranoid nuts. They are reacting to real fears, even if those fears are then exploited by the paranoia hucksters on the alt/white-right. If nothing else, these mass shootings will make the gun argument more toxic on both sides.
A week after the 2008 election, I walked into a gun shop in Houston and the place was mobbed. I asked someone why there were so many people trying to buy guns and he replied in a completely serious tone, “Haven’t you heard? Armageddon’s coming, we have to be prepared.”
The guy in the Houston gun shop wasn’t buying a gun to go out and shoot up the town. To the contrary, he really believed that he needed a gun to protect himself from some nut. Was he so wrong?