Now that every red-blooded American has bought that extra gun that will help them to defend themselves, their families and their President from COVID-19, I’d like to use this column to talk about guns and self-defense, because as usual, whenever this argument breaks out between Gun-nut Nation and Gun-control Nation, both sides get it more wrong than right.
The gun nut gang talks about self-defense and gun ownership as if one automatically presumes the other. This is basically the argument made by the NRA when they sued Andy last week for shutting down gun shops in New York State. It was also the argument made by my late friend Tony Scalia when he decided that the 2nd Amendment gave Constitutional protection to privately-owned guns because, as he said, keeping a gun in the home was a ‘traditional’ way to defend yourself from an attack. Of course he also mentioned, by the way, that the government could regulate how and when guns could be kept anywhere at all, which just happens to have been the basis upon which Andy told Gun-nut Nation to stick their beloved 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ up their beloved rear ends.
On the other hand, when the gun-control gang made a big hue and cry over Schmuck-o’s exemption of gun shops from the advisory issued by Homeland Security about which types of individuals and businesses needed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, they also pushed an argument that happens to ignore certain salient facts. Chief among those facts is the idea that without access to guns, ammunition and shooting range facilities, not one single cop in the United States could do his or her job.
More than half the sworn officers in the United States (the term ‘sworn officer’ means someone who has legal authority to effect an arrest) happen to work in agencies which number 50 sworn officers or less. They carry their own guns, they buy their ammunition at a local gun shop, then submit a receipt and get reimbursed. They have to show some proof that they have actually practiced, on occasion, using their gun. Unless some way could be figured out to let the cops enter Mike’s Gun Shop through the back door, closing down gun shops in many states would be tantamount to telling the cops that they can’t do their jobs.
Of course, we can assume that Schmuck-o probably exempted the gun business from the advisory because he wanted to toady up to the NRA. Fine. So, what else is new? But I suspect there isn’t one, single member of Gun-control Nation who knows anything at all about how cops get their ammunition and their guns. That being said, either we have an informed discussion about how to exempt first-responders from social distancing rules which should apply to you and me, or we don’t.
I also happen not to believe that the increase in gun sales has much, if anything to do with how much violence is caused by guns. Over the last three years of Schmuck-o’s first (and hopefully last) Presidential term, the gun business has been in the toilet, with annual sales dropping off more than 20 percent since the end of the Obama regime. Meanwhile over the same three years, the number of deaths attributed to guns has gone up by as much as 15 percent. Hey! I thought it was supposed to be the other way around. After all, more guns mean more gun violence, right?
I’m not expecting my Gun-nut Nation friends to engage in an informed discussion about gun violence. After all, they don’t believe gun violence is a problem as long as we keep guns out of the hands of all those street thugs. But I hold my friends in Gun-control Nation to higher standards of discussion and thought. In that respect, perhaps I’m making another assumption which has no basis in truth or fact.
So, to quote my beloved grandfather in the midst of this plague year, “det’s det.”