Monday, March 25, 2013

The NRA Is the Biggest Threat to 2nd Amendment Rights

Your friendly neighborhood liberal gun-owner previously posted about the pro-gun lobby's self-defeating tactics and my skepticism that the NRA has anything but their own short-term financial interest in mind when they take such a hard-line, absolutist view of the 2nd Amendment (Read here: Stupid Faulty Reasoning on Gun Registration Infects my Facebook Page). Here's even more blatant evidence that the NRA is too strategically inept to defend the 2nd Amendment:

"Gun Lobby Bombards Newtown Families With Robocalls Against Gun Regulations"

That's right, they're sending robotic messages to the families, possibly the young siblings, of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, trying to garner their sympathy for the gun industry ("gun manufacturers will leave the state and take away 'thousands of jobs'"). Are you kidding me? That's sick. 

Universal background checks (you know, that "well-regulated" part of the 2nd Amendment?), cross referenced against a beefed-up list of those who are diagnosed as mentally ill with the potential for violence, and increased funding for mental health treatment: These things will not prevent every shooting, but they'll save some lives at the cost of a minor inconvenience for responsible gun owners and a loss of some profits for gun manufacturers who are doing quite well, thank you very much. Profits that come from crazy people who shouldn't have guns in the first place! This is an opportunity for responsible gun owners to stand up and distance themselves from the kind of 2nd amendment absolutists who would rather put AR-15s in the hands of child-murderers than risk any reasonable regulation (the kind described in the 2nd Amendment they claim to love). 

Look, gun guys, I know you're scared. I know fear can make people do stupid things, even heartless things (like calling the families of a horrible tragedy and asking them to make another one possible in order to protect business profits). Please, please at least consider the possibility that the number one threat to your right to own a gun comes not from an urban liberal, and not even from the next crazy killer (there will always be the next crazy killer), but from your own intransigence on the issue. Gun laws will change. The majority of voters are not with you, and some politicians care more about voters than special interest money (if money can't be turned into electoral victory, it's only good to the most dirty politicians) so think clearly about what you want and what you'd be willing to give up to get it. A few extra minutes in a gun shop waiting on that background check in exchange for a safer country and a preserved right to keep and bear arms?  Jump at that deal!


Ryan said...

I think the reasoning is that if there is a registry of any kind, "the government" can use that information to use their jackboots to kick in your door, take your guns and possibly scare your dog. And then make you pay huge taxes and make you have health care.

Benjamin Gorman said...

I understand that fear, and I don't think it's all-together irrational. Countries have confiscated weapons before, so it's at least possible. However, I think gun-rights supporters need to choose their battles at this point. The danger of a potential nation-wide gun confiscation seems way more remote than the possibility that people will get so fed up with any talk of the 2nd Amendment, and will come to associate it so closely with the handiwork of crazed murderers, that they'll seek to limit that in some far more dramatic fashion. Background checks might seem scary to some, and they might seem like an incremental step for people who don't want to give an inch, but to me they seem reasonable and strategically wise. The alternative is to run the risk of sounding like the pro-gun equivalent of Michelle Bachmann. This week she claimed that giving more people health insurance would kill them. Nobody that looney-tunes can remain politically viable.