The Assault on Guns Is Different This Time
The most reliable force in the world is gravity. But the next most reliable force is liberal Democrats trying to infringe on — and ultimately cancel — the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
This has been going on for decades now, at all levels of government, and with the full cooperation of the supposedly “objective” mass media. Every time there’s a high-profile shooting, their coordinated campaign to ban guns is renewed. Sometimes, if the political winds and balance of power are favorable, it advances.
The next two years will be one of those times. Now that Democrats have won the Washington trifecta, you can bet that even as the horrifying news of recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder was breaking, the usual gaggle of cynical, America-hating DC liberals was secretly cheering.
Because horrifying incidents like this make these power-hungry elitists lick their chops at the prospect of further restricting gun rights. If it were up to them, your ability to defend yourself and your countrymen against homicidal maniacs, rapists and domestic abusers, drug-crazed home invaders, mass murderers, terrorists, and perpetrators of hate crimes would not exist…
But like I said, that’s nothing new. Liberals will always use mass shootings to pound the table for more gun restrictions. And they’ll always try to limit the freedom of law-abiding Americans to own and use various types of guns based on the actions of a few fringe crazoids — many of whom no doubt mainly seek the infamy the media heaps upon them for shooting large numbers of people.
And how’s that for backwards, by the way?
If the leftist media really wanted to do something to curb gun violence, they’d stop aggrandizing and immortalizing those who commit these heinous crimes. But the dirty truth is that just like many Democratic politicians, most in the major media secretly crave mass shooting for the ratings — and for the damage they can do to the GOP and the Constitution by publicizing them.
But I’m getting off track, as always. The point of this piece isn’t all the ways in which The Left’s assault on guns and the Second Amendment fall under the “same old, same old” heading. It’s all the new twists on this familiar theme that could add up to big trouble for Americans who love their freedom and firearms.
Here’s the first of those big twists and new chess moves…
Transforming “America’s rifle” into a polarizing symbol of hate, racism, and mass violence
You really can’t have a discussion about gun control in America these days without talking about AR15s and other weapons of a similar configuration. That’s because it can’t reasonably be denied — even by a staunch gun rights defender like me — that these kinds of firearms have become weapons of choice for an alarming number of mass murderers and public shooters.
The reasons behind this trend are not entirely clear. The liberal gun-grabbers say it’s because of firepower, magazine capacity, and their fearsome image. Others cite the “copycat effect” among would-be criminals. Still others chalk it up to simple availability, since ARs have exploded in popularity in recent years.
Some estimates put the number of ARs in the U.S. at up to 10 million, easily earning the NRA’s moniker of “America’s rifle.” In the mid-90s, there were only a handful of AR makers. Today, there are approximately 500.
Point being, the AR is one of the most common guns in America, and it’s easily the highest-profile firearm. Everybody knows what an AR15 is — even total gun neophytes. So naturally, this weapon is the poster child for liberal gun hate…
Gun advocates like me can argue ‘til we’re blue in the face about how a minuscule number of ARs are used in gun crimes, as a percentage of their overall numbers.
We can talk about how, despite their bad-ass appearance, their actual ballistic capabilities are no different than dozens of more benign-looking hunting rifles.
We can remind everyone that for much of U.S. history, civilians had better and more technologically advanced small arms than did the military.
We can debate the far-from-conclusive numbers on whether or not Clinton’s 1994 “assault weapons” ban had any positive affect on gun crimes at all.
We can argue that the boom in narcissism, depression, and other mental illness bred by victim culture, social media addiction, and the self-esteem movement are what’s driving the increase in mass violence, rather than a particular kind of gun…
And we can fight the point on the obvious Constitutional merits — both the whole “shall not be infringed” thing, and the simple fact that our founders wanted a heavily armed citizenry as a check against government over-reach.
It’s all true, too. But none of it seems to matter anymore, if it ever did.
All that matters in the struggle over gun rights today is perception and power
Right now, the liberal establishment — both elected and unelected (read: Big Media, Big Tech, and Big Education) — has the power, and they’re controlling perceptions. And if I’m right, they’re about to unleash hell on the Second Amendment in a way Main Street America has never seen before, or even imagined possible.
Now let me just give you some brief points of context on why I believe this…
The “Assault Rifle” Lightning Rod: When the Clinton administration passed their gun ban in 1994 under full Democrat control of Congress, they didn’t have anywhere near the same ability to kick around AR15s and other so-called “assault rifles” that the Biden administration does today.
Even though handguns have accounted for 78% of mass shootings in the U.S. over the last 40 years, four of the five worst mass shootings in American history have involved ARs or similar semi-autos. And all of these shootings have occurred within the last nine years. This includes the unspeakable 2017 Las Vegas Strip massacre that resulted in the deaths of 61 people, with another 411 wounded by gunshot.
This is undoubtedly the main reason why a solid majority of Americans now back some form of ban on what’s popularly known as “assault rifles.” Even Fox News polling has indicated a steadily rising base of support for such a ban — from 51% in early 2013 to 67% by the summer of 2019. By other relatively recent numbers, only 23% of American voters steadfastly oppose a ban on guns of this type.
The Social Media Factor: When the 1994 gun ban passed Congress, social media wasn’t yet even an itch in its daddy’s pants, so to speak. But today, Big Tech is a willing warrior in the quest to take away our Second Amendment rights.
Last October, for example, both Instagram and Facebook suddenly de-platformed a concealed-carry clothing company called Arrowhead Tactical Apparel. In January, the biggest online gun forum in the world — AR15.com — was unceremoniously shut down by GoDaddy, its Web hosting company. Fieldcraft Survival and American Contingency are others that have been booted off various social media platforms in recent months.
A quick Google search reveals dozens more stories of gun-focused businesses, clubs, organizations, and individuals having their social media accounts shut down, frozen or otherwise harassed by the Big Tech oligarchy. YouTube is now infamous for banning commercial videos depicting perfectly legal guns and accessories being used in perfectly legal ways. They also totally ban all live streams involving anyone even handling or transporting a firearm of any kind.
Trouble at the National Rifle Association: You’ve heard the rumblings over the last few years. Infighting and power struggles at the highest levels — including accusations leveled against the organization by its own president, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who was then promptly forced out under vague and mysterious circumstances…
Shady, irresponsible, and indulgent financial practices have been alleged by numerous parties, too. In 2019, a corruption investigation into the nonprofit NRA — which is incorporated in New York — was launched by the Empire State’s attorney general. That inquiry has now turned into a lawsuit that threatens to shut the group down.
In response, the NRA has filed for what appears to be a strategic bankruptcy as part of a larger strategy to reincorporate in Texas. But even this move is now under fire in the court systems of both states. Beyond these recent woes, the NRA has been steadily sliding in public opinion for years. In fact, Fox News polling has seen as much as a 14 percent decline in the lobbying group’s favorability rating since 2013.
Point being, all of these things are putting the NRA’s image, reputation, and ability to influence lawmakers in grave peril. And that spells big, big trouble for gun owners and Second Amendment rights in America. As a longtime NRA supporter, it makes me very sad, too.
With the gun lobby in crisis, who’s minding the Second Amendment fort?
I could go on and on with more of this kind of stuff.
The now-normal overuse of presidential executive power. The attack on the Senate filibuster rule. The steady decline (before coronavirus, anyway) of participation in hunting and shooting sports in the U.S. The constant and shameless bullying hunters and firearms enthusiasts get on social media — and in the mainstream media…
Federal and state courts in some high-profile places in America circling like vultures around carry rules, transport rules, liability for gun-makers, and more. The woke mob painting the Second Amendment, gun owners, or those who oppose certain kinds of gun control as racist…
All of these factors, and others, make the current climate for the eradication of gun rights — and the Second Amendment itself, for all practical purposes — much more dire than at any other point in our nation’s history, at least during my lifetime.
Bottom line: With the National Rifle Association seemingly in a tailspin, who’s going to do the heavy lifting for our Second Amendment rights on The Hill for the next two years, and beyond? The ACLU?
The numbers paint a very disturbing picture here…
In 2017, the NRA spent $5.1 million on lobbying, but just $2.2 million in 2020. They dumped over $54 million on the 2016 elections — but only around $29 million for last year’s contests.
Meanwhile, the anti-gun lobby has been gathering financial and political steam. For the 2016 election cycle, gun control groups spent less than $5 million on lobbying efforts. But by last year, that spending had increased to $23.5 million.
For Second Amendment die-hards like me, these trends are heading in the wrong direction. Because make no mistake…
What carries the day in Washington isn’t right vs. wrong and common sense.
It’s right vs. left — and dollars and cents.
Freedoms Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder