As the gun debate stirs and emotions rise higher and higher, we tend to leave ration and logic out of the subsequent efforts to address what is an important public issue. Emotionally charged solutions seldom fix anything. They simply make a lot of people feel like something positive is being done but they truly accomplish nothing. And marching out victims to use as props for your initiative is a shameless political ploy. Politicians are great at using emotional issues to push their pet plans. Most of the efforts currently in flight to answer the recent tragedies in Colorado, Arizona, Connecticut (all very liberal enclaves I might add) are labeled as “Gun Safety” and “Gun Violence” initiatives. Looking at those terms, who is not for Gun Safety? And who is not for ending Gun Violence?
I am for both. But when we examine the efforts put forth we really see that the initiative does not address the action word in those terms, it only addresses the descriptor. “Safety” and “Violence” are what we need to affect or change. Improvement on one and elimination on the other. But the initiatives only address the gun. Addressing “Safety” and “Violence” require action, changing current behaviors to make an improvement. We are all behind that as an effort.
How do we deal with safety issues in other circumstances? We educate people on safe practices so their knowledge is increased and their behavior can be improved. How do we deal with violence in other circumstances? We either educate people to better deal with the issues that drive the violence or we punish the wrongdoers. None of the current initiatives address the problem through these methods. All that is ever presented as a solution is limit access to the descriptor, for all people whether they are sane, law abiding citizens or evil, dangerous wackos.
Many people cannot understand why law abiding gun owners would be opposed to safety and anti-violence initiatives. The reason that those of us who are unabashedly pro-gun oppose most of these efforts is we recognize the entities behind those efforts. Most times the sponsors and proponents of these safety and violence initiatives are the same people who unabashedly state their ultimate goal is to remove all guns from society — even from law abiding citizens. We have seen other progressive ideas be incorporated into our society and culture by very small innocuous increments over decades. We understand the end game and know this will not be the only initiative no matter how they try to sell it and couch the underlying goal. Things that our grandparents would never have accepted in society two generations back in the Greatest Generation are now openly extolled and considered normal by way of incrementalism.
Just like putting the frog in the pot of cold water and turning up the heat slowly. He eventually gets cooked — it just takes longer. It’s just not as much of a shock to the frog.