Three reasons the Brady Center’s ASK campaign is important

Huffington Post is asking all nine of their readers to pony up some cash for a good cause…helping the Brady Center’s new campaign against the evil gun lobby. The ASK campaign is to be kicked off with a gala banquet and fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. The event is to be held in honor of Donna Dees-Thomases, who organized the Million Mom March on Washington, D.C.

Although it was called the Million Mom March, less people than expected attended the highly publicized event-definitely short of the 1 million mark. But like all anti-gun campaigns, the efforts always fall short because rights trump feelings. It’s a difficult concept for any anti-gunner to understand, however rational humans seem to be able to connect the dots just fine.

Huffington Post contributor Mike Weisser (“The Gun Guy”) lists three reasons why the ASK campaign is important. Brace yourselves, I’m sure you haven’t heard this nonsense before.

First, it’s a public health issue, and the NRA has gone out of its way to demonize pediatricians because the American Academy of Pediatrics had the audacity to suggest that guns were a risk to children’s health. Rather than taking the halfway step of proposing that guns should be locked up or locked away, the AAP went so far in 1992 as to tell parents that they shouldn’t have guns around at all.

This was the time when the NRA was girding up for battle against the Clinton gun-control schemes, so taking on the anti-gun pediatricians was fair game. But pediatricians aren’t going to pretend that injuries from guns are a private affair. After all, there’s really no difference between locking up a gun and locking a kid into the seat of a car.

The audacity of this statement is worse. Guns are as dangerous to children as cars and knives and yet we won’t see a vigorous child safety seat campaign.  Maybe if as much concern was shown for safe driving with kids in the car as it is about locking up guns in the home, more would take the Brady Campaign seriously.

The second reason that ASK is important is because it came out of the Million Mom March, and the march is a significant milestone in the development of grassroots concerns about guns. The gun-sense side bemoans the fact that the NRA has been in business for nearly 150 years, whereas the folks who want more sensible gun regulations have only been really active for less than three decades. But the fact is that the NRA wasn’t all hot and bothered about legal or political threats to their existence until thirty years ago; even when the feds got into gun control in a big way in 1968 the NRA hardly made a peep. It’s true that the NRA has become a major player when it comes to political influence on Capitol Hill. But it doesn’t take a century to build a serious and sustained campaign either for or against guns.

Basically, I read this as “we need to ban guns harder.” Sensible gun laws are in place now and some states even boast draconian gun laws, yet anti-gun groups want more and more. It’s not difficult to see the gap in logic on this one.

Finally, the third and most important reason to support ASK is the fact that every industry — guns, cars, communications to name a few — wants to make the product safety argument on its own terms. Most gun makers, car makers, or whatever makers, think first about sales and profits, with safety coming in a distant third, or fourth, or fifth. In 2009 Toyota recalled almost five million vehicles after claiming they couldn’t find anything wrong with the brakes. It turned out to be a problem with floor mats, not brakes, but either way, consumers weren’t going to accept the company’s word on whether their vehicles were safe.

What an asinine statement. If the consumer didn’t accept Toyota’s word on the safety of the vehicle, I doubt a purchase would have been made in the first place. I’m not sure what Huffington Post is asking the gun makers do here other than recall guns first and ask questions later. But of course, guns don’t fire themselves, much like cars don’t drive themselves, so the argument is flawed anyway. In order for there to be a problem, one must cause the problem.

Honestly, I’m still confused. This statement made little sense to me. But I guess that is why I’m not on the anti-gunner side of things.  The ASK campaign encourages parents to ask other parents about guns in their homes. I can understand the premise behind asking, but the simple task of asking will do nothing to prevent a child’s curiosity. Taking your children out and teaching them what a gun can do will have a much greater effect on them and will serve to quench their thirst for the forbidden/dangerous.

On the flip side, if someone asks me what guns I have in my house and how I secure them, my response will be “none of your business”. I don’t go around asking if other parents have reasonable restraints in their cars or if they have their knives secured. Freedom means I don’t have to tell you a thing.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.