Everytown for Gun Safety is once again—as usual—seeking to exploit the actions of a criminal narcissist in their effort to impose new gun control on America. Their latest push is for a rally in Washington, D.C. on the 10th of September and a call for people to download a sign for you to fill out and return to them. This sign takes the form of “Dear______________, I feel _______________________________.” The hashtag, #WhateverItTakes, is included at the bottom.
The open format here is an opportunity, and if you monitor the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll see lots of users taking pictures of themselves with messages about their support for gun rights. And so they should, since Everytown’s efforts here are an attempt to frame the debate, an attempt to create the impression that we’re all on the same side, but for a few extremists.
Of course, things aren’t so simple. In answer to the question, What do you think is more important—to protect the right of Americans to own guns, OR to control gun ownership, the Pew Research Center has found a consistent result of about 50/50 during this decade, plus or minus a percentage point or two in either direction, depending on current events. Are half of us extremists? If so, I’m reminded of Barry Goldwater’s statement that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”
But more than that, what are we supposed to do with an assertion that someone feels something? I do not mean to invalidate or denigrate emotions, but we must remember their appropriate context. In the south where I’ve lived my life, the worship of the mother is a familiar concept, but Everytown and their group, Moms Demand Action, are working the technique of the fainting couch and clutched pearls, the idea that delicate feelings should trump all other interests. But this is the veto of the offended. We have to accommodate each other’s rights, but how I feel by itself doesn’t grant me any authority to curtail the lives of others.
But do gun control advocates really mean “whatever it takes”? How far are they willing to go? We’ve already seen the violations that the “stop and frisk” policy has perpetrated on the residents of New York City. Our drug laws provide another example of the abuses that result from an anything-goes policy, from police raids on the homes of innocents to the number of Americans in prison for drug crimes—one fourth of our total prison population being locked up for non-violent crimes. The Fourth Amendment is under as much assault as the Second, and if we value rights, whatever it takes is not rhetoric we can casually adopt.
Besides, whatever it takes apparently only includes more gun control for the Everytown advocates, no matter the examples of failure—failure to reduce overall homicides and especially failure to stop high-profile killers from passing background checks. One question to ask is what would be the last gun control measure. At what point would Everytown or their fellow activists say we have enough control?
The ones I’ve asked are coy about answering that. By contrast, we who value freedom must be clear and open. We have to support solutions that show real promise of doing good, while maintaining an absolute respect for rights.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.