A new group advocating gun control has appeared on social media, and this time, rationality need not apply. The group, calling themselves the Betsy Riot, call on members “to prank, lambaste, and generally fuck up gun culture.” Their website advocates “individual acts of gun culture sabotage or public disruption,” while insisting that members “respect the anonymity of others.”
It’s always cute to see groups who yearn to attack the rights of others, while insisting on protecting their own—cute right up until the moment that disgust takes over. The website suggests that printing out the sticker templates they offer and putting them on public property would be an ever-so-naughty thing to do. Using markers is also mentioned for people who lack a printer. Though perhaps they’re only interested in trolling on Twitter, as the hashtags #BetsyRiot and #FuckYerGuns indicate by the proliferation of accounts that have popped up in the last few days to spew insults at gun owners before blocking them in fear.
Perhaps the Betsies have in mind the incident several years ago in which the names and addresses of gun permit holders in the counties around New York City were published by The Journal News. If you’re going around defacing property—as in, for example, pasting stickers in magazines on a rack for sale in a store—you deserve anonymity in the minds of some gun control advocates, but if you’re a gun owner who went through the onerous process of following the law in New York, your exercise of rights is a matter of public record that can be announced to the world. And to any thief who takes the time to read the newspaper.
In the mind of the activist, all too often everything is acceptable in pushing the agenda. That much is clear. What isn’t so easy to understand is why gun control advocates believe that harassment and sneering will win over support for their cause.
The phenomenon of Donald Trump as presidential candidate has caused dismay among the talking heads and among people who are concerned for the well-being of this nation, but there is a strong current of populism, of reaction against out-of-touch elites. Some of this has been shared by the many people who supported Bernie Sanders during the primaries and who had their goals squashed by the Democratic National Committee. This is merely the latest example of Americans not liking being talked down to. Just as the middle of the country would object to salsa coming from New York City, at least in the famous commercial of a while ago, we don’t see why our gun laws or other rules that govern our lives should be formulated from on high and far away without reference to our needs and concerns.
And this is ultimately what will be the downfall of gun control. Telling Americans that we must be controlled for our own good is exactly the worst way to go about achieving one’s goals. And advocating trolling or property destruction isn’t much better. So many people who demand gun control fail to realize that we gun owners aren’t giving up or going away. We’ve figured out that compromise gets us nothing but more losses in the exercise of our rights, and the antics of BetsyRiot won’t change that.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.