I came across an article in the WSJ today that succinctly summed up the gun control situation in American politics.
It’s notable how much the rhetoric has changed since the peak of the national gun-ban movement, when politicians talked honestly about reducing violence by constricting the gun supply—and what that would require. In a 1989 Senate hearing, Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, a Democrat from Ohio, candidly explained: “If you don’t ban all of them you might as well ban none of them.” But gun bans proved unpalatable to American voters in even the most liberal jurisdictions. In 1976 Massachusetts voters rejected a handgun ban referendum 69% to 24%, with 86% of eligible voters going to the polls. In 1982 California voters rejected a handgun “freeze,” which would have barred their sale, 63% to 37%, with a voter turnout of 72%. (source)
Gun owners have long memories. We’re fully aware that despite the rhetoric softening slightly, the true desires of the antigun extremists is to ban as many as possible. After all, what else is “Australian” gun control without confiscation under the guise of buybacks?
We’re not stupid, as GeekyLiberal stated, and we don’t appreciate being lied to or lied about.
The WSJ goes on to say
Gun owners and Second Amendment activists understand that Howard Metzenbaum was absolutely right about the logic of supply-side gun control. So they resist incremental gun controls on the understanding that the latest proposal cannot be the last step. And when these half-measures fail, in either passage or effectiveness, progressives can always blame the “gun lobby.”
Yet despite the media push to make the NRA the biggest boogeyman ever, they poll higher than Obama and Clinton and support for gun banning remains low, no matter what push polls claim about background checks.
Still, President Obama’s open praise of the Australian gun ban is progress of a sort. It sets us on the path toward an honest debate about the confiscation policies that supply-side gun control inevitably requires. The challenge is to get the politicians who continue to crave the votes of gun owners to speak as candidly about this as the president has.
This reminds me of another article I read earlier this year where Charles W. Cooke called for antigun extremists to nut up or shut up:
When the likes of Rob Delaney and Bill Maher and Keith Ellison say that we need to get rid of the Second Amendment, they are not speaking in a vacuum but reflecting the views of a small but vocal portion of the American population. And they mean it. That being so, here’s the million-dollar question: What the hell are they waiting for? Go on, chaps. Bloody well do it.
As gun owners, we’re tired of the dancing around and hints the antigun forces keep dropping. As the WSJ post concludes:
So, to the glib critics of America’s gun culture: You cannot continue to have it both ways. If vast reductions in the supply of guns are the key to stopping mass shootings, tell us precisely what policies you propose. And then tell us how you intend to square those policies with the fact that Americans already own hundreds of millions of firearms.
If you cannot reconcile these two things, then you owe America’s lawful gun owners a different conversation: One in which you try to convince them that they’d be better off under policies that would disarm good people in a fruitless attempt to keep bad men from getting guns.