My fellow liberals:
You are really swinging for the fences this cycle. Doubling down on gun control to make sure that the next go-around, there will be an even larger Republican majority in the House and Senate, and possibly even in the White House (I shudder at the thought. Particularly since the front runner is The Donald). Ah, but Eric, this stuff is polling great with our base, and we have to do something to stop the 400 billion mass shootings every week!
A bit of hyperbole? Perhaps. But seriously, people. This is one of those issues, like abortion is to the right, where many of my liberal brethren seem to have completely lost their senses. I’ve presented, as have several of my fellow LGCers, actual potential solutions that would make a real difference in the levels of violence in this country. But instead we’re now trying to shut down the government? Kowtowing to the freaking terror watchlist? Are you freaking kidding me?
The no-fly list was a horrible idea when it was just being used to keep people from flying. Most all of you were adamantly against it (rightly so), with the backing of the ACLU! Now because somebody decides to stick guns onto it as well, suddenly we think it’s a brilliant idea to have a massive list of people, that impacts their rights, with no transparency as to who is on it, or how one could get removed from it if they were put on it wrongly in the first place! It’s pretty bad when a conservative law professor is the one calling out the cognitive dissonance here. What’s next, Gitmo for gun owners? Please, seriously, listen to what is being said. This is wrong on all levels and we should not be expanding this list; we should be eliminating it. If it was a terrible idea when Bush was in office, it’s no less a terrible idea now. Remember that the pendulum swings both ways, and it’s likely at some point we’ll have another Republican president. (coughTheDonaldcough) Do you really want that list in place still then?
And then there’s that whole “the Second Amendment says ‘well regulated’!” thing. The New York Times huffed on its front page the other day,
It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.
Oooookay. I guess that means that red states can regulate abortion into nonexistence, red states should still be able to keep same-sex couples from getting married, and red states can enact “voter ID” laws that do nothing to prevent voter fraud but do everything to keep people of color, young people, senior citizens (except for those good seniors who dutifully watch Fox News), and poor people from being able to vote. Because, well, no right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation, amirite?
Oh, and you know how the Gray Lady wrote, “politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them”? Remember the run on guns and ammunition in 2013? Republicans didn’t create those massive demands, as I recall.
The other thing that I just can’t take at the moment, although it’s kind of a relief to hear it finally said, is the New York Times, HuffPo, and other outlets have finally just called for an outright ban on gun ownership. So much for “we’re not trying to take your guns away.”
So yeah, that happened. As many of us who were paying attention knew, the end game here on that particular right is actually confiscation. As I mentioned in my article about comparing Australia to the US, the difference is we actually have the right to keep and bear arms written into the constitution. Not just the federal constitution, but the constitutions of forty-four states. If you really want to change that, then pursue a constitutional amendment. Get two-thirds of the Congress to agree, and three-fourths of the states to buy in on the federal level – and 44 states to buy in on the state level – then you have it done.
Until that point, the current law of the land is that people can own guns. 30+ percent of Dems admit to owning them, and a larger portion of Reps do. Consider when you’re pushing for expanding gun control to an extreme, that losing 30% of your base ensures that we’ll lose elections. Have we forgotten President Bill Clinton’s famous 2012 warning? And it doesn’t even have to be because they voted for the other party or a third party – creating massive amounts of voter apathy will certainly get the job done just as well.
On top of all of this, like I mentioned above, there are some actual solutions that would help.
Instead we’re stuck having the conversation that the NRA and the Republicans want us to have, which will do nothing but fire up their base, create apathy with a good chunk of our base, and solve none of the issues we purport to care about. Could we please work on real issues again? ‘Cause I’m pretty over this.