(Title courtesy of the movie Zardoz) I have mixed thoughts about gun control. I believe that we can restrict guns a lot more than we do without violating the Second Amendment; I do believe the Second Amendment does allow the right for individuals to bear arms. What exactly the restrictions are, and exactly what rights we have, I’m not so sure.
I have no mingled thoughts about the NRA and similar anti-gun control groups. They speak bullshit and nothing but bullshit. They’re the equivalent of “PC” — they have a set of dogmas they adhere to blindly, no matter how badly they fit reality. I’ve singled out some of their nonsense arguments in the past such as “well, they’d just use knives if we took away guns!” or “an armed society is a polite society!” That worked real well in Orlando.
But it’s more than that. Consider for example, that gun-groups are emphatic that events like the Orlando shooting don’t say anything about the power of guns. The gun was irrelevant. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But when guns are in the hands of Real Americans to protect us, hey, totally different! They make us safer! They stop bad guys (John Seavey rips into one current version on Facebook).
Of course the record of private citizens with guns stopping crazed shooters is close to zero, so pro-gun groups have a simple explanation: not enough guns! If we only had more, we’d be safer! It’s the equivalent of the communist and libertarian fantasy about how sure, all the real world evidence shows our philosophies lead to ugly outcomes (the USSR and the regulation-free America of the 19th century, respectively) but somehow, in the idealized world that’s coming, it’ll be different! Likewise, gun violence proves we need more guns. Stupid gun accidents that injure innocent people don’t prove anything.
The NRA doesn’t even want people saying things that are anti-gun, or research into gun violence. After all, stuff like that might lead to people becoming less thankful for the gift of the gun, and then where would be?
I should add that while I don’t doubt the sincerity of most of the NRA leadership in opposing regulation, if you follow the money it’s hard for me not to believe that’s a factor. Most of their cash comes from advertising and donations; I’m sure gun manufacturers are thrilled to have the organization screaming variations of “Buy guns now! Obama/Clinton’s going to ban all gun sales!’
And race is a factor too. When George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin a few years ago, there were astonishingly few cries from the NRA about how that black kid walking in a white neighborhood would have survived if he’d been packing. Instead, they seemed to side with Zimmerman.