The Nature of the Anti-Gun Control Campaign

Whatever your views on whether or not there should be controls on guns, the anti-gun control movement needs discussion, because it is extreme.

For instance, Monday morning on CNN, the news at 10a.m. ET opened with the issue of gun control and was of course unrelievedly slanted to the anti-gun side. But the striking thing was that the piece—based on no actual events that occurred—went on for 9 minutes. That’s more than an eternity in TV news—that’s two or three eternities. Monetarily, 9 minutes of top-of-the-hour coverage on CNN would be worth tens of millions.

The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both had front page stories on the gun control movement. The Wall Street Journal, responding to actual news events, did not.

I conclude that what we are seeing is a conscious campaign, initiated and orchestrated by the leftist leadership. This is not conspiracy theory. It is simply that political and intellectual strategists on the left have decided, as they would tell you openly, that the Sandy Hook shooting provides an opportunity to get gun control enacted, as (they claim) it should be.

The question is: why are the political and intellectual leaders—people who are socialist or beyond—so interested in this issue?

We can dispose of the idea that they are interested because they want to save innocent lives. We are talking about the leadership—the people whose opinions count with the chief editors at the NY Times, the L.A. Times, and CNN. We’re talking about the opinion-leaders’ opinion leaders. We’re talking not about the guy next door who voted Democratic but about the Tooheys. It would be wrong to say that these people, and their lieutenants, are indifferent to shootings and violence. It would be wrong because they relish them. They want violence, they applaud it. How else can we explain: their idolization of Che Guevera, Fidel Castro, Mao? Their lifelong attempts to censor the fact that 100 million people were killed by communism? Their love for the Weather Underground bombers and all the other violent, bomb-throwing and, yes, gun-toting, rebels of the 60s?

Consider whether a desire to protect the innocent from violence could be operative among intellectuals who enthusiastically support Arab-Islamic-Palestinian fanatics. These Leftists support people who actually commit all the evils they ascribe to America: religious fanaticism, imperialistic aggression in foreign policy, racism, censorship, ethnocentricism, and a brutal, flaunted subjugation of women, including the horror of genital mutilation inflicted on 100 to 140 million girls, according to the UN’s WHO. But have you heard feminist uproar against the Middle Easterners’ savage treatment of women? Me neither.

Consider, finally, the system that the intellectual leadership seeks to establish: statism. The leaders devote their lives to vilifying, attacking, and seeking to subvert history’s greatest example of freedom—i.e., of non-coercion, non-violence—America, and they seek to establish some form of Total State, which is the institutionalization of violence, even of gulags. Shootings? Is Michael Moore, for example, in the least put off by the fact that the Castro regime has shot thousands, for the crime of criticizing or seeking to escape the communist regime? No. Instead he goes to Cuba and makes a film attempting to sell the idea that Cuba has a better medical system than does America, and is a better society than ours in general.

All of which supports my outrageous-sounding claim that the top rung of the opinion-leaders are not motivated by a desire to have a less violent, less dangerous society. Yet these are the men responsible for the current anti-gun campaign (luring in the more innocent followers). Why? What are they after?

The anti-climax here is: I don’t know. The common idea on the right is that these power-lusters want to disarm Americans so that when the Left comes to full power, no one will be able to use guns to fight their regime. I can’t rule that out, but I find it too remote a motivation. People like Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, and the lesser-known strings-pullers on the Left have to know that they cannot establish an actual American dictatorship in the next 20 years, and probably not in the next 40. And I don’t think they are long-range enough to be mounting the current campaign on that basis.

Nor do I think—believe it or not—that taking away Americans’ privately owned guns would be that much of an impediment to those seeking to rebel against such a distant dictatorship. Either there would be a sizable segment of the population who would rebel, or not. If there would be, it could get guns (importing them, stealing them from the regime, taking them off killed agents of the dictatorship) and there are other weapons, such as explosives, molotov cocktails, knives, even rocks. On the other hand, if there is not a sizable segment in rebellion, widespread gun ownership wouldn’t change the outcome. Yes, you can speculate about a marginal case where widespread gun ownership tips the balance, but I find it hard to believe that’s what the current furor over guns is about.

What I can see is a factor that seems too small to explain why, for instance, CNN devoted 1/3 of its morning news show to propagandizing against guns. That factor is the association of gun-ownership with right-wing views. It is not the Leftists but the anti-Leftists who own guns and value them. You remember Obama’s off-the-cuff comment some years back about people who cling to their religion and their guns. This would be enough to make the Left be anti-gun-ownership, but I don’t think it’s enough to explain the intensity and urgency of the current campaign.

Incidentally, Charles Kadlec, a contributor at Forbes, writes:

Surely the President and his allies in the media know that nothing they have proposed would have prevented the massacre at Sandy Hook. Connecticut has some of the strictest gun controls in the nation and an assault weapons ban similar to the Federal law that lapsed in 2004, yet the gun used in Sandy Hook was purchased legally in that state. And, the federal assault weapons ban did not prevent the Columbine massacre in 1999. Yet, the President’s response to the massacre insists the only problem is a lack of political will to control gun ownership.

Mr. Kadlec offers his own analysis, which links the anti-gun movement to a general opposition to freedom and constitutionality. He quotes this statement from the President:

Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? and concludes:

President Obama . . . asserts the real problem is freedom, because the cost of freedom is the death of our children. . . .

The sole focus on gun control and the extreme politicization of the Newtown massacre led by President Obama and the Progressives is not about protecting our children. Rather, it has the markings of an all out effort to deflect our attention from the failure of Progressive policies in order to protect and increase their power at the expense of our liberty.

I think there is merit in this idea, but I am still puzzled about the intensity of the anti-gun campaign because there are many other more direct areas of freedom that CNN et al. could be devoting their time to propagandizing against. I don’t like multi-cause explanations, but perhaps it is a combination of all these factors: one area of freedom that, in the wake of Sandy Hook, is ripe for eliminating, an association of gun-ownership with rightists, and a vague sense that in the distant future, a disarmed population would be easier to rule. Add to that the need to switch the national conversation away from our economic troubles and the Democrats’ failure to acknowledge them.

Whatever the cause or causes, the drumbeat against guns is deafening.

  • Edson

    You alude to this at the end: The statist operates on the premise that individual freedoms are an impediment to reign in the masses. An individual right such as gun ownership can rally people around a cause and further: it establishes a philosophical foothold in which arguments can be expanded to include other individual rights. A statist takes every opportunity to wither away your rights knowing that they are inter-dependent. Rights to property (largely gone), guns (part of the debate) and speech (coming next) become not inalienable, but negotiable.
    The period from 1930 – 1960 saw the U.S. negotiate away their right to property. Will the 2010’s see us negotiate our right to guns? Will the 2020’s see us negotiate away our right to free speech? I hope not.

  • Washington76

    Choose Your Own Crime Stats

    An interesting look at Crime Stats in the United States using data from the FBI that doesn’t seem to be getting much discussion from either the press or politicians. There has been a 50% reduction in the violent crime rate in the last twenty years and neither political party is taking credit for this? I thought politicians always wanted to take credit for good things? Perhaps they don’t want to draw attention to the fact that higher crime rates seem to correspond with inner cities? The great thing about living in the United States is you’re Free To Choose, at least for now, so feel free to Choose Your Own Crime Stats if you don’t like these.

  • Trebor

    I think the ferocious defense of guns is because
    gun right defenders refuse to be brought into total dependency on or submission to – government. Guns are a symbolic and concrete symbol of independence.

  • John

    Gun rights advocates often mention one’s right to self-defense as the
    basis for the right to own and carry a gun but I never see anyone dig
    any deeper than that blanket statement. I would love to see this
    concept drawn out in more detail.

    For instance, isn’t the right
    to self-defense specifically limited to the right to protect yourself
    from an immediate physical threat against your life? This does not mean
    that people are free to go about enacting their own vigilante justice
    or to shoot someone because they looked threatening, nor does it mean
    that people can choose to “take care of a problem” on their own instead
    of calling the police. Therefore could it not be argued that some guns
    do not fall within the realm of “necessary for self-defense” and are
    therefore not necessarily protected under this right? I find it
    difficult to argue logically that a gun designed to kill an animal 300
    yards away is protected under my right to self-defense.

    what laws (if any) should be created in regards to guns (and other
    deadly weapons) owned for purposes other than self-defense such as those
    owned for hunting or sport shooting? Do special laws apply to them due
    to their nature as “deadly weapons”, or are they to treated like any
    other possession? i.e. should there be any special laws limiting the
    purchase and or use of guns at all or should they be treated no
    differently than a pair of shoes or a car?

    Please note
    that I am not arguing against gun ownership or in favor of gun-control regulations, I am merely
    trying to clarify my understanding of the issue of gun ownership in a rational society.

  • James Reinsma

    I think the Left has two motives at work with the gun debate: 1) discredit gun rights activists and/or anyone who thinks they have a right to defend themselves or own a gun. I would say most people who stand firm on the 2nd Amendment are Republicans. By discrediting these people the Left can continue to delegitimize the Republican party (which will always come in handy during an election year). 2) Push through legislation to disarm oppostion to the Left so when the opportunity for totalitarian takeover is ripe nothing stands in the way but voices which can be *dealt with*. I recall the Nazis doing something similar and it didn’t take 20-40 years to accomplish. I bet in two or three years that term limits will be something the Left tries to get rid of. And with a discredited Republican party, the Left won’t have to worry about any elections and/or Congressional opposition.

  • Gearmoe

    Anti-gun campaign is not interested in any facts as the facts of history are contrary to their campaign.

    The anti-gun campaign is based on the imaginary situation the USA had never armed its citizens. They do hate any gun of any type and want them eradicated. They have zero interest in what is rational and logical. Total control with total government dependance is the goal of the anti-gun campaign.

    Anti-gun rationale: Disarming law-abiding citizens results in disarmed criminals.

    Anti-gun rationale: A disarmed Country is a safe Country.

    Anti-gun rationale: Give all control to the Government.

    Anti-gun rationale: A firearm owner is a murderer.

    The anti-gun movement is playing with fire as their actions against the US are similar to the actions of terrorism. The label of traitor is a glove fit.