December 17, 2012

“The problem goes beyond the absurd conceit that a conversation about guns had yet to begin prior to this week.” [Darleen Click]

Conor Friedersdorf

Awakened to that urgency, proponents of more gun control have understandably taken to the Internet in recent days to argue that epidemic gun violence in America makes tighter firearm restrictions an urgent imperative. I happen to agree at least that the gun show loophole ought to be closed. Before I go any farther, I hereby urge any legislator inclined to listen to pass such a bill now.

Yet I am troubled by something I’ve noticed in many of the calls for more robust gun control: the conceit that it’s a subject America has yet to debate – that “the gun lobby” has somehow imposed its will on an unwilling citizenry, and that “a conversation about guns” must begin now. I’m all for more conversation about guns. It’s just that we’ve already been having one for decades. […]

In short, gun control is a perennial controversy, the sort of controversial issue that Gallup tracks on an annual basis.

So what has been the result of decades of sustained public debate?

“Americans’ support for stricter gun control laws has gradually declined over the last two decades, from 78% when this question was first asked in 1990 to 49% in 2008, and 44% in 2009 and again this year,” Gallup reported in 2010 survey results. Said the organization in 2011:

A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people. When Gallup first asked Americans this question in 1959, 60% favored banning handguns. But since 1975, the majority of Americans have opposed such a measure, with opposition around 70% in recent years.

There isn’t anything wrong with gun control advocates lamenting what, by their lights, is a public that’s reaching wrongheaded conclusions on the subject and is trending in the wrong direction.

But too many pieces I’ve read make a mockery of robust debate in a pluralistic society by ignoring the fact that current policy is largely (though not entirely) a reflection of the U.S. public disagreeing with gun reformers. The average American is far more likely than the average journalist or academic to identify with gun culture, to insist that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms, to exercise that right, and to support various state conceal-and-carry laws. Perhaps persuasion can move the citizenry to favor a different status quo. That’s always a hurdle to clear in a democracy. Yet the ability to engage and persuade fellow citizens is undermined when public discourse obscures rather than confronts the relevant disagreements.

Friedersdorf goes on to cite some media examples of the kind of hysterical demagoguery and conceit endemic of the “We know what’s best for you stupid masses” Progressives.

Social media has been even worse … with Proggs calling for the murder of the NRA president and members.

Irony has never been a Leftist strong-suit.

Obama’s speech declared “We can’t tolerate this anymore.” Implication being that someone somewhere tolerates mass murder.

That isn’t just conceited rhetoric, that’s unconscionable slander.

Posted by Darleen @ 7:41am

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Comments (20)

  1. I’m pretty sure that there is no “gun show loophole”, at least in Texas. I had a relative who rented out a large space for gun shows in Texas and to the best of my knowledge, they had to show the same identification as those who purchased in a “standard” gun store. Maybe I’m mistaken but I see this mentioned many times and have reason to believe that there is no such loophole.

  2. Our Oprah In Chief has spoken! Or is it our Dr. Phil In Chief?

  3. For some reason, leftists pointing to mass shootings by crazy people doesn’t really get me thinking about changing my opinion.

    Though I guess I’m crazy, not basing my opinions on emotion or what’s most likely to sooth Suzie from Accounting so she can get back to eating cake and convincing herself that the evilest thing in the world is how quickly grocery store coupons expire.

  4. Anytime you buy a gun from an FFL holder you have to satisfy a background check requirement of some kind, even at a gun show. In Georgia if you have a CCW and renew it regularly the CCW is your background check.

    A private individual selling a personally owned firearm is the only so-called loophole I’m aware of; your buyer wouldn’t need to satisfy a background check requirement regardless where the deal takes place — gun show, kitchen table, or in a dark alley on the bad side of town.

    Friedersdorf’s heart is in the right place on this — he just needs to get his head out of his ass the Fog of Stupid that afflicts those dependent on Big Media for their understanding on the subject of guns.

  5. the conversation on the cnn right now is bent towards using Mike Huckabee’s moronic comments to further damage the Team R brand

  6. What’s Huckabee running for?

  7. …that’s my code for “who gives a shit what Huckabee says?”

  8. A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people.

    The only way I would ever consider a ban on hand guns (not that I would) is if the police and other domestic agencies were first disarmed, and there was mechanism in place to keep it that way.

  9. What’s Huckabee running for?

    A very slow cupcake, most likely.

  10. This. This is why I am not champing at the bit to rush back into this debate about how much more I want other people to limit my rights.

    I’ve heard people demand why gun rights should remain further unconstrained (unconstrained further?) because some folks have a hobby. I have kept out of that discussion, because to me: it’s the other way around. You need the ok of me and lots of people like me in order to change the law (which: some people are proposing a repeal of the 2nd, followed by more stringent regulations), so: ‘splain to me why.

    I am not hearing a compelling ‘splanation, so I am keeping mum. And wondering how fast I am going to have to perform my next gun purchase. Not that I have a lot more in mind, but I am wanting a rifle that I could kill a deer with if I needed to (which I am thinking: .243), a handgun (Sig P250 full-size) and a scattergun (emphasis on being able to hunt, with some utility as a home defense weapon). Also might want a fun gun for the wife to shoot, because her .38 special isn’t, really.

    And then we’re going to have to look into ammo. I am looking at Glaser Safety Slugs for home defense, but the MagSafe stuff looks interesting. But I am open to discussion on the topic. Safety slugs for the snubnose and hollow points for the 4.7″ barreled 9mm? A couple of safety slugs on the top of the clip followed by something else?

    No experience, here.

  11. cnn cares very deeply is all I can tell you

  12. Sadly, CNN doesn’t care enough to know what the hell they’re talking about. They especially need to sit Don Lemon down and make it clear that he is not to act as though he knows things. Just ask the questions and smile pretty, cupcake.

  13. he’s always saying he’s “on the verge of tears” but he looks like a kid on christmas morning as he revels in the kiddie death porn

  14. There’s no gun show loophole. I’ve purchased several firearms from gun shows and several from private dealers with FFL licensing. Each time I’ve had a background check run. And dealers are not going to lose their licenses just so they can sell an extra firearm to someone who doesn’t want a background check by leaving the show and making a deal in the alley behind the convention center. Sorry, but that’s all bullshit, and CF needs to get himself up to speed on the facts and avoid the framing that’s been pre-set for him to operate within.

    The only “loophole” is a private sale on a used handgun. And that’s because private citizens don’t have access to the background check database. By law (at least here in CO), they are supposed to ask the potential buyer if he or she has a criminal record. Beyond that, what are they to do? I suspect that in many areas of the country, friends may trade firearms for dirtbikes, etc., without conducting background checks. And that can’t be stopped — save by a national firearm registration database. Which is itself a horrible idea.

  15. If I were selling a personal gun to someone I didn’t know, I’d ask if they have a Georgia CCW or one from a state Georgia accepts. If they do and it’s up to date, guess what: I just conducted a background check. But that’s my choice. I like to use my personal liberty in responsible ways just to skew the metrics.

  16. If GOP won’t die on this hill then the GOP just needs to die and get it over with.

  17. I had to look up ‘squireen’ and that’s sad because I grew up playing the Dungeons and Dragons (which in its time was held to be as potent and virulent a mind poison as heavy metal and violent video games…or guns).

  18. “There’s no gun show loophole.”

    Honestly the term ‘loophole’ is prejudicial language to begin with.

    ‘The law is flawed and it must be fixed! Those people who are not criminals SHOULD BE criminals! ‘

    Tax loopholes were built into the law on purpose. grandfather clauses and exceptions are intentional features. Loopholes are not like bugs in code or cracks in a weld.

    Someone who bitches about ‘loopholes’ really wants a law or regulation to be changed so that it is more onerous.

  19. GOP can afford to hold their fire just for the nonce as backlash builds against the obscene media kiddie death porn orgy

  20. in California, even private sale/transfers are suppose to go through an FFL unless it is a gift from an immediate family member.