If you don’t understand US gun control, you should read this.
If you think you understand US gun control, and don’t understand why the senate voted down Obama’s bill, you should read this.
This is by far the best, most comprehensive post I have ever read on the topic.
And it’s written by a far-left activist.
It’s been less than a week since national gun control in America died. No “assault weapons” ban. No “high-capacity” magazine ban. Not even the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise that,according to Senator Mark Kirk, was reached by getting drunk on a 54-foot mega-yacht named Black Tie, which is part-owned by Manchin.
Over the last several days, I’ve watched Democratic politicians, lobbyists and Facebook meme-sharers calling down shame on the senators who voted against every single gun control measure proposed in the Senate. Yes, it’s true that none of the measures would have passed the Republican-controlled House anyway, but to have lost in the Democrat-controlled senate was to truly be trounced. I have seen the Democratic pundits all over the nation looking across their podiums and well-lit television studio desks with stunned expressions. “How could this have happened,” they all ask? Only four months after Newtown?
I write this letter as someone who is politically far left of center. You and I have a lot in common, though you may not want to admit it by the end of this article. I think it’s time we had a talk.
I live in the state of Virginia, a place where it’s not easy to be a leftist. Just last week, our State Board of Health voted to approve TRAP(Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations that would close most abortion clinics in the state. It was a devastating loss for myself and other organizers, and it will be even more devastating to the women of Virginia, most of whom will not have access to safe, legal abortions for years to come. I mention this not only so that you have context for the sort of political work I’m involved in, but because I want you to know that *I do know*, from very recent experience, what it’s like to feel powerless as you watch a group of people vote for social policy that you think is absolutely insane.
But I’ll be honest with you: I watched the Senate votes live on Wednesday, and when these gun-related bills were defeated, I literally celebrated. Obviously, you and I have a lot in common, but plenty to differ on. And that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about.
I’ve owned guns since childhood, and it’s an issue that I’ve thought and written a lot about. It’s very difficult for me to communicate with the mainstream Democratic establishment about guns. But because I know how painful it sometimes is to listen to Republican and other Right-leaning people talk about things that we on the Left care strongly about, I thought I would try to help you out.
There are are a few things that you can do to improve your game in the gun control debate, and I thought it would only be fair to point out what they are. So here’s my best shot. Here are the things that you MUST keep in mind if you wish to further the dialogue on gun policy in America.
One of the major points is that many of the people who are trying to regulate guns are, to put it bluntly, ignorant. For example, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
This is a man that has built a cornerstone of his career on gun control legislation. He has headed and commissioned panels on guns. He runs a whole group of pro-gun-control mayors. This is an issue he has supposedly been devoted to for a long time.
He doesn’t know how guns operate. He doesn’t understand basic terminology. He doesn’t know what an “assault weapon” is, even though he supposedly was involved in drafting legislation. How is this possible?And how is it possible that we who actually understand the topic are supposed to cede to his judgment on it?
He’s not alone in his utter baffledness about this. Obama recently told donors at a Democratic Congressional Campaign committee meeting that students at Sandy Hook were gunned down by a “fully automatic weapon”.
(In case readers don’t wish to read the whole post, and don’t grasp the significance of that last one, the Sandy Hook shootings did not involve a fully automatic weapon, because these have been effectively banned for years and their use in crimes of any sort in the US is almost unheard of.)
How can you lobby and legislate for years on a topic, and yet be so utterly ignorant of the topic?
I don’t have the answer to that.
But we all know how such appalling, wanton ignorance goes down in communities where even a school child knows the difference; communities regularly portrayed by certain sectors as ignorant hicks.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a quicker way to divide a country.
Like I say, it’s a very comprehensive post. Go have a read.
I didn’t think it was a great article. The author said they were suggesting ways to help the debate along but there was no acknowledgement of pro-gun control arguments. Instead it was just “I love guns and dead children and gun crime ain’t gonna change my mind”. I don’t think the author is any more interested in “furthering the debate” than his/her opponents.
If you actually read it and understood it, you’ll see that some very good points where made.
For example, if you’re going to talk about gun control, actually make sure you know what you’re talking about. That failure does major damage to the cause.
I still don’t see it. The article read as if there the author was simply point scoring and not looking for a change in society regarding guns; despite the “I’m open to dialogue” introduction.
I’m actually going to change my mind and agree with you, because as I thought about your comment I realised that much the same thought had formed in the back of my mind as I read it.
I do however think that the author has summarised very well many of the issues in the debate.
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