No greater proof may be evident of the profit motives of the gun prohibition lobby than an appeal for donations from one Seattle-based group using Saturday’s “March For Our Lives,” says a national gun rights leader who asserted that the student-initiated movement has been usurped by anti-gunners to advance their political agenda, which is getting financial support from anti-gun celebrities, according to Reuters.
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, issued a statement that accuses the gun control lobby of exploiting the march effort.
“What began as a worthwhile desire to make schools safer has been assimilated into the gun prohibition campaign,” Gottlieb contended. “A worthy cause is being exploited by those with an anti-rights political agenda.”
In contrast to the anti-gun fund-raising effort launched Thursday, SAF’s Friday morning message didn’t ask for a penny. However, the weekend might see gun owners contributing to the rights organizations of their choice. Traditionally, when gun owners feel threatened, they send donations to SAF, the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms or some other group at the local or national level.
Other gun owners are using the #WhyICarry hashtag in their social media posts this weekend.
In the money beg from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a billionaire-backed organization that sends out one fund raising request after another despite its deep pockets, the group stated: “We cannot let this moment pass us by… We have to help them beat the gun lobby, which has spent decades – including the past six weeks – pushing legislators to block lifesaving legislation that could stop massacres like the one in Parkland.” Rights activists point to such rhetoric as proof positive the student-launched school safety movement was quickly expropriated by the gun ban lobby to bolster its public disarmament effort.
Gottlieb, whose offices are coincidentally located in Bellevue – just across Lake Washington from Seattle – simply asks the student marchers to “use the opportunity to celebrate the lives of all the survivors of violence who are alive today because they had a firearm with which to fight back.”
Just a few days after the quickly-terminated school shooting at Great Mills, Maryland in which a lone sheriff’s department school resource officer confronted a teen madman, Gottlieb’s message might hit a nerve. In dramatic contrast to what happened last month in Broward County, Fla., the Maryland deputy chased the killer down a hallway and fired, perhaps saving countless lives. In Broward, deputies waited outside the school building where 17 students and adults were fatally shot.
One of the two students shot in Maryland has died. Fox News reported that 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey passed away after being removed from life support Thursday night. She reportedly had ended a relationship with the teen that fired the fatal shot.
“It is admirable to want a better world. We all want that, for ourselves, our children, our neighbors and friends. But we shouldn’t want to reach that goal by trampling on the rights of others, and that’s a lesson that apparently isn’t being taught in schools these days.”—Alan Gottlieb, Second Amendment Foundation
Student marches are scheduled around the country, and they promise to be turned into a media event.
Perhaps the most public face of that movement is 17-year-old David Hogg, a student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where the Feb. 14 mass shooting occurred. He may have a bit of trouble, however, thanks to the widespread circulation of a YouTube video revealing a rather foul-mouthed vocabulary. That video was posted Thursday, it was removed by YouTube but the National Review story in the preceding link includes it.
Meanwhile, SAF’s Gottlieb noted that “Each year, between 800,000 and 2.5 million people use guns to defend themselves and others. That’s 2,100 to 6,800 people every day whose lives are saved, thanks to guns.”
But the veteran gun rights advocate pointed to Saturday’s nationwide march coverage as one-sided.
“Lost in all of this debate is the fact that lives are saved every day because a properly-used gun was available,” Gottlieb said. “Contrast what happened this week in Maryland with what happened last month in Florida. Who knows how many lives were saved thanks to the presence of a gun in the right hands?
“Remember last year’s intervention by an armed citizen outside a church in Texas,” he added. “Remember the school in Pearl, Mississippi where an armed school official stopped a teenage madman. Think about all of the times that people have saved their own lives or the lives of others because they had a gun.”
Across the country this weekend there are scores of gun shows listed on a website. Those events may draw hundreds of thousands of law-abiding firearms owners and collectors, none of whom have harmed anybody. It will be quite a contrast.