The Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility is asking for contributions with an email fund raising effort that some in the gun rights community have long described as “dancing in blood” because it appears to exploit the tragedy in Las Vegas in order to advance an anti-gun political agenda.
Declaring that “gun violence is preventable” by changing the nation’s gun laws, the Alliance is asking for donations starting at $5 “to help us pass commonsense policies that can prevent future tragedies.”
But what policies are those? They want to “expand background check laws beyond what is called for by federal law.” What would that entail, and exactly how would it have prevented Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock from carrying out his mass shooting?
Writing in Reason on Monday, Brian Doherty observed, “We normally recognize using an existing tool to cause harm is insufficient reason to ban the tool. And recall, too, legal solutions short of bans are largely irrelevant to these sorts of crimes.
“The unwillingness to leap to a legal solution to mass gun murders requires recognizing that guns are tools, with genuine uses for personal safety, personal fulfillment, and convenience, just as are cars, as well as noticing that a tiny number of people who own or have access to these specific tools ever use them to harm another human.”–Brian Doherty, Reason
Acknowledging that “Some people don’t see this,” Doherty says “it is a difficult thing to convince those who don’t want, need, or enjoy guns to fathom how anyone else could, given their demonstrable ability to cause horrific harm.” But, he added, “a third of Americans think they do need or want guns, and the hundreds of millions of guns that exist in America are proof of this.”
This is the tough nut that perhaps needs to be cracked, say people in the firearms community. During last weekend’s Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas, several speakers alluded to the Second Amendment as a “second class right” in the eyes of elitist, stubborn anti-gunners.
After all, someone argued, what other civil right can you exercise only after getting permission from the FBI, via a so-called “instant background check?”
Paddock passed repeated background checks. He wasn’t stopped or even deterred by the process. There is evidence now surfacing that he apparently tried to shoot holes into jet fuel tanks located several hundred yards away from his Mandalay Hotel suite from which he launched his murderous fusillade.
Now Sen. Dianne Feinstein is introducing legislation to ban “bump stocks,” the devices that are mounted on semi-auto rifles to increase their rate of fire. Thousands of those after-market products are in circulation and the owners have harmed nobody. There is a legitimate question from a surprising source about why those citizens should be penalized for the act of a madman.
Appearing on Fox & Friends Thursday morning on the Fox News channel, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino launched a tirade that added a different perspective.
“You know, I’m really tired of this,” Bongino told hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt. “When do my rights come into question? And let me give a pro tip for the Democrats out there. I’m really tired of your crap on this, okay?
“Stop talking to us like we’re a bunch of gun toting rednecks. Because, you know I have kids, too. I have two young daughters. You think it doesn’t bother me as a dad and former law enforcement officer, the idea that me or my family could be subject to one of these savage animals?”–Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent
After explaining that a firearm is a tool that is used for personal and family protection, Bongino cautioned Democrats about “lecturing us all the time and late night comedians with no knowledge of the issue at all about how we’re a bunch of violent maniacs because we simply want to protect our families against savages like this is a really dumb strategy to try to convince the other side.”
And he cautioned, “We’re not going to legislate our way out of this…We can’t legislate our way out of the evil in some men’s hearts.”
When questioned about the number of guns Paddock apparently purchased during the previous year, the ex-government agent stated, “If I want to buy 30 guns in a year, why should I have to explain that away to the government? … Why are my rights always under attack because of the acts of a savage madman?”
Why, indeed? Perhaps the Alliance for Gun Responsibility can take a break from its fund raising effort to explain that to Bongino, and all the other gun owners.