Buried 46 paragraphs into a Saturday report posted by CNN that details the cable news network’s perspective on the current chaos swirling around the National Rifle Association is a statement by the head of the nation’s wealthiest gun prohibition lobbying group that should put gun owners on full alert.
The quote is from John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the Michael Bloomberg-supported organization that has weaponized its progenitor’s wealth in the crusade to what critics believe is the unilateral disarmament of law-abiding American gun owners. Their target, gun owners fear, is the end of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, regulating it like a government-granted privilege and slowly wringing it out of the national fabric.
Here’s what Feinblatt said, as the NRA drama continues in Virginia and across social media:
“Gun safety is going to be a defining issue for 2020,” Feinblatt said. “The gun safety movement has never been stronger and the gun rights movement has never been weaker.”
Underestimating the gravity of Feinblatt’s analysis could prove devastating for the nation ‘s 100 million-plus gun owners, especially millions of Second Amendment purists.
Much of the drama is being played out at a Facebook page called Save the Second. There, one will find a link to an effort aimed at amending the NRA Bylaws and plenty of criticism toward NRA leadership.
NRA turmoil has been keeping anti-gunners reading reports in the New Yorker, The Trace, CNN and elsewhere. The other day, Slate ran a story about an email exchange between former NRA President Marion Hammer and members of the NRA Board of Directors over lost committee assignments. Monday morning, veteran industry journalist Jim Shepherd detailed an effort to “grade” board members by dissidents in a story appearing at The Shooting Wire. For the gun control crowd, all of this equates to a spectator sport.
But Feinblatt’s observation may get lost in the shuffle, and that may be a dangerous oversight for the firearms community. While factions within the firearms community are battling it out, anti-gunners are watching from the sidelines, relaxing and preparing for the 2020 election cycle.
Head-butting is nothing new in the firearms community. For decades, gun owners have displayed a penchant for arguing with one another, creating at least the appearance of disarray, and appearances can be powerful propaganda for the gun control lobby.
Among the nearly two-dozen Democrats now vying for their party’s nomination next year, not one of them has expressed any support for gun rights. Instead, all of them have offered one degree or another of some gun control schemes that range from erosive to extremist.
While Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has dropped out, taking his gun control platform with him, none of the other candidates ever disavowed his campaign rhetoric. That much was made clear by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the grassroots Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms earlier this month.
Swalwell’s departure won’t be missed by Second Amendment folks, but as Gottlieb observed, “the rest of the field still engages in the kind of anti-rights rhetoric that should be of concern to every voter. There are still about two-dozen Democrats trying to out-do one another when it comes to restricting a fundamental right, and we probably haven’t seen the limit to their gun control proposals.”
“Swalwell may be gone, but his alarming ideas remain,” Gottlieb stressed.
The NRA drama will play out in due time, but the firearms community could be ignoring the bigger fight that looms just over the horizon, because not one Democrat now hoping to take the Oval Office away from Donald Trump as gun owners’ interests at heart.