UPDATED–2/21, 8:40 a.m. PST — In the aftermath of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, news reports including one in the Washington Post have repeatedly referred to “gun safety” groups that have “jumped into the post-Parkland fray,” but that is a glaring – and perhaps deliberate – error on the part of the press, Second Amendment activists contend.
These are gun control organizations at the very least, and in recent years they have dropped pretenses in many instances and come out of the closet as gun prohibition lobbying groups. After all, when a lobbying effort calls for bans on entire classes of firearms, that’s not “control,” that’s prohibition.
BULLETIN: Rasmussen Reports on Thursday revealed that 39 percent of American adults say stricter gun control would have no impact on violent crime. An equal number (39%) think stricter laws would decrease violent crime. Fifteen percent think stricter laws increase violent crime.
Even veteran Seattle P-I.com columnist Joel Connelly fails to make the distinction, noting that Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee contended in remarks Wednesday that the Washington State Legislature “should stand up to the gun lobby and pass gun-safety legislation.” Connelly also warned that “The state’s gun-safety groups have indicated they will take the issue to voters if the Legislature does not act.”
He is alluding to the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a billionaire-backed organization that – say Evergreen State rights activists – confuses the Second Amendment with a government-regulated privilege. The Alliance has bankrolled two gun control initiative campaigns, and has the deep pockets of wealthy elitists to finance another one.
But ask any of these “gun safety” advocates to repeat the “Four Rules” or “Ten Commandments” of firearms safety and they are stymied. In their world, “safety” all-too-often translates to removing guns from the home, the neighborhood and ultimately society. They’ll say with a straight face, that they “support the Second Amendment…but…”
On the other hand, gun owners – like those who will gather for this weekend’s Washington Arms Collectors gun show in Puyallup, a Tacoma suburb – can usually recite the “Four Rules” without batting an eyelash. They will also note that banning guns will not prevent determined people from launching school massacres or other mayhem.
Case in point: The Bath School massacre of 1927, the deadliest attack on a public school in U.S. history. The perpetrator, Andrew Kehoe, blew up the school. The explosion killed 38 children and six adults. This happened after Kehoe murdered his wife. Incidentally, Kehoe was the school board treasurer, and he killed himself in a subsequent explosion.
For the past several years, gun control groups have tried to repackage themselves as “gun safety” organizations. They have effectively gulled news organizations into parroting the term, but it is a façade. Whether they talk about safety or “gun responsibility” or “gun reform,” it is still gun control, and they know it.
And now these groups appear to be deeply involved in using (exploiting?) bereaved high school students following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy. That much was perhaps unintentionally acknowledged when the Washington Post reported Thursday, “The existing gun-safety groups have jumped into the post-Parkland fray, but they have remained careful in how they handle the students.”
In the emotionally-charged debate, high schoolers might be reminded that the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It is equal in importance to the First Amendment that is now enabling these students to speak their grievances and even meet face-to-face with President Donald Trump.
Since Trump’s surprise victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton, the political left has promoted the notion that it is “the resistance.” These radical anti-rights activists have taken to shouting down and even attacking people with whom they disagree. They are definitely supportive of strict gun control or gun prohibition.
But they have overlooked one of the most important lessons of history; a lesson learned the hard way by the Founders who wrote the Constitution and included the Second Amendment to make certain they never again had to face a tyrannical government.
It’s much easier to resist when you have the tools, and keeping those tools close at hand is perhaps the greatest deterrent to government tyranny.
And fundamental, Constitutionally-protected rights can never be subject to popular opinion.